NH Gov. Chris Sununu is like the Trojan Horse. That is, on the outside, he appears friendly and likable, a gift to the people. But, hidden out of sight inside, are actions and plans which are enemies of the people. Among Sununu’s 55 vetoes of legislation passed both by the State Senate and the State House of Representatives were more than a few which that would have helped us remedy our current climate change crisis. Melissa Birchard (Conservative Law Foundation, 07/10/2018) describes Sununu’s performance on climate.
“Governor Sununu’s record now speaks for itself. He has vetoed bipartisan solar legislation that would have helped towns across the state install solar panels and save tax dollars. He has undermined funding sources for the energy efficiency programs that helped keep our families warm and our energy bills manageable. He wants to gut the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard that ensures our utility companies purchase at least some clean energy to power our homes and businesses. And he’s declared the state open to polluting gas lines. All of these are bad for our wallets, bad for the air we breathe, and bad for our climate.” (Melissa Birchard, Conservative Law Foundation, 07/10/2018).
Sometimes it’s hard to appreciate the importance of climate change because it occurs slowly so we barely notice the changes. Nonetheless it may be slow, but it is deadly.
Thanksgiving is in the rearview mirror. Christmas is approaching fast. We are bombarded by ads on TV, social and print media for cars, vacations, toys and furniture – everywhere! Ads of family gatherings with tables laden with sumptuous foods also abound. Everyone is targeted by Madison Avenue to have a “Hallmark Holiday.”
Unfortunately for those who earn the minimum wage these scenarios will never happen. Minimum wage does not even cover the basics of shelter, clothing and food. Most minimum wage workers must rely on supplemental government aid to survive.
Gov. Sununu seems to feel this is an acceptable way to live. He has vetoed a bill that would raise the minimum hourly wage to $10 in 2020 and to $12 in 2022. Let Gov. Sununu know this is not the way New Hampshire treats our working poor. Demand he support a living wage for those who are willing to work.
CATHERINE E. GOEGEL
Investors in the under-construction Tru by Hilton in the Manchester Millyard will be getting a huge tax break on their $10 million investment because the Millyard has been determined to be in an “economically distressed community.”
Seabrook, Durham, Raymond, Conway and Waterville Valley are also “distressed” — a term used by federal agencies in determining whether a community can receive status as an Opportunity Zone, where real estate investors can avoid paying capital gains taxes on their investments.
The communities are in some of the 27 census tracts that Gov. Chris Sununu designated in May 2018 as Opportunity Zones, a program created last year as part of President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
The idea is to attract investment in poorer communities that need them. But the criteria for being labeled “distressed” is so lax that more than half the zip codes in the United States (and more than a third in New Hampshire) qualify.
Each state’s governor may pick a quarter of those census tracts as qualified Opportunity Zones, or QOZs, usually designating those already targeted for economic growth. Indeed, the law even allows 5% of a governor’s census tract selections to not be qualified, as long as they are next to a tract that is.
But Sununu just stuck to 106 low-income communities to come up with state’s 27 tracts. Nationwide, there are 8,700.
“The 27 Opportunity Zones that the state selected represent a broad array of diverse communities across New Hampshire, and will collectively benefit the citizens of New Hampshire,” said Sununu spokesperson Benjamin Vihstadt.
Gov. Chris Sununu's reelection campaign raised almost half a million dollars over the past six months.
That haul was made easier by Sununu's veto of a bill earlier this year that sought to limit contributions from certain corporations.
Sununu has collected $467,000 since June. More than 10 percent of that came from limited liability corporations - or LLCs - linked to real estate developers.
The bill Sununu vetoed earlier this year would have restricted people who own multiple LLCs from skirting campaign contribution limits, what some call the LLC loophole.
Sununu has made a habit of using that loophole to raise bigger amounts from a handful of campaign donors. His latest filing shows he received $66,000, from ten LLCs connected to three developers in Manchester, Portsmouth and Dover.
To the Editor: Despite what he would have voters believe, Governor Sununu has repeatedly shown he is not a moderate.
For example, his very first official act as governor in 2017 was to repeal New Hampshire’s common-sense concealed weapons permit law — long seen, by most, as safeguarding both gun rights and public safety.
Then, he recently vetoed three moderate bills that were sensible gun violence prevention policies: allowing schools to ban guns; closing background check loopholes; and waiting 3 days for gun purchases.
A moderate would protect public safety, not special interests like gun manufacturers.
Governor Sununu’s actions show he is not a moderate.
With Earth’s future in crisis, nothing is more important than halting the warming of our planet. Yet Gov. Sununu, indifferent to scientific certainty, continues wearing blinders.
Climate change is caused by human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels. Yet our governor refuses to acknowledge the fact, let alone take steps to reverse the trend. Surely, he sees the melting of polar ice and glaciers that result in rising seas. Surely, he is aware of the devastating fires that have swept tinder-dry Western states.
In New Hampshire, UNH scientists predict maple sugaring can virtually disappear by the end of the century; warmer, shorter winters already make sugaring less predictable. Increased temperature fluctuations result in more frequent damage to crops, including hay fields. Increased extreme rain events introduce even more uncertainty into crop production of any kind. And our beautiful, historic seacoast is in jeopardy.
Who is Gov. Sununu protecting with his vetoes of three commonsense bills passed by our Legislature, designed to promote gun safety in New Hampshire?
Surely, law-abiding gun owners have no reason to be concerned that these well-crafted gun-safety bills would do anything to impinge on their right to bear arms and protect themselves and their property.
However, each of these bills could help reduce the incidence of gun tragedies through accidents, suicides and crimes involving guns. Adopting these measures could also go a long way toward making the state’s general public, including many of us who do not choose to own guns, feel safer in our state, and proud that New Hampshire is among those states addressing the national epidemic of gun violence.
I believe that Gov. Sununu is really protecting himself by vetoing these bills. They allow him to retain his “A” rating with the NRA and continue to align himself with hardliners on gun issues. He bills himself as a moderate Republican, but these vetoes are just one part of a vast record of vetoes on many issues that prove that Sununu is no moderate. In 2020, I intend to support a candidate for governor who supports the hard work of our Legislature and the more moderate and reasonable views of many of us living in New Hampshire.
Gov. Sununu doesn’t believe in climate change, but my garden does.
This was a weird spring and summer weatherwise. My flowers were confused, blooming at the wrong time or not blooming at all. I had roses until the end of October. Some plants, uncharacteristically, bloomed twice. Yes, the climate is changing right down to our gardens.
Concord’s average temperature has increased by around 3 degrees in the last century. It is causing longer mosquito and tick seasons, exposing us to diseases such as Lyme disease and EEE. An explosion of ticks has decimated the moose population. Spruce trees in the White Mountains are dying. A shorter winter hurts our tourism industry. It’s going to get much, much worse unless we do something.
Scientists around the world and our own N.H. Department of Environmental Services recognize that climate change is caused by humans, and is adversely affecting New Hampshire, but Gov. Sununu doesn’t. Among the many bipartisan bills he vetoed this year were several that would increase support for solar energy, control greenhouse gas emissions, protect wetlands and improve energy efficiency. These were bills supported by both Democrats and Republicans, and by the people of New Hampshire. Our Legislature is trying to do something about climate change, and Gov. Sununu is actively working against them.
SPRINGFIELD, N.H. — A group of Upper Valley Democrats on Wednesday lamented the closing of a biomass power plant in Springfield, saying its loss will harm New Hampshire’s timber industry and deprive foresters of a reliable source of income.
Standing outside the Springfield Power plant near Interstate 89, the three lawmakers and a candidate for state Senate laid blame on Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who vetoed a bill in August that would have required utilities to buy renewable generation credits from biomass facilities.
“Sununu’s veto made abundantly clear where his priorities lie. Not with the laid-off workers or promoting local renewable energy sources but with safeguarding the interest of large, corporate special needs,” state Rep. Lee Oxenham, D-Plainfield, said during an event organized by the New Hampshire Democratic Party.
She was joined by state Reps. Brian Sullivan, of Grantham, and Linda Tanner, of Georges Mills, as well as Jenn Alford-Teaster, a Sutton Democrat again running for a Newport-area Senate seat.
Mount Laurel, N.J.-based EWP Renewable Corp., a unit of South Korea-based Korea East-West Power Co., announced its intention to close the Springfield plant last month. The company also plans to close a sister plant in Whitefield, N.H., letting about 20 workers go at each location, officials at the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association said at the time.
SPRINGFIELD — Standing outside the shuttered Springfield Power biomass plant Wednesday morning as snow fell, local Democratic lawmakers denounced the July veto by Gov. Chris Sununu they say caused the plant closure and job losses.
Jenn Alford-Teaster, a local community activist and a 2018 state senate candidate, said the closures caused by the veto of HB 183 strikes at the New Hampshire timber way life.
“The timber industry is one of the oldest industries in New Hampshire,” Alford-Teaster said.
“This is a cultural source of pride and to take away the innovation that our timber industry has had … I don’t understand why someone who is a native Granite Stater like Gov. Sununu would do that.”
The Springfield biomass plant is owned by New Jersey-based EWP Renewable Corp., a unit of South Korea-based Korea East-West Power Co., according to a recent Valley News article.
EWP moved to close the Springfield plant and its Whitefield plant last month after lawmakers were unable to overturn Sununu’s veto of the bill, which would have continued subsidies of the biomass industry.