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Can You Be Pro-Environment and Pro-Life? NH Green Groups Say ‘No!’

What does supporting D.C. statehood or defending Roe v. Wade have to do with protecting the environment or fighting climate change?

If you want the endorsement of so-called “environmental” groups like the Sierra Club, 350NH Action, or the League of Conservation Voters — everything.

All three groups endorse a so-called intersectional view of the environment, encompassing support for things like abortion rights, voting access, support for labor unions and higher minimum wages as part of the overall Green movement.

“The environment doesn’t live in a silo. It is a multi-layered issue,” said Catherine Corkery, the New Hampshire chapter director for the Sierra Club.

As a result, candidates like Rep. Chris Pappas and Sen. Maggie Hassan who have nearly perfect scores from the League of Conservation Voters earned them, not by fighting against fossil fuels, but by supporting police reform. And money donated to the LCV to fund candidates committed to conservation is distributed in part based on positions like supporting late-term abortion.

Corkery said candidates for public office who want the Sierra Club’s endorsement need to show strong support for clean air and water, but also things like voting rights and economic justice.

“The Sierra Club uses a variety of issues to review people as candidates. The environment is multi-faceted. Our lives are complex and so is the environment,” she said.

For example, greater access to voting rights means people can more easily vote for pro-environmental policies and candidates, Corkery said.

350NH Action goes further, demanding that candidates seeking their endorsement adhere to a progressive platform far beyond strictly environmental issues.

“Climate is an intersectional issue, so we only endorse candidates who have strong stances on progressive issues we and our partners also fight for like: racial justice, immigrant justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, reproductive justice, healthcare for all, a family-sustaining minimum wage, public education, Indigenous rights, gun safety, disability rights, ending mass incarceration, and reducing income inequality,” the group states on its website.

A representative for 350NH Action did not respond to a request for comment. Nor did they explain why they’ve publicly criticized Hassan and Pappas over immigration policy but not their embrace of more oil drilling or tax cuts for fossil fuels.

Then there’s the LCV’s scorecard for lawmakers, which counts votes for amnesty of illegal immigrants, support for statehood for Washington D.C., and support for abortion rights as positive votes for the environment. Pappas earned a score of 100 percent in 2021 thanks to votes in favor of a law federalizing state elections and impeaching President Trump.

American Conservation Coalition (ACC), a conservation organization that promotes free-market solutions to environmental problems, thinks the LCV is on the wrong track.

“It seems like LCV is really more of a Democratic front-group than (an) environmental group,” said Quill Robinson, ACC’s vice president of government affairs. “I think that’s a real shame because there are important climate change issues and environmental issues and policies where Democrats and Republicans agree, but I think LCV is more intent on beating up Republicans and helping Democrats get re-elected than making real progress on environmental issues.”

The LCV regularly takes left-wing positions on topics that are unrelated to conservation. The LCV recently reacted to the United States Supreme Court decision in the Dobbs case, which turns the question of abortion back to state legislatures, by calling for expanding the court.

“Make no mistake, today’s decision is the result of a concerted decades-long right-wing effort to capture our courts and roll back the rights of women, girls, and all people who can become pregnant,” the LCV wrote. “Congress must act immediately and expand the number of justices who serve on our nation’s highest court.”

Robinson said the group even went so far in its partisanship that it took a stand against a police reform bill, because it was proposed by a Republican.

“The one in particular that left me scratching my head was, according to the League of Conservation Voters, voting against a police reform bill by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is the pro-environment position,” Robinson said. “Sen. Scott was trying to address issues around police, and it got lots of support from many different people but that’s not a topic related to the environment.”

Barbara Richter, the executive director of the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions, said hyper-partisanship on both sides is making it harder to do the necessary work to guarantee clean air and clean water, and protect open spaces.

“Looking more broadly, I think the political climate has impacted every issue out there,” Richter said. “A decade ago, there were more common goals, and a common belief that the environment is an important component for everybody’s health and well-being.”

While both Republicans and Democrats in New Hampshire include protecting the environment in their platforms, getting individual lawmakers in Concord to do something can be tough because of the partisanship, she said.

“I think that’s just the culture of politics these days. People are really picking sides and not budging,” Richter said.

Danielle Butcher, vice president of the ACC, blames the LCV and other far-left environmental groups for making conservation and dealing with climate change a partisan issue, and alienating conservatives who might otherwise support environmental protections.

“The LCV and groups like it have been at the forefront of the movement that successfully politicized climate change,” Butcher said in a recent op-ed. “An environmental advocacy group should score legislators based on their work to address the root causes of climate change, not whether or not they voted to impeach a former president or voted for a partisan voting rights bill. By shunning any and all congressional Republicans, LCV is only hurting its ability to advance real solutions.”

With additional reporting by Chris Woodward



New Net Metering Bill Could Mean Headaches for NH Electric Grid

Subsidizing green energy is easy. Subsidizing it using the electric grid is hard.

That was the message from Eversource and some state officials regarding SB 321, which came before the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee on Tuesday. The bill would allow local electricity producers generating between 1 and 5 megawatts– mostly solar power plants — to use the existing power grid to sell and distribute power within the state directly to users and not via the existing utilities.

Under the pilot program, small generators could enter direct intrastate contracts with users and, because it is premised on the claim those transactions avoid any use of transmission infrastructure, it would create savings that would be returned to the generator. Those savings would help make the renewable power price competitive.

“The proposal allows pilot projects to test the feasibility of electricity sales between two parties that do not involve the current market managed by the independent system operator (ISO-NE),” committee chairman Rep. Michael Vose (R-Epping) told NHJournal. “Such sales would use utility-owned distribution facilities and would pay distribution costs. The final legislation will limit such sales for 15 years until their value has been determined.”

The problem, critics say, is that the theory just isn’t true.

According to energy experts who spoke to NHJournal, the proposal runs afoul of existing agreements between the utilities and the ISO. And most energy transactions will still use the transmission infrastructure, cutting into projected savings.

“Eversource covers large portions of New Hampshire, and some of their areas are only interconnected via transmission lines, like Nashua and Coos County,” said state Rep. Michael Harrington (R-Stafford), a former member of the Public Utility Commission who now serves on the energy committee. “This means even if the transaction was limited to players in a single utilities area, it could still involve transmitting the power over transmission lines where FERC has jurisdiction.

“It is a very complicated issue and is only made more complicated by jurisdictional issues,” Harrington added.

And the premise of a pilot program that lasts 15 years flies in the face of the meaning of the word. “Fifteen years isn’t a ‘pilot,'” one energy utility source said. “That’s a full season.”

Advocates like Lebanon Assistant Mayor Clifton Below say the proposal brings market-priced solutions to the renewable energy sector.

The City of Lebanon could potentially become an energy producer. The Lebanon Solid Waste Facility is in the process of building a power plant to burn greenhouse gasses created by decomposing trash in order to power microturbines. The current plan is to use that power for city properties.

“It’s a baby step. It’s something that could prove to be more economically and technologically efficient,” Below said during Tuesday’s hearing.

The problem, said Eversource Director of Governmental Affairs Donna Gamache, is the proposal both violates agreements regulating the utility’s transmission lines and would force one group of customers to subsidize another.

“We want to make sure everyone using the transition system pays their fair share, and that Eversource can maintain reliability,” Gamache said. “We fear this would violate ISO New England agreements.”

In her testimony to the committee, Gamache said, “These types of transactions are not permissible under the ISO-NE Open Access Transmission Tariff or the Transmission Owners Operators Agreement Changing this would require ISO-NE to file for and FERC to approve a new tariff provision that would allow intrastate sales as the transmission system would need to be used to move the power.”

Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs for Clean Energy NH, Kelly Buchanan, said the state’s PUC can regulate the pilot program. Bringing in a new way to sell renewable energy would help the industry grow while it shifts to cleaner power.

“This bill expands the marketplace for renewable energy in the 1-to-5-megawatt range,” she said.

Griffin Roberge with the New Hampshire Department of Energy said the state is not taking a position on the bill, citing many of Gamache’s concerns about potentially running afoul of the ISO New England agreements. The matter was subject to a state study, which cautioned about proceeding with selling power.

“The report found this was a complex issue, and warned of unintended consequences,” Roberge said.

Harrington agreed. “My recommendation would be to give the issue more study.”

Pappas, Hassan No-Shows at ‘Rally for Renewables’ in Concord

New Hampshire’s 350 Action organization hosted a “Rally for Renewables” on Sunday. The climate-change activism group wasn’t expecting Sen. Maggie Hassan or Rep. Chris Pappas to make an appearance, and neither did.

“Sen. David Watters (D-Dover) will be speaking, and I imagine we might have some more state representatives, but the state’s federal delegation are not expected to be there,” said 350 NH’s Rebecca Beaulieu ahead of the event.

And now that Hassan and Pappas have become vocal proponents of more oil and gas drilling, the question is whether they would have been welcome.

In the past, both incumbent Democrats were longtime supporters of restrictions on oil and gas production and

‘Rally for Renewables’ on Sunday, March 13, 2022. (Credit: Facebook)

higher taxes on U.S. companies producing fossil fuels. Both have declared climate change an “existential threat.” But now they face a hostile political climate and, as the costs of gasoline and home heating products have soared in the Granite State, they’ve abandoned their climate-change policies and embraced increased a new position on fossil fuels: higher production and lower taxes.

Hassan has repeatedly called for energy companies to pump more oil and gas. “We’ve got to stand up to Big Oil and really tell them that they need to start increasing production,” Hassan said last week.

She also signed a letter to the White House urging the Biden administration to use its leverage to push for more oil and gas in the marketplace. “We should insist that our international partners do more to increase production and stabilize prices,” Hassan wrote.

Pappas has followed the same path from climate-change advocacy to promoting oil production. Pappas had been a supporter of the Biden administration’s energy policies, including shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline on its first day in the White House and issuing restrictions on new energy production.

But now?

“Developing more domestic energy is an important step forward. We should be looking to maximize our production, ‘all of the above,'” Pappas said last week.

He added that one way to help make America less vulnerable to the international gas and oil markets is “making sure all the [oil and gas] leases are fully utilized today.”

All this increased oil production will impact global warming and represents a step back for climate activists like 350 Action, though Beaulieu declined to call anyone out by name. Beaulieu said all political leaders need to work on moving from fossil fuels to green renewables.

“Democrats and Republicans alike should support a just transition to renewable energy and pass policies (including the Build Back Better package) that get us off of oil. Everyone deserves clean air, clean water, affordable transportation, and a livable climate,” Beaulieu said.

On Sunday, Watters and green energy activist Dan Weeks, co-owner at ReVision Energy, spoke out against expanded fossil fuel production and in favor of more renewable energy generation. Neither mentioned their fellow Democrats who have taken a different stance.

Hassan and Pappas can’t seem to lose support among environmental groups, no matter what they do. Hassan recently snagged the New Hampshire Sierra Club’s endorsement. Pappas has avoided public criticism for taking campaign cash from the lobbyist for Russian gas compel Gazprom despite signing a pledge against such donations.

Pappas and Hassan are in line with the Democratic Party when it comes to disappointing climate activists. Biden deflated hopes last year when his administration held the largest auction in history for oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico, representing potentially 600 million more tons of greenhouse gases released into the environment.

Activists this week told the Washington Post they are afraid for the future, thanks to Biden and the Democrats.

“I’m really scared about it,” said Varshini Prakash, the executive director of the Sunrise Movement told the Post’s Dave Weigel. “Talking to young people, there’s a lot of fear about our inability to pass climate policy at the federal level.”

Climate activists are hostage to the Democratic Party, supporting Democrats despite their inability to pass policies like the Green New Deal. Some of that, according to Weigel, may just be a political reality.

“There’s no political appetite for that, much to the chagrin of people in the climate movement,” Danielle Deiseroth, the lead climate strategist at the left-wing polling and advocacy group Data for Progress, told the Post. “We couldn’t just shut it all off tomorrow, and we’re realizing that more than ever.” 

CBS Poll

As New Hampshire’s green activists gather in Concord, the question is whether they will choose to speak out against policies they oppose, even when the politicians supporting them are traditional liberal allies like Hassan and Pappas.

When NHJournal recently speculated 350NH would continue to endorse Hassan, Pappas, and other Democrats regardless of what energy policy they embraced, the organization responded with a tweet:

“Where is our endorsement?”

Have Democrats Declared a War on New Hampshire Cows?

Is your cheeseburger an endangered species?

Reports of the death of America’s beef and dairy industries at the hands of the Green New Deal (GND) may be exaggerated, but both farmers and their Philly steak ‘n cheese eating fans have reason to be concerned about policies embraced by progressive Democrats.

Claims by some opponents of the #GreenNewDeal that it would mean an end of the cattle industry in America are inaccurate—for the simple reason that the GND doesn’t offer any specific policies. The legislation actually filed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) is merely a resolution declaring general goals and directions, not specific laws and regulations. On this issue the resolution  merely calls for “working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible.”

However, the FAQ handout from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that originally accompanied the proposal was much more aggressive and, many farmers fear, far more accurate about the GND’s goals.

It demands a “a greenhouse gas free food system,” and bemoans the fact that GND doesn’t call for an end to all GHG emissions because “we aren’t sure we can get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.”

Supporters of AOC, as Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is known, argue that this FAQ document was mistakenly released, a work in progress, and doesn’t reflect the immediate goals of the Green New Deal effort. However, what’s undeniable is that cows—and their gaseous emissions—are in the crosshairs of the climate change activists’ agenda.  They have to be.

If advocates of the Green New Deal are serious about getting close to zero emissions, or even a net-zero target using offsets, they have to confront the amount of greenhouse gases coming from livestock. In the US, agriculture is responsible for about 9 percent of our emissions. But according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock worldwide account for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gases. That’s more than the entire transportation sector (14 percent).  Plus, climate activists argue that methane—the gas emitted by cows—is more dangerous than carbon dioxide, trapping up to 28 times more heat.

It’s simply impossible to move forward on the GND agenda without a drastic impact on cattle-intensive industries like beef and dairy.

And so Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has legislation targeting concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) for the alleged damage they are doing to the climate.  “I want to talk about the impact that CAFOs have on the environment and what we can do to mitigate it,” said Blumenauer. “We shouldn’t be incentivizing them through programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program; we should be forcing them to pay for the damage they cause to the environment and public health.”

Eric Holt-Gimenez says the problem is “industrial overproduction of food—the root cause of agricultural pollution, food waste and greenhouse gas emissions.”  To discourage over-production, he suggests a “guaranteed minimum price for farmers,” essentially an agricultural minimum wage paid by consumers to prop up inefficient, smaller farming operations.

And New Jersey Senator Cory Booker—a #GreenNewDeal supporter and candidate for president– stated flatly that the “devastating impact” of emissions from the meat industry must end.

“The tragic reality is this planet simply can’t sustain billions of people consuming industrially produced animal agriculture because of environmental impact,” Booker, a vegan, told VegNews magazine. “It’s just not possible.”

The media are downplaying the potential impact on the agricultural sector from the Democrats’ newest policy initiative, accusing Republicans of exaggerating the case or conflating idealistic goals with realistic policies. But ranchers and farmers have gotten the message.

“You may think the #GreenNewDeal is some far out nutcase dream, but if you’re involved in agriculture you’d better view it as a threat to your entire way of life,” Texas rancher Casey Kimbrell tweeted.

Sara Place of the National Cattleman’s Beef Association says the Green New Deal “highlights the large divide between people that are interacting with the environment and growing food every day, and those that are concerned about environmental issues, but ignorant.”

And Kansas cattle rancher Brandi Buzzard Frobose has written an open letter to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez explaining that American ranches  “are producing beef in the United States more sustainably and efficiently than ever before – did you know that the U.S. produces nearly 20% of the world’s beef with only 9% of the world’s cattle?

“I beseech you to please have a conversation with your constituents and colleagues that have an agriculture background,” Frobose writes. “Cows are not the problem.”

But Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, who represents Queens, New York, doesn’t have a lot of “constituents with an agricultural background.” Neither do many of the congressional co-sponsors of the GND who are from urban districts, like Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Boston and Ted Lieu of Los Angeles.  Ag jobs just aren’t a key part of their constituency.

For the Democrats running for president, however, the math is very different.  Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina all have significant agricultural interests.  According to Katie Olthoff of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa has the seventh largest inventory of cattle in the U.S. and “more feed yards than any other state.”

“We have a lot of relatively small ‘feeder farmers,’ as we call them,” Olthoff says, as opposed to the larger operations environmentalists tend to focus on.

At the Iowa State Dairy Association website, board president Larry Shover quotes a study reporting that Iowa’s 1,200 dairies – and 213,000 dairy cows—have an economic impact of over $4 billion dollars per year.

In New Hampshire, dairy products are a $50 million market and the single largest agricultural commodity in the state.  The dairy tradition is such an embedded part of the Granite State’s story that the industry promotes the “Ice Cream Trail” featuring local dairies and shops from Nashua up to the Great North Woods.

And the official state beverage of South Carolina?  Milk.

Still, virtually every nationally-known 2020 Democratic candidate has endorsed the #GreenNewDeal.  That’s going to present some interesting political calculations for Democrats in a 10-way  (or 15 or even 20-way?) race for their party’s nomination.

Even if the number of farmers in these early states is relatively small (fewer than 2 percent of Americans actually work on a farm), their effects on the economy are felt much more broadly. In addition, as support for the ethanol subsidy in Iowa over the decades shows, many voters have an emotional connection with their state’s farmers that gives their issues an outsized political impact.

“Iowa’s farms are family farms,  and so when Washington talks about America ‘getting out of the cattle business,’ it’s not just a job. It’s a family,” Olthoff told InsideSources.

“About 10 years ago, my husband and I made a huge investment in order to farm years ago. Our dream was to be able to raise our kids on a farm, to live in rural Iowa, to live this lifestyle. When I hear about proposals and regulations that threaten us, I do get emotional,” Olthoff said.

“This isn’t about shutting down an industry. It’s about a way of life.”

Bloomberg Doesn’t Practice What He Preaches on Climate Change

Does climate change activist Michael Bloomberg practice what he preaches as a potential presidential candidate?

That was the question that Carly, a political-science major from New England College, asked the former NYC mayor during a New Hampshire appearance on Tuesday promoting his new book on climate change—and possibly a 2020 POTUS bid.

“I am personally a big environmental person,” Carly told Bloomberg. “You are very big on changing the big aspects, but in your own personal life, like–are you a vegan? Do you practice a reduced-waste lifestyle, do you drive an environmentally-friendly car?”




Bloomberg had a witty comeback — “First let me say that I’m addicted to Cheez-Its and popcorn”– but he left Carly’s question unanswered.  Like many progressives who see the political as the personal, the Gen-Z college student wanted to know if Bloomberg walks his climate change talk?

And the answer appears to be no. In fact, the man who was appointed the U.N. secretary-general’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change in 2014 doesn’t so much “walk” his #GreenNewDeal lifestyle as “fly” it.

In his private jet.

“What’s happening to the world is really scary,” Bloomberg said in his speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on Tuesday, “and it may be irreversible. I hope not.

“You just have to take action, and that’s what we’re trying to do. And we’re trying to get people starting from the bottom up. What we need is a president that can lead us instead of trying to drag us backwards,” Bloomberg said.

Mike Bloombergs private jet, which he often pilots himself.

“From the bottom up,” perhaps. But from the top down?

Bloomberg, a licensed pilot, owns a $30 million Dassault Falcon which he flies a couple of times every month to his waterfront home in Bermuda. When he’s not in his jet, Bloomberg can be found piloting his $4.5 million Agusta SPA A109s helicopter.

A flight in a private jet generates an estimated 37 times more carbon emissions than the same trip on a commercial flight. And Bloomberg’s six-seat chopper burns a jaw-dropping 72 gallons of fuel every hour.

The New York Times reports that, “In October 2004, officials with the Meadowlands Sports Complex denied Mr. Bloomberg’s request to fly his helicopter to a Jets game and encouraged him to take the bus from the Port Authority Bus Terminal.”

When Bloomberg does drive, he’s got a high-performance Audi R8 sports car (from 0-60 in less than 4 seconds) and a comfortable Chevy Suburban SUV. Neither vehicle gets more than 15 mpg in city driving.  And when the public complained about the environmental damage being done by his SUV idling on the street with the air conditioning on, Bloomberg’s solution was to have his staff wheel an actual window-unit air conditioner out to his car on hot, summer days.

Not exactly the actions of a man who believes “climate change is a crisis,” as Bloomberg told NBC’s Chuck Todd.

And about that multi-million-dollar mansion in Bermuda. It’s one of at least 10 properties Bloomberg owns around the world, and even by luxury island resort standards, it’s impressive: Seven bathrooms, five balconies, 6,000 square feet and all of it right on the water.

Bloomberg’s Bermuda getaway home

Bloomberg’s day-to-day home is a five-story townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side with an estimated 12,500 square feet of space. Then there’s his mansion in the Hamptons, Ballyshear, with 22,000 square feet.

Based on published accounts of his various holdings from London to Vail, CO, climate champion Michael Bloomberg owns more than 100,000 square feet of housing he must heat and cool on a regular basis.

As for Michael Bloomberg going “vegan,” the conflict between his pro-health-food, soda-tax-and-snack-food-ban politics and his personal dietary habits is well-known.

My favorite vegetable is steak,” then-Mayor Bloomberg quipped in 2010, at the same time he was pushing healthy eating with TV chef Rachel Ray. “I like most vegetables,” he said, “but I love steak.”  At Rustico, one of his favorite haunts in Bermuda, he’s known for ordering up platters of herb-marinated chicken and beef tenderloin.



Bloomberg’s even a member of the exclusive Game Creek Club in Vail, CO which, in between appetizers of foie gras and Wagyu carpaccio, serves bison, venison and wild boar.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg acknowledged that he wasn’t anywhere near going vegan, listing a litany of animal proteins he still packs away, from fish to fast-food burgers. In fact, just hours after his appearance, Bloomberg was spotted in in Nashua, NH with a slice of pepperoni pizza, loaded with cheese.

But does that matter?  Will Democrats who support Bloomberg’s climate-change policies reject him in the 2020 primary because of his personal behavior? Will environmentally-mined voters like Carly put a candidate’s lifestyle choices ahead of his climate-action agenda?

If they do, Michael Bloomberg can read all about it while relaxing in his seven-bedroom, Eighteenth-century London estate.

Big-Name 2020 Dems Support the ‘Green New Deal,’ but Big-Name Enviro Groups Don’t

NY Senator and 2020 POTUS candidate Kirsten Gillibrand has joined the chorus of high-profile Democrats announcing their support for the “Green New Deal,” an aggressive (and expensive) proposal to de-carbonize America’s economy.

“The way I see a green economy is this: I think we need a moonshot. We need to tell the American people ‘we are going to have a green economy in the next 10 years, not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard, because it’s a measure of our innovation and effectiveness,’ ” she said on the liberal “Pod Save America” podcast this week.  Her spokesperson told reporters on Tuesday that this is merely a reaffirmation on her previously-held position.

“Senator Gillibrand supports the Green New Deal concept and has been working for years on policies to aggressively combat climate change, protect our environment and create a green economy in communities that have often been left behind,” Gillibrand spokeswoman Whitney Brennan said.

But while Gillibrand, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke support the Green New Deal, some other big names are holding out:

The Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Audubon Society.

When more than 600 green activist groups joined together to send out a letter demanding public officials support the Green New Deal, six of the largest and most respected environmental organizations declined. And according to the New Republic, “Two green groups founded by deep-pocketed Democratic celebrities are also absent: Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project and Tom Steyer’s NextGen America.”

Why would establishment environmentalists like the Sierra Club and more radical actors like Tom Steyer decline to support a cause embraced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

“Speaking on background some said the letter did not allow for enough flexibility on the details of a Green New Deal,” the New Republic reports.  They objected to requiring signatories to oppose market-based mechanisms and technology options such as carbon and emissions trading and offsets, carbon capture and storage, nuclear power, waste-to-energy and biomass energy.”

And then there’s the cost. While no definitive numbers exist, one estimate puts the cost of building the electrical generation capacity required alone at $2 trillion. And that doesn’t include the trillions in costs from mandating an end to all gas-powered vehicles, ending all oil exports and entirely shutting down America’s oil, gas and coal production.

In other words, the extremism of the Green New Deal is a step too far even for Al Gore. And, perhaps, Sen. Kamala Harris.

Despite calls from green activists like the Sunrise Movement–famous for organizing protests outside Speaker Pelosi’s office on the first day of the new Congress– the California senator has thus far declined to fully endorse the GND.



Harris’s spokesperson says the Senator is on board for the “goals of the Green New Deal,” but that doesn’t appear to be enough for the green movement in general.

“Having presidential candidates say they are supportive of the concept of doing something like the Green New Deal is amazing, but it’s not sufficient,” Saikat Chakrabarti, chief of staff to freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told the Washington Examiner.

Gov. Sununu’s Stance on Paris Climate Deal Draws Ire of Democrats

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu made waves in New Hampshire politics over the weekend as he became the first governor in the New England region to say that he “stands by” President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. As expected, Democrats are using his words as political ammo to attack his position on environmental issues, but none more so than a gubernatorial candidate challenging Sununu for the Corner Office in 2018.

“I don’t have a real reaction right now to be honest,” Sununu told New Hampshire Public Radio on Friday. “It’s nothing I’ve really thought about. It’s a federal issue at this point. It’s nothing. I’m focused on the 603 and what we do here.”

He continued to say that withdrawing from the global climate agreement, which involves nearly 200 nations aiming to slow the effects of climate change, could be significant, but he hasn’t spent a lot of time looking at the issue

“You know it’s not my job to go through the whole accord and look at the in-depth impacts across the country, economically,” he said. “The president has done that, his team has done that, and they’ve made the decision they feel is in the best interest of the United States and I stand by that.”

Although some people can interpret that statement as taking a non-position, many supporters and opponents are reading into it that he agrees with Trump’s decision to leave the climate deal.

Republicans took to Twitter to reiterate their support for Sununu and Trump, like Rep. Victoria Sullivan, R-Manchester.

Sununu’s statement is significant because it marks a drastic departure from other states in New England, including his fellow Republican governors.

Four states in the region announced they were joining a bipartisan coalition committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. The U.S. Climate Alliance was started by the Democratic governors of California, New York, and Washington state.

Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said he decided to join the alliance, along with Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott. The Democratic governors of Connecticut and Rhode Island have also joined the coalition.

Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage has not publicly made a statement about Trump’s decision to pull out of the climate pact, making Sununu the only GOP governor in the area, so far, to “stand by” Trump.

The New Hampshire Republican Party has also applauded Trump’s decision, saying the Paris climate deal did not put U.S. taxpayers first.

State Democrats are using Sununu’s words as political fodder to motivate their base and prepare for Democratic candidates to challenge him next year. As expected, all four Democratic members of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation disagree with Trump’s decision.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party is calling Sununu out for commenting on other federal issues, like the GOP-led repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the president’s travel ban to several Muslim-majority countries. They’re also blasting him for being an environmental engineer who “must not understand, the environment does not recognize borders.”

Steve Marchand, a Democratic candidate who announced that he would run for governor in 2018, has also taken issue with Sununu’s stance on the global climate pact.

In his first official statement since he announced his candidacy in April, Marchand said as governor, he would support the Paris Climate Agreement and advocate for New Hampshire’s involvement in the U.S. Climate Alliance.

“Unlike many of the nation’s governors, Governor Sununu has not pushed back on President Trump’s decision,” he said. “Both President Trump and Governor Sununu are wrong.”

Marchand, who ran for governor in 2016 but lost the Democratic nomination to eventual nominee Colin Van Ostern, is pushing his progressive message by meeting with various Democratic groups around the state. He is a former mayor of Portsmouth and said Portsmouth was the first community in New Hampshire to sign onto the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign and the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.

“I’ve been a passionate progressive on environmental protection and energy policy throughout my public life, as a mayor, and as a candidate for statewide office,” said Marchand. “I strongly believe we can lower energy costs for consumers, reduce demand for energy, create New Energy jobs, and protect our natural beauty if we are willing to lead on energy and the environment. I’ve got a specific plan for New Hampshire that will do this, and being a part of the U.S. Climate Alliance would improve our ability to do the right thing — both economically and morally. President Trump will not lead, and neither will Governor Sununu. I have, and as Governor, I will.”

Over the entire weekend, Marchand and the NHDP have taken to Twitter to criticize Sununu for not being a supporter of the climate deal. It can be expected for the Democrats to raise this as a campaign issue in the 2018 governor’s race.

In several other states, various cities have said they would still adhere to the Paris Climate Agreement’s terms and reduce their carbon footprint. The only town in New Hampshire to take a similar environmental stance is Hanover, which voted in May to establish a goal of transitioning to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2050.

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