• ECHO Action Editor

Senator Avard uses Governor Sununu's language of burdensome regulations to push fracked gas

"Senator Avard,

I'd like to point out a couple of things.

1.) Do you know where you can find apprenticeship programs and skilled job training? Unions. Why are we so determined to dismantle them?

2.) When it comes to energy...and especially natural gas, I hope you will read the report by the Carsey Perspective at UNH on technical versus economic capacity of natural gas in NH. Rather than building more pipelines, if the gas is destined for New England (and not export), why not conduct an operations research study of pipeline networks and flows to optimize the economic capacity?

If the pipelines are about export, I hope you will continue to stand with constituents who insist there should be no eminent domain for corporate gain? Also, NH ranks #21 nationally in terms of energy efficiency. That is mediocre at best. We live in a high energy cost area (like HI or AK) the end of the pipeline as it were. We should rank in the top 10 at least for efficiency!"

- Pat Martin

"Senator Avard,

When we discuss the energy needs of New Hampshire businesses, there are other aspects of running a business that should be considered.

Instead of supporting Liberty Utilities' as they push gas contracts across the state on underinformed cities and businesses, we should be offering rebates, incentives and tax breaks for energy efficiency projects, solar, heat pumps, wind and biofuels.

The fossil fuel industry is digging its heels in trying to save itself in a losing battle. Why would we want to throw NH businesses under the bus and charge them twice?

First they'd have to convert to gas and use of an increasingly unpopular resource that requires extensive damage to infrastructure, historic homes and buildings, scenic vistas and pristine aquifers at a cost to them and taxpayers. This would likely put these businesses in an unappealing light in the communities they reside in.

Then, when that resource, natural (fracked) gas, is no longer viable for a variety of reasons to include health, safety and water contamination issues, they would have to convert yet again, at their own expense.

When small businesses and corporations consider their impact on the cities and towns they work in, they are able to market themselves as strong community partners. Residents and other businesses like to patronize businesses that think about their business model as one not only for profit, but as one that enhances the communities they serve.

In order to maintain New Hampshire's educated youth, who are fleeing the state for better jobs and living conditions, we need to make the state a more appealing place to work, live and raise a family. If the Granite State continues to resist the things that millennials are looking for, the exodus will only increase.

We can talk about retaining young people, but until we embrace innovative energy choices like solar and offshore wind, in place of antiquated technologies and filthy energies like fracked gas and oil, the problem will persist.

The Hill reported this week, "A TransCanada Corp. executive told investors Friday that it is still assessing interest in Keystone among the oil companies that would pay to use the Canada-to-Texas line, as well as seeking remaining regulatory approvals, and it will likely decide in November or December whether to build....Paul Miller, president of TransCanada’s liquid pipelines business, told investors in a quarterly earnings call that Keystone XL is far from certain."

The fossil fuel industry is on its way out. The international community can see it and they're aggressively converting to 100% renewable energy. New Hampshire is a microcosm of a country that is in denial. It's time for the Granite State to make wise economic choices that will stand the test of time. I encourage you to show leadership within your party and embrace changes that will strengthen our scenic state and prepare us for decades to come.

- Stephanie Scherr

Senator Avard,

I am glad that you brought up the issue that energy costs are too high. Because you are Chairman of the state Energy and Natural Resources committee, I am sure you are aware that the primary reason that energy costs are too high is because the TRANSMISSION rates are too high. So high, in fact, that FERC is investigating. ( I invite - no- implore - you to please work on identifying WHY the transmission rates are so high. If the transmission rates continue to be high, it does not matter whether the source of the energy is coal, natural gas, solar, wind, etc -- we will still end up paying too much for our energy!

Thank you in advance for your help.

- Mary Beth Raven

By NH State Senator Kevin Avard Concord Monitor

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The New Hampshire Legislature has focused on creating a competitive, business-friendly environment in the state for the last few years. It is important that our state’s businesses are successful in order to continue creating good-paying jobs for New Hampshire workers. We know that initiatives like cutting taxes and reducing overly burdensome regulations has resulted in a great success story so far, and will continue to help employers and grow our economy.

But recently, I had the opportunity to tour Nashua businesses with Gov. Chris Sununu to dive deeper into understanding the difficulties that New Hampshire small businesses face day to day, and what we can do to effectively bolster their future success.

Two common themes stood out at the end of the day. One, energy costs in New Hampshire are too high. Two, businesses need additional, well-educated, skilled workers to fill vacant positions.

While I believe that the New Hampshire Legislature has done a lot of great things to continue to grow business in the Granite State, we need to address these concerns and help our small businesses obtain the resources they need to grow.

As the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I have had the opportunity to work on many pressing, energy-related issues. From natural gas to renewable energy, New Hampshire must take an all-of-the-above approach to meeting our growing energy needs. Rather than picking winners and losers through government subsidies, we should look to cut the red tape that is blocking new, smart energy solutions from entering our market. The free market must be allowed to make headway creating clean, innovative and cost-effective energy resources for the state.

Pursuing an increase in New Hampshire’s energy portfolio will increase the demand for a skilled workforce which is already at an all time high. The past administration sought to solve problems by throwing money at them, which has been historically unsuccessful. We understand that workforce development does not mean every person must pursue a college degree, but instead look to our state’s cutting-edge career and technical education programs. And in many cases, nothing can replace the value of on-the-job training through successful apprenticeships in high-demand vocations.

As Granite Staters, we should be proud that we have some of the most successful public and private institutions of higher learning in the nation. However, we must develop opportunities for those who choose to further their education in a trade or technical school. Electrician, plumber, mechanic and machinist are trades that this country was built on, and there is still high demand for these workers.

In addition to having a trained workforce, we must also prioritize policies that encourage young families to move here. The Legislature took an important step this session to improve and expand early childhood education by supporting full-day kindergarten. This is a critical policy that will attract young families to our state for our competitive educational system. However, we must also promote policies that make New Hampshire an affordable place to live.

It has also become increasing difficult for young families to afford homes in New Hampshire. Home prices are at an all-time high, exceeding even the pre-housing-bust prices. First-time homebuyers are far exceeding the supply of available starter homes driving the price of a home higher. Part of this is due to the strict land use policies that have been enacted at the local level. Home ownership is at the heart of the American Dream. Rather than creating policies that make it more difficult to build new homes in New Hampshire, we should be expanding this opportunity.

Since I was first elected to serve in the New Hampshire Senate, each session we have taken a pro-business approach to lessen the burden on our small businesses by reducing the Business Profits Tax and the Business Enterprise Tax for Granite State businesses. In addition, this year we repealed the Electric Consumption Tax, making critical progress in lowering our state’s skyrocketing energy costs. Now, we must step up as legislators and work to further lower energy costs and promote policies that build our much-needed workforce while attracting and encouraging young families to move and stay in New Hampshire.

I look forward to many more opportunities to work with Gov. Sununu and my Senate colleagues to build on the work we’ve done to make New Hampshire the best place in the country to work, live and own a business.

(Sen. Kevin Avard, a Nashua Republican, represents District 12, including the towns of Brookline, Greenville, Hollis, Mason, New Ipswich, Rindge, and Wards 1, 2 and 5 in Nashua.)

#GovernorChrisSununu #SenatorKevinAvard #frackedgas #NEDpipeline


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