New Hampshire currently burns over 37,000,000 pounds of coal each year, contributing to over 1,000,000 pounds of C02 emissions.
Photo By Arnold Paul, via Wikimedia Commons
We laud the activism of citizens who showed up in force on Tuesday to oppose Bill HB302, which would have dealt a severe blow to the burgeoning solar industry in New Hampshire. The bill has been filed as “Inexpedient to Legislate,” effectively killing it in committee.
On Thursday, a second bill, HB519, was brought before public hearing, which aims to withdraw New Hampshire’s support for RGGI, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative which has been an important tool in promotion New Hampshire’s transition away from unsustainable fossil fuel energy sources.
Opposition among residents and businesses is strong for this bill, as well, but it looks like it will go further than HB302, and will likely be voted on in the New Hampshire legislature. Governor John Lynch has come out to oppose the bill, on grounds that it will “cost ratepayers millions in higher electric costs” (from the Governor’s website).
Below is a letter from ReVision Energy co-founder Phil Coupe urging lawmakers to continue support of RGGI and RPS, two important, economy boosting and environment preserving pieces of legislation:
There are currently 26 states with renewable portfolio standards. New Hampshire joined this group of forward-thinking states in 2007 with strong bipartisan support, evidenced by the passing vote of 253-37.
In the three years since, the renewable energy industry in New Hampshire has grown exponentially. Based on the state’s commitment to clean energy, ReVision Energy has leased a 7,000-square-foot building in Exeter and we have opened what will become a carbon neutral facility to house our growing business. We have begun hiring New Hampshire residents to help us launch this enterprise and expect to add many more jobs in the months/years ahead, assuming that the renewable energy market remains viable in NH.
The RGGI legislation is critical to the state’s future on many different levels. Currently, NH is the second most oil dependent state in New England—14,000,000 gallons of oil are burned annually statewide for electricity generation, along with 2,500,000 lbs. of coal and 38,000,000 cubic feet of natural gas. These activities generate more than 5,500,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually (or 12,141,000,000 lbs. per year). As a result, NH has the second highest per capita CO2 emissions in New England.
This level of fossil fuel consumption and emissions is wholly unsustainable, regardless of the impact on climate.
The good news is that New Hampshire’s current RGGI legislation is helping to reduce the state’s over-reliance on finite, polluting fossil fuel energy. In the past year, ReVision Energy has installed more than 1,000,000 watts of clean, renewable solar energy generation capacity in northern New England, while reducing annual regional oil consumption by more than 200,000 gallons per year. I cannot emphasize strongly enough the importance of the RPS legislation in helping just one renewable energy company achieve these worthy results.
Please take a moment to reflect on the long-term benefits of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative because the future depends on what we do today as leaders. It is irresponsible to inflict continued dependence on fossil fuel energy, and the associated emissions, upon present and future generations.
If you’d like to add your voice to the mix, or read up on the latest happenings in New Hampshire renewable energy legislation, a great summary of the is available at: http://www.nhsea.org/public-policy.php