Despite claiming to support energy efficiency, NH Governor Chris Sununu’s actions place him in the ranks of climate deniers and promoters of negativity regarding environmental and renewable/clean energy solutions.
To cite a partial list: In 2019, the Governor vetoed legislation concerning wetlands (House Bill 326), proposed legislation controlling greenhouse gases (HB582), vehicle emissions (Senate Bill 275), renewable clean energy (SB 72, SB 167 as well as SB 168), net energy metering limits for customer generators (HB 365), and a proposed study of microgrids (HB 183).
To detail one example, NH Senate Bill 168 represented an important part of New Hampshire’s energy future. The 2019 bill, which proposed increasing the renewable portfolio standard requirements for new solar energy from 2019 through 2025, also proposed an exemption from increases in the annual purchase percentages for certain electrical supply contracts. Passage was important to clean energy advocates as an essential step away from fossil fuels and towards renewable sources, such as solar energy. Governor Sununu vetoed this bill.
In his 2019 Inaugural Address, the Governor, spoke of ”...renewable energy initiatives...” in one breath but blamed those trying to implement them for voting ”...for legislation that raises rates and burdens our citizens,” also his rationale for the SB 168 veto. In 2017, a state Public Utilities Commission ruling found no evidence of a cost-shift from solar generators to ratepayers. Pitting short-term costs against long-term benefits to New Hampshire citizens is a favorite Sununu tactic for fogging issues, but will not provide solutions to high energy costs or the development of alternative energy resources. To hedge climate issues by appealing to his conservative base is to invite future environmental disaster. We need to turn back the Governor’s retro-environmental policies in the legislature and at the polls in 2020.