Will NH step up renewables & climate action in its 10 Year Energy Strategy, or fail miserably?
Last night I attended a hearing in Dublin on NH's 10 Year Energy Strategy, one of several being held around the state this week.
In my testimony, I referred to Greenschools posts with Governor Sununu and his wife on Facebook (below). I asked whether our energy choices are modeling for a clean energy future for our youth or are they modeling those choices for us, challenging us to do better than previous generations. (Video of Governor Chris Sununu's wife, Valerie Sununu, saying we need to "green up New Hampshire" even more.) Image: Conservation Law Foundation, "Governor Sununu Abandons Granite State on Climate".
Governor Sununu has been very vocal in his support of expanding natural (fracked) gas in the state and reducing regulations. He invited EPA director Scott Pruitt to New Hampshire to discuss getting past "bothersome" water regulations and supports a rollback of many EPA standards.
We cannot choose fossil fuels and then commend ourselves on aligning with the Paris Climate Accord, such as Concord did this month. After converting the State House, state buildings, City of Concord and Concord School District to fracked gas, a Concord City Counselor declared Concord the 5th city in the state to be aligned with the Paris Climate Accord.
If environmental organizations and those concerned with protecting our air, water, food and future do not call out such hypocritical announcements, we are complicit in continuing the greenwashing of our state and nation. Do we promote leaders as being environmentally responsible based on their statements of concern, or on their record, which may contradict their words.
Are adults modeling renewable energy choices for a climate-safe future for our youth or are they modeling those choices for us, challenging us to do better than previous generations?
People would rather choose to live in states like Vermont or Massachusetts, that are increasing their use of renewable energy and installing more recharging stations for electric vehicles and whose schools are installing solar and wind, over a state pushing for fracked gas in the face of a climate crisis.
It is up to all of us to be seen and heard amongst our friends, neighbors, businesses and legislators, letting them know that we demand an immediate transition to 100% renewable energy. We must support offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine.
New Hampshire seems perplexed at the exodus of youth and businesses from our state. Rather than promote renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, our legislators move to push for an increase in natural (fracked) gas, a powerful greenhouse gas that exacerbates climate change, to reduce electricity costs. As we continue to buckle to the demands of the BIA, rather than guide them in making marketable energy choices that will lower their energy costs and raise their public image, we are failing miserably.
If New Hampshire continues down this road, it will be left with its stodgy reputation and rogue citizens seeking a lawless state. We can do better than this. We can rise to the occasion, with a vision for the future of New Hampshire that promotes jobs, protects our natural resources and provides for a scenic, rural state our youth will choose to call home.
PROVIDE YOUR COMMENTS ON NH'S 10 YEAR ENERGY STRATEGY
Written testimony may be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to:
Office of Strategic Initiatives
107 Pleasant St.
Concord, NH 03301
Written testimony must be received by OSI no later than October 31st.
Read more on Facebook.