Weekly Updates Archive

December 2021 - NH Network Meeting Recording

The December meeting of the NH Network looked at electricity in NH with our featured speaker Brian Callnan, Vice President of Power Resources and Access at the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative. He presented some of the basics of electricity in NH, such as where NHEC’s electricity comes from, how the cooperative model works in energy, the challenges of transmission, and how regulation impacts the cooperative. A summary of how NHEC’s new Transactive Energy Business model — the utility of the future — will help members connect Distributed Energy Resources.

Past Weekly Updates & Meeting Minutes

2021-12-31 - Weekly Update

Hopefully, you have had some restful days and overeating moments this past week.


Please note, the NH legislature will be in session starting next week. Consider reviewing Kent State Coalition for action items beyond the Network’s mission including gerrymandering and access to remote viewing for senate legislation.


This week’s summary includes

  • Upcoming Network meetings including exploration and explanation of aggregate community power options on January 10th (details below)

  • Developments to rescind the November PUC order.

  • Informative article on Solid Waste Solutions in NH

  • Video: “Challenging Common Sense to Flatten the Climate Monster"

  • Video: Truths and myths of plastic recycling (teaser: less than 9% is recycled)

  • Save That Styrofoam for the Next Polystyrene Collection Day



Meetings


Tuesday, January 4th - 7 to 7 30 pm Legislative Work Group

Sunday, January 9th - 5 to 7:30 pm Plastics Work Group (IMPORTANT ORGANIZING MEETING)

Monday, January 10th - 5:30 to 7 pm Network General Meeting

Tuesday, January 11th - 4 to 5 pm Communications Group


January 10th meeting details:

Please share this information about NH Network’s January 10th presentation on Community Power in NH with the members of your own group. We think that your members would appreciate learning about Community Power, CPCNH, and relevant legislation.

Featured speakers: Lisa Sweet, Director CPCNH, and Henry Herndon, Herndon Enterprises.

Description: Community Power, made possible by recent legislative changes, enables cities, towns and counties to democratize their energy supply and have greater local control over sourcing electricity on behalf of their residents and businesses. Benefits can include lower costs, increased renewable energy, and development of local energy resources. Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire (CPCNH) is a new nonprofit, created to support cities and towns towards launching programs. Please join us to learn more about Community Power, CPCNH, and relevant legislation at the NH State House.

SIGN UP HERE (https://forms.gle/x35DvdVmyXmhLZpH7) and you will receive a zoom link by Jan 3, 2022. Please share.

Hungry for more on Community Power? Take a look at Community Power: A New Way to Think About Your Energy Bill


PUC Update


In mid-December the legislative working group offered suggestions to reverse the proposed PUC order. These actions plus the actions of others have resulted in legislative action. It appears the governor, state senators and Rep. Vose have agreed to a bi-partisan solution which “reestablishes the program, sets funding, and ensures it continues without interruption in the years to come.” Legislative action will be during the first week of January (HB 549) with senate amendments proposed by Senator Watters to follow soon after.


Feeding Your Brain


  • Informative article on Solid Waste Solutions in NH

http://indepthnh.org/2021/12/21/n-h-focusing-on-front-end-solutions-for-solid-waste/


  • Challenging Common Sense to Flatten the Climate Monster

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRHREvsIVBE


  • Truths and myths of plastic recycling (teaser: less than 9% is recycled)

https://www.consumerreports.org/environment-sustainability/the-big-problem-with-plastic/


  • MEETING OPTION From the NH Healthcare Workers: The Effects of Extreme Weather on Child Moods Thursday, January 13th 6 to 7 pm

https://www.nhclimatehealth.org/events


Save That Styrofoam for the Next Polystyrene Collection Day

It’s holiday gift-giving time, and styrofoam packaging will undoubtedly be present in the waste stream of some households and businesses in the Upper Valley. Did you know that polystyrene foam (typically referred to as Styrofoam) is one of the few plastics that can be recycled again and again, but isn’t typically accepted at local recycling facilities? There’s now a solution!


After a successful polystyrene collection in Lebanon in 2021 sponsored by Sustainable Lebanon and Lebanon Rotary with foam collected from over 100 people and filling a donated 24’ trailer, the Lebanon Rotary Club plans to offer two more polystyrene collection days in 2022, with the dates TBA. Other organizations are also considering collection days. In the meantime, save that foam!


It’s a good idea to avoid polystyrene if we can, especially in food packaging like meat trays and take out containers, because of its chemical content and its origins in petroleum. If you want to have less polystyrene in your life, you can start by asking for a non-styrofoam take-out container at your favorite restaurant or deli and suggesting alternatives like foil or deli paper. Better yet bring your own personal take-out container with you if the store or restaurant allows it.


If you do generate foam packaging in your purchases, save the following types of foam to be collected for recycling: Polystyrene #6 (EPS), Polyethylene #4 (EPE), and #6 XPS insulation board foam. These will be driven to a recycling facility in Palmer, MA. There is a charge for drop off, so donations will be gratefully accepted at the next collection to cover this cost.

2021-12-12 - Weekly Update

Morning Folks,


The litany of opportunity continues - lots to do and little time. Please consider attending meeting opportunities from the 12th through the 15th. Also, an important week for contacting your representatives re: HB 549 (energy efficiency limits) and the PUC NH Saves Program.


Contents

  • Meeting schedule

  • Agenda/details for meeting

  • Action item on composting dairy and meat which make up to 25% of landfill

  • Myths and Truths of Plastic Recycling (Consumer Reports)

  • Braver Angels (previously known as Better Angels) dedicated to finding common ground


Meetings


12/12 Plastics Work Group: 6 pm. Optional Social connection time at 5 30.


ZOOM LINK (TIP: Copy this link into your online calendar so you don't have to hunt for it)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6275609302?pwd=cDd0eDlqYytxa0xKek5FRVVYclJVUT09(

12/ 13 5:30 - 7:00 pm - NH Network General Meeting

The NH Network will take a look at electricity in NH. Our speaker will be Brian Callnan, Vice President of Power Resources and Access at the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative.


12/14 4:00 pm Communication Work Group: Lots happening and we could use your ideas and help.

ZOOM link. Or click on https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5610294277?pwd=ZmZ1TDhPY0NlTFdtOTd4VmxoOHZiQT09

12/14 7:00 pm Legislation Work Group: (zoom link to be sent)

12/15 5:30 to 7 pm League of Conservation Voters: December Virtual Event – Register Here: https://www.mobilize.us/lcvnh/event/429584/


Meeting Details

12/12 Plastics Work Group

Agenda

  • Final Review - Messaging & Branding

  • Launch Promotion Strategy & Opportunities

  • Toolkit Launch Logistics - Internal & External

  • Website Update


12/13 Network Monthly meeting.

Learn how our electricity is generated, the challenges of transmission, who regulates pricing and why electricity costs for NH residents are 40% higher than the national average. Brian will also discuss the Cooperative’s member-focused energy programs and its development of a utility scale solar farm. Bring your questions and ideas for how The Network can help influence a positive energy future for NH!


12/14 Communications Work Group

Agenda

  • Debrief Dec 13th meeting

  • Letter to legislators

  • Jan. 10th General Meeting

  • Feb 7th General Meeting

  • social media (Need someone to lead this)

  • future programming ideas (Granny D & other)


12/14 Legislation Work Group

The 12/07 Legislation Work Group meeting defined some actions to take in opposition to the recent PUC decision on energy efficiency.

For all those interested in taking action on this issue, we will hold a special meeting of the Work Group on Tuesday, December 14th at 7:00 pm via Zoom to work through the specifics of implementing these and other actions. I will send out a Zoom link on Monday, December 13th to everyone on the list.

Some of these actions include contacting our Federal elected officials asking for potential help in funding the EE program and bypassing the PUC, contacting local state reps and senators who can potentially have an impact on future decisions by the PUC and Legislature and assembling stories on the successes of the EE programs over the years and other actions.


12/15 League of Conservation Voters

As we look towards January of 2022, a full docket of clean energy and climate action proposals will be considered by the New Hampshire Legislature. Funding for energy efficiency, support for renewable energy sources, and development of offshore wind are but a few of the topics at hand for the 2022 session.

Recent action in the US Congress on infrastructure and the Build Back Better budget means that additional federal dollars will come to New Hampshire to support clean energy development and climate resiliency. Tracking funding streams and educating communities and stakeholders regarding funding opportunities is an important activity for 2022 and beyond.

Join the League of Conservation Voters for the 2020 clean energy and climate action national and state legislative preview and learn how you can take action.

We’ll be joined by Sam Evans-Brown of Clean Energy New Hampshire and Sheila Vargas of The Nature Conservancy to provide insight and analysis on the 2020 New Hampshire policy landscape and federal clean energy and climate action investments.

For more information, contact League of Conservation Voters New Hampshire State Director Rob Werner.

Action item


Public comment period is open for proposed changes to state composting rules

New Hampshire Public Radio | By Daniela Allee

Published November 26, 2021 at 5:00 AM EST

Members of the public can now comment on proposed revisions to the state’s composting rules.

The new rules would facilitate the start of small-scale composting projects, and streamline the permitting process for composting meat and dairy. Food scraps account for up to a quarter of waste in landfills nationwide, according to the EPA.

“There’s a lot of pent-up interest in diverting food waste,” Michael Nork, who supervises material management at the Department of Environmental Services said.

Current rules require a separate permit process to compost meat and dairy from vegetative material, which some say has been too limiting, according to Nork.

For the revisions, Nork says the goal is to “clarify and simplify requirements for composting facilities,” l Nork

The new rules would allow facilities to use the same permit process for vegetables, meat and dairy.

Composting is one of the state’s preferred strategies for managing waste; landfilling is the least preferred.

“Hopefully if we can develop more infrastructure and make it more appealing for companies or entities to start composting operations, that 'll open up more avenues for diverting food waste so that it's not going to landfills,” he said.

Two other changes include establishing siting requirements specific for composting facilities, which currently have to meet the same criteria for landfill siting, and eliminating the compost classification system.

Under that change, any finished compost product would just have to meet minimum quality and maturity requirements

DES will host a public hearing on December 13, and written comments will be accepted through December 20.



Feeding Your Brain


    • Truths and myths of plastic recycling (teaser: less than 9% is recycled)

https://www.consumerreports.org/environment-sustainability/the-big-problem-with-plastic/


    • Braver Angels focus is on depolarizing conversation. (Recent seminars of the vaccine mandate, climate change and racism)

https://braverangels.org/events/


    • youTube channel-lots of topics. The racism one was very good.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=braver+angels

2021-12-05 - Weekly Update

Good morning,


Trust you are well. This week’s summary highlights upcoming meetings, and a variety of excellent pieces ranging from offshore wind to energy usage in NH to a romance novel?!? Also, there are important articles on plastic usage in the US and Liberty’s court action against the PUC’s recent decision. (An aside, the New Hampshire Bulletin, which is online, might be the best state source for news. Consider following them and supporting their platform.)


Hopefully, you were contacted this week via email or phone as an update to what the Network is doing and encouraging your participation. We know that people are busy with any number of important volunteer initiatives. An example is Peterborough, which has passed a warrant article to go energy neutral, and is spending this year doing the legwork to achieve community power.


Finally, Sam Osherson writes, “I am delighted to let you know that my new novel, Saving Penny, an environmental romance and an adventure story, has just been published by Adelaide Press.



This week’s content

Meeting dates including

  • Off Shore Power presentation by long time activist Doug Bogen

  • Off Shore wind webinar hosted by US Department of Energy

  • NHPR primer on sources of energy in NH and NH energy usage.

  • Important, but “tough” article on plastic usage in the US - time to join the 10 Towns Initiative

  • Liberty’s court action against PUC dismantling of NH Saves Program

  • BIA 2 day meeting - opportunity to hear the business community's energy outlook and policy.


Meetings: (Everyone is welcome to each of these meetings.) Zoom links to be sent

  • 12/06 Network Manager’s meeting: 5:30 to 7 pm (ZOOM link sent by tonight)

  • 12/06 THE WIND REVOLUTION OFF OUR SHORES: Recent Developments 7 pm to 8 p

Long-time energy activist and Seacoast NH resident Doug Bogen will give an overview of recent offshore wind developments for our region and discuss the many benefits offshore wind provides for a clean and sustainable energy future. He will also touch on the opportunities that offshore development provides for military facility conversion, specifically in our region. (link is below)

  • 12/07 — Communication Work Group — 4 pm

  • 12/07 — Legislative Work Group — 7 pm (see Joe Kwasnik’s December 3rd email for specific bills to be discussed.)

  • 12/12 — Plastics Work Group — 6 pm

  • 12/13 — NH Network is offering the first of a series of webinars. These webinars are once a month, and we encourage everyone to attend.

December 13 (Monday) - 5:30 - 7:00 pm - NH Network General Meeting


The December meeting of the NH Network will take a look at electricity in NH. Our featured speaker will be Brian Callnan, Vice President of Power Resources and Access at the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative. We will learn where NHEC’s electricity comes from, how the cooperative model works in energy, the challenges of transmission, how regulation impacts the cooperative, a summary of how the largest battery in NH works and how NHEC’s new Transactive Energy Business model will help members connect Distributed Energy Resources. Bring your questions and ideas for how The Network can help influence a positive energy future for NH!



Webinars, forums, articles to feed your brain:

  • 12/14/15 BIA (Energy symposium) Two day event - free admission

https://businessindustryassociationnewhampshire.growthzoneapp.com/ap/Events/Register/Dr6g62Wp?sourceTypeId=Website&mode=Attendee



  • NH and OffShore wind presentation by Doug Bogen

https://actionnetwork.org/events/peace-justice-conversations-the-wind-revolution-off-our-shores?clear_id=true&%0Dlink_id=6&can_id=5fdb5389941f358e6d9d0e2bb1ca0ce0&source=email-news-events-for-november-19-2021&email_referr%0Der=email_1366929&email_subject=news-events-for-november-26-2021&fbclid=IwAR3iY6l4vr7ezt2JRdIUTvmKZFNjDltImArizOg%0DqVtyZyNEzZlaBcrFAv8M


  • Plastics usage (and misuse in the US)


https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/dec/01/deluge-of-plastic-waste-us-is-worlds-biggest-plastic-polluter?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Issue:%202021-12-02%20Waste%20Dive%20Newsletter%20%5Bissue:38357%5D&utm_term=Waste%20Dive



  • New Hampshire energy usage

https://www.nhpr.org/nh-news/2021-11-23/energy-climate-change-nh



  • Liberty takes PUC to court

https://newhampshirebulletin.com/briefs/liberty-asks-utilities-commission-to-suspend-energy-efficiency-decision/


2021-11-26 - Weekly Update

November 26, 2021 Weekly Update

Good morning,


Our news cycle is so full that this important information (only a week old) seems like ancient news.


I attended the EESE meeting a week ago today. There were 20 plus members including political, environmental, business and utility stakeholders. With the exception of two comments, the governor’s representative (upfront costs are too expensive) and Rep. Vose (perhaps the PUC is sending a message that we need a new approach) the assembled group was “blindsided,” “astonished,” “overwhelmed” by the PUC’s decision to hamstring and dismantle the NH Saves program. Don and Joe’s letters give an evidence rich summary of the shortsightedness of this decision, and my letter explores specifics shared in this meeting.


Please read the attached letters, and contact your representatives, the governor and/or the press.


As always, there is a lot going. Consider the newly instituted Orwellian educational website which seeks to report teachers in violation of the divisive language clause or the gerrymandering proposal. In all cases, our reps and the governor need to hear people’s opposition.


Meetings


Sunday, Nov. 28 at 6 pm: The Plastics Work Group is meeting this Sunday.

ZOOM LINK

(TIP: Copy this link into your online calendar so you don't have to hunt for it)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6275609302?pwd=cDd0eDlqYytxa0xKek5FRVVYclJVUT09(

Monday, December 6 at 5:30: NH Network Managers Team Meeting


Opportunity: BIA meeting 12/14 and 15. The Business & Industry Association has been powerful in NH energy decisions, generally managing to reverse policies we favor. This conference is FREE TO ATTEND, so it may be a good opportunity to learn how BIA speaks about the energy future, and to ask some good questions.


https://businessindustryassociationnewhampshire.growthzoneapp.com/ap/Events/Register/Dr6g62Wp?sourceTypeId=Website&mode=Attendee

Attachments

2021-11-12 - Weekly Update

Hi Friends.

The weekly summary is focused on learning opportunities and action items including a lengthy piece from Bill McKibben who “deserves” the extra space. Action items include contacting Gov. Sununu, acting on Mr. McKibbon’s recommendations, reviewing the LSRs collected d by Jon Snow (amazing effort on his part) and meeting opportunities.

Please note that the NH Bulletin and NH Citizens for Progress website offer important updates on climate change and all news New Hampshire

https://newhampshirebulletin.com/category/government-elections/

https://www.facebook.com/NHCitizensforProgress/


  • Meetings for Plastics and Network communications and slack training (important training opportunities for both groups)

  • Informative 3 minute read on the legislative process in NH

  • Initial legislative proposals spreadsheet

  • Plastics are the new coal. (Important reading)

  • Meeting opportunity from Monadnock

  • Half time sustainability job offering in Lebanon

  • McKibben report from COP 26 and his appeal for action

Action Item

This is indirectly linked to our efforts, but voting is certainly part of our efforts. The redistricting map that has been presented is a quintessential gerrymandering piece. Some highlights - since 1883 about 25 towns have been moved from one congressional district to the other. This plan involves moving 75 towns and over 360,000 voters in an attempt to secure a red and blue district in NH. In other words, it will disenfranchise minority voting populations in each district, make races less competitive and less democratic. Contact the Governor and express your opposition. Read more. https://newhampshirebulletin.com/2021/11/04/house-republicans-stand-by-proposed-overhaul-of-states-congressional-districts.

Meetings

  • Network Communications Meeting is Tuesday, Nov 16th 4:00-5:00 PM. Zoom link sent on Sunday

  • Network Slack training Nov 16, 6:00-6:30 PM and 6:30-7:00

RSVP and we will share the ZOOM link with a reminder on Sunday.

If people are interested, we will offer more sessions on Nov 30th and Dec 2nd. 6:00-7:00 PM.

  • Plastics Work Group Sunday, November 14 at 6 pm, (important presentation by Community Action Works to craft a concise, compelling message that you can use for all parts of the ten towns initiative.

ZOOM Link (same every time - TIP: put the link in your calendar notes):

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6275609302?pwd=cDd0eDlqYytxa0xKek5FRVVYclJVUT09

Meeting ID: 627 560 9302 Passcode: garden

Given Vanessa's research on the value of getting to know one another as a primary indicator of successful teams, I'll be signing on at 5:30 pm for anyone who would like to have a casual conversation about our work together, or any topic that comes up.



Three minute primer on NH legislative process.

https://newhampshirebulletin.com/2021/11/04/3-minute-civics-the-new-hampshire-legislature-in-action


Initial legislative proposals for solid waste, PFAS, water, biosolids

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#search/lsr/FMfcgzGlkjcbJgXHklrWtmKWvJxhsXnB


Plastics are the new coal

(Yes, the meeting has passed, but the article is important reading.) Tried to hone this information without success, and Bonnie’s email is part of this link.

https://groups.google.com/g/nh-environment-energy-and-climate-network/c/bzvgDI3GSEk


Monadnock Sustainability Roundtable

We’d like to extend a warm invitation to our upcoming Monadnock Sustainability Roundtable on the evening of Thursday November 18th from 6:30 - 8:00pm. The Alliance is excited to support this intergenerational event, connecting youth and adult presenters and attendees!

Discover what sustainability projects and opportunities are happening in the Monadnock region! This virtual event will showcase some regional, community-lead projects tackling today’s biggest problems on a local level: from clean energy and climate change solutions, to agriculture, to community education about the climate crisis.

In addition to hearing stories of local climate action, you will get the chance to connect with other Monadnock sustainability advocates and discuss the climate initiatives taking place in your own community.

Register here and see the attached flyer for an event agenda and more information about our Roundtable Speakers!


Job Opportunity

Sustainability Lebanon, all volunteer now, has received grant support to hire a half time program coordinator. Ideally we would find someone with community organizing skills and passion for engaging people in climate action. Could you think about people you might know (or even people who might know people) who might be prospective candidates and either pass along the attached job description or give me a contact to pass it along.


From Bill McKibben:

When I got here to the UN climate summit, the first stop was a big activist rally and concert which I got to help emcee, introducing plenty of young people (Vanessa Nakate, Africa’s answer to Greta Thunberg, who is on the cover of TIME this week) and inspiring world leaders (my old friend Mohamed Nasheed, president of the Maldives, who survived a scary assassination attempt this year), but also an iconic figure from our generation, the singer Patti Smith. She’s now in possession of one of the first Third Act t-shirts, and as she said, “at 75, I feel like this is calling me.” Oh, and we had the audience at the concert write thousands of letters to Chase bank CEO Jamie Dimon, telling him to stop lending to Big Oil, so the whole weekend had a very connected feeling.


The rest of this conference is sputtering, at least for the moment, I’m sorry to report; it feels like national governments are, at least for the moment, out of fresh resolve. Clearly our Congress is struggling to pass useful legislation—I can tell you that the delegates of every nation here know the name Joe Manchin, and not in a good way.


That means two things, I think.


One is that our work on voting rights is really important. You’ve been sending in remarkable stories about times when voting matters to you—please send more at this page, and when we write next in two weeks we will feature them and bring you a full update on the state of this fight. Here’s a good example of one that came in last week from Yvonne Neiman Baicich to give you inspiration; these will be great ammunition as we build out this campaign.


Second is that, as we come out of Glasgow, the climate fight is going to center right where we want it, on the financial institutions like banks that are helping drive the climate crisis, and where we have unique leverage because of the vast collective retirement savings of this generation. Every day brings more proof of the power of our efforts—I’d barely finished writing this piece for the New York Time celebrating the divestment movement passing the $40 trillion mark when word came that the Dutch pension fund (fifth biggest on earth, at $568 billion in assets, who knew?) was pulling out of fossil fuels.Join us and write a letter


It would be hugely helpful if you could join the people at that concert in writing a letter to a local Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, or Bank of America branch manager. You can find branch locators, sample letters, and more at this page. And please send us a copy, or a photo of it, to in...@thirdact.org. (We know we’re making you write a lot of letters right now—but it’s a generational skill!).


Tell them why you care about slowing down climate change, and point out that the International Energy Agency has said we must stop expanding the fossil fuel empire this year if we’re to meet our climate targets—there’s no room for trying to make money off new pipelines and wells.

2021-11-03 - Weekly Update

Good morning,

On the local level, plastic groups efforts are on going. After a burst of legislative energy activity (see HB 549 update below) we are in a quiet period. On a federal level, consider contacting or recontacting our senators on carbon cashback legislation. COPA news is on-going, and easily accessible so no need to report it here. Updates includes:

-Upcoming meetings

-Plastics and legislative working group updates

-Carbon cashback action

-Climate opportunity: monthly national meeting of State Climate Policy Network

-NB 549 update

-NH Health and Warming Trends from the Bureau of Public Health Protection

Many thanks to Susan Richmond. Much of substance for this weekly update is excepted from her NH Network November 1 Meeting Minutes, which are below.

Meetings

NH Network Communication WG: meeting is Thursday, November 4 at 6 pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84916374163?pwd=TnQ3MXl5UEh6S0RBeFRJRWZvK2lydz09 Meeting ID: 849 1637 4163 Passcode: 331688


NH Network Legislative WG: Meeting is December 7th at 7 pm. Let us know if you have an issue in your area, or if your legislator is sponsoring a bill we should track.

LSRs are out now, but we’ll see their language when they come out as bills in Dec, and we can decide our response. This year hope to follow more than energy. Currently there are 29 LSRs related to environment are on house side, and 18 in Senate including solid waste, drinking water, lead contamination, PFAS.

Contact your legislators to let them know you can help them.

NH Network Plastics WG: Next meeting is Sunday, November 14 at 6 pm.


Here is a link to the notes from October 31st meeting

And a link to the recording of the meeting with Vanessa Druskat (it includes the PWG meeting discussion following).

ZOOM Link (same every time - TIP: put the link in your calendar notes)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6275609302?pwd=cDd0eDlqYytxa0xKek5FRVVYclJVUT09

Meeting ID: 627 560 9302 Passcode: garden

Given Vanessa's research on the value of getting to know one another to as a primary indicator of successful teams, I'll be signing on at 5:30 pm for anyone who would like to have a casual conversation about our work together, or any topic that comes up.


Primary task is “10 Towns, 10 Volunteers, 10 Actions” to decrease plastic waste in (10 or more) towns, to build the will for legislative action. Created a 1-pager, creating a tool kit for community leaders, have our initial 10 leaders & towns (Dover, Somersworth, Cornish, Portsmouth, Durham, Pittsfield, Harrisville/Nelson, Bristol, Hopkinton, Littleton). Working with Hayley Jones of Community Action Works on shaping the campaign & prepare for public roll-out in January. Looking into legislation. Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6275609302?pwd=cDd0eDlqYytxa0xKek5FRVVYclJVUT09

Meeting ID: 627 560 9302 Passcode: garden

Carbon Cash-back Action

Please help encourage our Senators to do what we need them to do on climate by calling them right now. This is important and urgent because Congress is considering adding carbon pricing to the reconciliation package (with a dividend) and will make a final decision this week!

It just takes a few minutes from a page that provides phone numbers and a brief script at cclusa.org/senate-call. Then please ask your friends and family to do it too!

A Long Explanation (feel free to just do the action above!):

The cash-back being referred to is the dividend in the Carbon Fee and Dividend policy.

This week, Congress is finishing up the details on what to include in the reconciliation package to achieve Biden’s goal of 50% US GHG emissions reductions by 2030. And Biden is in Glasgow trying to rebuild trust and respect. Some useful policies have already been dropped from BuildBackBetter - specifically, a Clean Energy Standard and a Clean Energy Performance Program - due to budget bill rules and Senator Manchin's refusal to pay electricity producers for doing "what they are doing already". (NB: just not fast enough). There is $500B in spending on incentives, but they are not enough.

The last (and most powerful) option on the table is carbon pricing. The Senate Finance Committee (of which Senator Hassan is a member) is considering including a carbon fee and a carbon dividend in the reconciliation package. They will decide this week as they finalize the provisions to achieve President Biden's goals of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030.

Canada has implemented Carbon Fee and Dividend. Here is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivering carbon pricing remarks at COP26, explaining why other countries should do what Canada has done - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaMZoK343Q0.

State Climate Policy Network (SCPN)

From Patsy Beffa-Negrini: This week I attended SCPN (State Climate Policy Network/ ClimateXChange) national zoom. It was great to hear updates about the work of climate advocates and policymakers from 12 states across the country, including Hawaii, California, Indiana, Vermont, and Colorado. I’ve been attending these meetings monthly for some time now, but only once has someone given an update from New Hampshire.

In this call, SCPN continued their presentation series on toolkits to assist with state level climate policy. This month, they spotlighted Weston Berg from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy* (ACEEE), who shared their recent report** on how state climate plans are more costly and less equitable without including efficiency measures. Timely, given the presentation yesterday by New Hampshire Representatives Kat McGhee and Lee Oxenham, and Senator David Watters*** and Amanda Gokee’s article yesterday in the NH Bulletin, The dismal heating season ahead: lower temperatures and higher prices.

* https://www.aceee.org/press-release/2021/09/report-states-climate-efforts-will-be-more-costly-less-equitable-without?mc_cid=f6a3d26b64&mc_eid=9934d1345c

** https://www.aceee.org/research-report/u2104

*** Link to YouTube recording embedded on the NH Network website here: https://sites.google.com/view/newhampshirenetwork/media

HB 549 Update

From Representative Oxenham: Final version of HB 549 had some parts salvaged, including low income support, covering energy efficiency for natural gas, and putting the EERS into statute. Thanks for our letters, and that we offer cogent reasons for our requests—that may have an unexpected strong effect. These bills will be argued again when they go to the floor in January.


NH Health and Warming Trends

from Matt Cahillane, Program Manager NH DHHS/DPHS/Bureau of Public Health Protection

How can a warming fall season affect public health?

Here are a few sample messages to share:

  • More warm days: The central NH region is seeing a warmer autumn season, with an average of 15.5 more days above normal when compared to the 1970s. In other words, we have about two more weeks of warmer weather during the fall season compared to 50 years ago. Rising temperatures and warmer days can have a significant impact on human health via a longer season for pollen, pests like ticks and mosquitos, wildfires, and moderate heat stress.

  • Fewer cold days: The central NH area is also seeing less days below freezing. We know that a hard frost can have many benefits such as reducing pollen releasing plants and killing off insect pests. The first frost occurs an average of 12 days later in the fall for the Concord NH area compared to five decades ago.

  • Increasing Temperatures. On average, the central NH region is 3.6 degrees warmer during the fall when compared to norms in the 1970s. This small change can push cool days above the freezing mark or push warm days higher into the heat stress range.

  • Longer pest season: More warm days allow pests such as ticks to emerge earlier, the population may grow larger, they spend more time questing and biting people, and this can increase the risk of tick borne disease. Learn more about the link between climate and ticks from the CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/effects/vectors.htm

  • More pollen and allergens: Rising temperatures can also extend the plant growth, leading to pollen seasons that start earlier and may last longer. A longer or more intense pollen season can trigger allergies and asthma among certain people. Learn more about the link between climate and pollen from the CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/effects/allergen.htm

  • We can adapt to change, and there is reason for hope. The daily news often focuses on the worst weather conditions or studies that raise concern about climate change without many practical solutions. As an alternative, NH DPHS programs help people adapt to these changing conditions in a variety of different ways. The Climate and Health Program helps local communities adapt to heat stress, weather disasters, and pest problems. The NH Environmental Health Tracking Program (EPHT) helps people understand the data behind heat illness and other changing environmental conditions. The NH Asthma Control Program teaches people how to develop asthma management plans and reduce asthma triggers in the environment. Other organizations like Tick Free NH provide educational materials and tick products to help people protect themselves.

2021-11-01 - NH NETWORK General Meeting Minutes

Attending: Reinmar Seidler (facilitating), John Gage, Bonnie Christie, Donna Reardon, Representative Ken Wells, Pat Martin, Joe Kwasnik, Gunnar Baldwin, Dot Currier, Mary Beth Raven, Jon Chaffee, Cindy Heath, Kate Messner, Rick Maynard, Representative Lee Oxenham, Sarah Brock, Representative Bob Backus, Susan Richman (minutes)

1. Agenda: updates from Management team, from Working Groups, and speaker or program – this will be the structure of monthly General Meetings going forward. NOTE: Meetings will be on the SECOND MONDAY of each month. New recurring Zoom link will be sent out. Request that questions, comments from members be handled by chat and email, to keep meetings to 90 minutes. If you have an area of interest, start a work group.

2. Management team: not private, input/attendance is welcome. At-large managers: Reinmar, Rick; managers who head up Working Groups: Cindy (Plastics), Joe (Legislation), Donna (Communications). Jennifer resigned, so will see how we do with 5 members on mgmt. team.

3. Communications WG: may split into 2, external and internal. Currently have 6 members, others welcome to join, and will contact volunteers from June 18 summit. Currently defining internal communications tasks and tools (among others: actions, information, zoom links, conversations, events, archiving/Website, Google Groups, Google Docs, Slack, Slide Deck). Deciding best medium for each task; will have training events.

Website – thanks to Patsy, John G; one-stop-shop to communicate calendar of events, meetings, workshops, legislative actions & timeframes, sample LTEs – all to streamline action, getting other groups to let us know what they’re doing, get their logo onto the website.

Working on logo; will submit to membership when narrowed down to a few choices.

External tasks we foresee: establish relationships with other groups; Education (of the public); press releases; messaging & framing, social media. Bravo to Mary Beth, whose LTE is in the Monitor this week.

Please participate! Let other organizations know of our existence, and whether we can be of help to them, give us suggestions, bring in more folks for more people-power! Next meeting Thursday, November 4, 4 pm, Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84916374163?pwd=TnQ3MXl5UEh6S0RBeFRJRWZvK2lydz09 Meeting ID: 849 1637 4163 Passcode: 331688

4. Plastics WG: Primary task is “10 Towns, 10 Volunteers, 10 Actions” to decrease plastic waste in (10 or more) towns, to build the will for legislative action. Created a 1-pager, creating a tool kit for community leaders, have our initial 10 leaders & towns (Dover, Somersworth, Cornish, Portsmouth, Durham, Pittsfield, Harrisville/Nelson, Bristol, Hopkinton, Littleton). Working with Hayley Jones of Community Action Works on shaping the campaign & prepare for public roll-out in January. Looking into legislation. All are welcome to join meeting Nov 14 6 pm “Communications & Messaging Workshop” with Hayley Jones. Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6275609302?pwd=cDd0eDlqYytxa0xKek5FRVVYclJVUT09

Meeting ID: 627 560 9302 Passcode: garden

5.Legislation WG: Defined goal as “identify, track, & positively influence legislation & regulatory action in Energy, Environment, Climate.” Last year, our legislative efforts were focused on energy, creating LTEs and MyTurns, giving testimony. We especially made a difference on HB 315, creating net metering for municipalities. Many of last year’s bills were “retained,” some good outcomes, Jon and Reinmar created documents commenting on the 10-year energy plan. This fall we have commented on retained bills that were brought back, some were rewritten, some were ITL and some will continue to full legislature. LSRs are out now, but we’ll see their language when they come out as bills in Dec, and we can decide our response. This year hope to follow more than energy. Bonnie will coordinate environmental legislation – currently 29 LSRs related to Env on house side, and 18 in Senate—solid waste, drinking water, lead contamination, PFAS.

Next meeting Tuesday, Dec 7, 7 pm. We need help to cover legislation! Will have a spreadsheet to track. Let us know if you have an issue in your area, or if your legislator is sponsoring a bill we should track.

Contact your legislators, let them know we are here to help them – we’ll make a template for Network members to tell their legislators about us.

6. Comments from Representative Oxenham: Final version of HB 549 had some parts salvaged, including low income support, covering energy efficiency for natural gas, and putting the EERS into statute. Thanks for our letters, and that we offer cogent reasons for our requests—that may have an unexpected strong effect. These bills will be argued again when they go to the floor in January.

7. Sarah Brock, speaking on energy efficiency: Vital Communities covers 69 Upper Valley towns in NH and Vermont, helping communities advance their work in a number of fields. (Funded through private family foundations)

In 2017 began to look at promoting weatherization, had very low baselines, 35 homes (1 per town avg) participating; mostly heating with oil. Barriers were distance, finances, higher % of income spent on energy, weatherization program budgets were low and not marketed, people not aware of them.

So ran “weatherize” campaigns; NH Saves wanted to increase rural participation; initially had 6 projects, increased to 99. CENH worked to bring these programs to the North Country. Then Covid & TEEP stall, can’t market, and wait lists get long. Larger contractors have invested, added auditors, but then they can’t get the jobs. Smaller contractors more nimble, have other jobs on the side to keep them afloat.

Discussion about solar, which is not Sarah’s expertise: see Island Institute report on their EE campaign (access to installers, financing, awareness of program, knowing others who have done it). In NH there is no access for low income to access solar, but in Vermont you can buy into an array. “Energy Advocacy Councils” are not talking about solar – talking about fuel assistance, weatherization. Some community solar in mobile home parks. Talk with installers – they are locally owned, know the barriers, are innovative. Ken suggests putting info together for rural folks, including info from representatives in the EE industry.

Discussion about “REBOUND”: yes, people do notch up their thermostat a bit, when their home is more efficient, but still enjoy net savings.

Not resolved: How dispose of used solar panels? There should be RFPs on low-, mod- income community solar – but utilities asked for delay. Each utility is supposed to have 2/x year. PUC not enforcing.

What makes successful networking & cooperation? Persistent checking in, annual survey, what projects each group is working on; network gatherings, coach individual groups to help prioritize, talk with private sector (contractors have ideas of what would work). Connect with Josh at CENH-- he has info, and may help get in touch with frustrated EC members who want to speak about this.

8. Other: John G had an inspiring climate meeting, & will organize such a meeting monthly.

Call senators NOW about Carbon Fee & Dividend! This is the moment, the Senate will decide by Friday, and that would help at COP26. http://cclusa.org/senate-call

Need ideas for SPEAKERS: Community Power (Henry Herndon)- where is the program now? Rob Werner insights from COP (Dot will speak to him). Roger Stephenson Union of Concerned Scientists has network – what can we do together? (Bob Backus will reach him) Bob Backus has a live show Wed eves, The Progress Report, Channel 23 Manchester, can access through the computer.

RESOURCES:

Our website: Newhampshirenetwork.org

Plastics slide deck: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1vA9nXKON4S2Pzoi5PDqK-WFc5zTCOOkzecetTSX-j54/edit?usp=sharing

Plastics overview for reference: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1

“New England barn raising, except with solar”: https://www.harei.rog/

http://cclusa.org/senate-call call our 2 Senators and ask them to make sure we will meet Biden’s goal of 50% ghg emissions reductions by 2030. Analysts say Carbon Pricing is required to meet that goal, & Senate Finance Committee is considering adding Carbon Fee & Dividend. They’ll decide this week!

Next General Meeting, SECOND MONDAY, December 13, 5:30 pm

Recurring zoom link, second Monday of each month:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86424973889?pwd=dERNMnRVdTZXcnlPK3ZadTlvUVRhQT09

Meeting ID: 864 2497 3889 Passcode: 257608

2021-10-28 - Weekly Update

Our democracy, it is an ongoing responsibility that, together, we all share, for in the words of former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis: “The most important political office is that of private citizen.” Stay active, stay engaged, stay involved.

Friends,

Apologies for the two week hiatus, but here is the weekly summary. The good news is that much of this information is here on the website, and that a number of opportunities have been offered previously, but are still pertinent.


This week’s summary offers an update on:

  • Upcoming Meetings

  • KSC tutorial on taking legislative action

  • Plastics: “Plastics fee” legislation and Ten Towns initiative

  • Legislative actions including how to take legislative action

  • Letter writing to ISO New England re: coal fired power plants

  • Informative YouTube on solar energy potential


Meeting Schedule

  • Plastics Group October 31st at 6:00 pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6275609302?pwd=cDd0eDlqYytxa0xKek5FRVVYclJVUT09

  • Network general meeting November 1st at 5:30 pm

    • will feature a presentation by Sarah Brock of Vital Communities speaking on the challenges and opportunities facing Upper Valley communities around clean energy initiatives.

    • Vital Communities is a nonprofit serving 69 towns in the Upper Valley region of Vermont & NH, finding region-wide innovative collaborative solutions to energy problems in Housing, Agriculture, and Transportation.

    • https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87016521580?pwd=enBzUmptN1FPd0p5VHBZYUdRQzI3dz09 (man)

Kent Street Coalition Tutorial on Taking Legislative Action

Kent Street Coalition/Instructive video on taking Legislative action (It is about an hour long, but very helpful)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K69kfdFozlE

Plastics - Taking Action

Plastics fee on “virgin” plastics. One of the strategies to fund the $3.5 trillion spending package now in play is a 20-cent per pound fee on the sale of new "virgin” plastic to make single-use plastic products. This would discourage the creation of new plastic and promote the use of recycled plastic. The concept of a plastic fee was introduced by Rhode Island Senator Whitehouse in his REDUCE ACT in August. The idea is now being considered by the Senate Finance Committee as one of the funding mechanisms for the budget package.

Senator Hassan is a member of the Senate Finance Committee. Sen her a short email asking her to support the fee: A sample:

“...I am in support of Senator Whitehouse's concept of a fee on plastic resin and understand that it is being considered by the Senate Finance Committee as one of the strategies to fund the $3.5 trillion spending package. I hope you will also support this as a member of the Finance Committee, and am interested to know if you have been working on this in Committee.”

Here are two links to understand the plastic fee idea:

Senator Whitehouse's Press Release on the REDUCE Act: https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/news/release/whitehouse-unveils-reduce-act-to-tackle-plastic-pollution

Article in The Hill: https://thehill.com/policy/equilibrium-sustainability/573908-plastics-industry-lashes-out-at-regressive-democratic-tax?rl=1

  • Ten Towns Campaign

This is an invitation to all NH NETWORKers. The Plastics Working Group is launching a 2-year campaign to demonstrate a statewide community commitment to plastic waste reduction, and we need your help.

We are looking for volunteers to develop collaborative solutions to plastic waste reduction by working with your town/city library, school cafeteria, solid waste department, grocery store, sustainability committee, town/city administrator, or favorite restaurant to implement local policies and programs that prove NH towns care about the environment and about addressing the problem of plastic pollution.


The Ten Towns campaign is a menu of concrete actions, ready-made templates, and technical support from volunteers who have already been successful in effecting change in their communities. The campaign is based on success stories in Dover, Hopkinton, Littleton, Cornish, and Gilford, and we have support and more ideas from Hayley Jones of Community Action Works.

Go solo, or corral a few friends to join you. Our ultimate goal: Ten Towns (and more) to show the State House that intentional plastic waste reduction is part of “the New Hampshire way” and that we want elected officials, locally and in Concord, to take action with us to reduce plastic proliferation and pollution.

Legislative Calendar (energy, plastics and waste)

10/26 saw a flurry of action on a number of energy bills in preparation for the winter legislative session. We will keep you posted on the bills that have been retained or will have further study.

10/28 10:00 am LOB Rooms 302-304 Commission to Study Limited Electrical Producers

10/29 9:30 am NHDES Solid Waste Working Group: Organizing Meeting

29 Hazen Drive, Concord Room 208C


No Coal, No Gas - Letter writing to ISO New England re: coal fired power plants

Please join us in keeping up pressure on ISO New England to stop their unjust subsidies to Merrimack Generating Station!

Photo at bottom of this page is from our Mass Action earlier this month | Credit: Candace Hope


Send a Comment to FERC

ISO New England (our regional grid operator) needs to account for environmental and social justice impacts in their decision making. Currently, the Merrimack Generating Station and other fossil fuel generators in New England are kept on the grid with ratepayer funded “forward capacity payments” awarded by ISO New England. The calculations behind these payments only account for short term cost and grid reliability. They do NOT prioritize environmental justice or account for the threat of climate change. This needs to change.


As a campaign, we sent this letter to Gordon van Welie, CEO of ISO New England, to tell him that it’s time for the ISO to take climate justice into account. ISO is currently in a period of self study, and we are waiting for Gordon’s response. Check out this video of our letter here. PLEASE POST THE LETTER AND VIDEO ON SOCIAL MEDIA.


Help us ramp up the pressure! Today we launched a public comment campaign focused on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the federal agency that oversees ISO New England. We are sending public comments to FERC’s new Office of Public Participation demanding that they require ISO-NE to prioritize renewable energy and climate justice. ISO New England seemed quite alarmed by the 100 comments we submitted to FERC last March - let’s see how they react to even more comments!


PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT TO FERC! Check out this toolkit and watch our instructional video on how to submit your comment. If you want support or need an editor for writing your comment, feel free to email us back!


Informational

  • Maine’s Rep Bloom on their energy/climate progress presented at the September Summit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8grl8CvraZk

  • Have some fun, learn something new, and be “energized” by this 20 minute video that explores energy usage and the potential of solar. (Offered in previous summaries)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZEaYjo4ZJU



2021-10-18 - Meeting Minutes

NETWORK minutes, Oct. 18, 2021, 5:30 pm

Attending: Patsy Beffa-Negrini, Judith Bush, Jon Chaffee, John Gage, Rick Maynard, Mary Beth Raven, Donna Reardan, Susan Richman, Reinmar Seidler, Nancy Wightman

  • Differences between internal & external communications:

    • Internal: schedules, emails, clarify our needs. Donna has kept the Google files, and thinks the slide deck (used by Plastics group) is a great organizational/archiving tool. Members express difficulty with switching modes (Slack/Google). Need to be connected to a regular managerial/organizational meeting.

      • Motion passed: Establishing managers’ meeting alternate Mondays; Donna, Susan attend as the “working group” for internal communications, see if Patsy wants to be part of this (and others, possibly John G, Rick, Bruce).

      • Hope Cindy can demonstrate Slide Deck at next general meeting, Nov. 1.

    • Establish a separate external communication group, to include messaging & framing, social media, IT. Call on those who signed up with “yellow stickies” at June Summit. Currently John and Patsy doing awesome work with the website.

      • Current vision and mission statements are on the Home page of the website https://www.newhampshirenetwork.org/ and can easily be edited.

      • Reinmar has updated vision/mission statements; will work to integrate his fuller version onto the website.

  • Outreach: Several health experts and Roger Stephanson of Union of Concerned Scientists have joined. Do we actively pursue others?

    • Possibly expand current listing on the website, of other EECC groups our members belong to (LCV, CENH, Sierra Club). That could require an “onboarding” group to pursue groups for permission and logos.

    • ACTION: see the listings on https://www.newhampshirenetwork.org/about-us

then add your other organizations with https://www.newhampshirenetwork.org/join-us

  • Currently do not have enough people to create presence on Facebook, Twitter, others. Perhaps develop a wish list with communication tasks, and prioritize.

    • Initiate a Communications Team zoom meeting, to include John, Patsy, messaging folks, those who want more social media. Need more folks at this meeting to drive excitement, take on tasks.

    • Postpone until after management team meeting.

    • Perhaps the bulk of our efforts remain with Legislation and Plastics, and don’t have people power for greater media presence beyond website.

  • Have to stimulate excitement with whole-group meetings/events several times a year.

  • As we get new sets of members, are we handing them tools for building their own autonomous groups (as Wisconsin Grassroots does)?

  • John Gage is facilitating a meeting Thursday, Oct 21 on national climate policy. This is an opportunity for Network members to speak about approaches they are promoting (350.org, Sierra Club, Citizens Climate Lobby…) Join the discussion Thursday to discuss our national climate future, being decided NOW in D.C.

  • Rick is preparing a show about the Network, featuring Maine state Rep. Lydia Blume speaking at the Sept. 18 Summit. Reinmar will collaborate with Rick.

    • Rick’s programs air on Monday 5:30pm, Tuesday 4:00pm & 6:30pm, Thursday 9am and Saturday 9am, on Manchester Public Television https://www.manchestertv.org/23. The show is listed as either “Progress” or “Change.” They are uploaded to the NH State Server Telvue for other Public Access stations within NH to use. (Call your public access station, requesting they air shows by NH Citizens for Progress--this would help immensely!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8grl8CvraZk

Next general meeting in 2 weeks, Nov. 1. (Management team will meet alternate Mondays.)

Agenda suggested items:



2021-10-11 - Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes, General Group

NH Network

environment-energy-climate

October 11, 2021




Co-facilitators: Rick Maynard, Reinmar Seidler

Attending: Patsy Beffa-Negrini, Jon Chaffee, Bonnie Christie, Joe Kwasnik, Donna Reardon, Susan Richman (minutes), Ken Wells

Special Guests: Reverend John Stanley, Bob Crego (Wisconsin Grassroots Network--WGN).


  1. Bob Crego and Reverend John Stanley share information about their means of communications, as they hope to promote our efforts. In Wisconsin their overarching goal is helping promote groups around the state, rather than self-perpetuation. Kept info on organizations, their interests, membership, and relationship to other organizations. Began by organizing around Obama, went to existing organizations within Wisconsin (350, CCL) to make a larger network, and then helped start local progressive community organizations (less successful). WGN sends info to those groups, who may chose to send on to their members.

Their best work has been annual festivals, helping others put on meetings, bringing in speakers (Move to Amend movement; tools for organizing), 10 annual spring meetings. Most important has been knowing who is out there, doing what, creating a “network of good will.” Governance: a task force of 5 members across the state decides events. Avoid mission creep, NOT trying to be an umbrella, connecting groups on an equal level. The network is the communication hub. Build resources, but allow groups their autonomy.

Communication: website addresses: https://www.wisconsingrassroots.net/mapofgroups https://www.wisconsingrassroots.net https://wigrassrootsnetwork.org/

Nate Timm has weekly radio show. Use email, with external group for bringing in others; internal group for doing business. Also use Slack, with different “rooms” for select audiences--e.g. a private room for the skillset folks (graphics, writing…), a public gathering site. Can use for decision-making (“you have one week to vote on…”) Can email to an individual or to a particular room (e.g.the Plastics group) and save Google Group for whole group. Website is public. Rev. John Stanley recommends we look into Discord. Difficult to keep calendar updated. Best to allow the groups to edit their own events (if you can). Use a Google form to know groups that want to be listed, need to hear from them each year to know they’re still active. (We’re not that large yet) Need someone to do housekeeping, to weed out old posts we don’t need, to protect other posts from automatic deletion. Good to have a Slack trainer, for anyone uncomfortable with the technology.

2. Rick walks us through Slack.

“More”=people & user groups

“Channels” shows what rooms are available; need to join.

If a channel is listed in white, there are messages you haven’t yet read.

To send a message: Send to people “@______”

“Management team” is locked (private).

When creating a room can decide whether private or public. New work groups should have both private and public rooms.

@everyone = all the people in that room.

Click on ? at top middle for Help Center, which offers more tutorials on Slack.

For comments and threads, open right hand column, without needing to repeat the initial post.

3. Meet again next Monday, Oct. 18 at 5:30, talk further about roles of the managers, currently only 2 managers, and further discussion of Slack. Might want to have “how to use” session for Slack. Send agenda items to Rick or Reinmar. Still need to identify a communications group.



2021-9-30 - Weekly Update

Conference Opportunities


  • Students for Zero Waste Conference November 5-7 via the PLAN website: Post Landfill Action Network.


https://whova.com/portal/registration/szwc_202011/


This is the link to PLAN: https://www.postlandfill.org/

  • Student webinar

Webinar: Local Students, Local Energy Solutions


Legislative Action Items

  • PLASTICS legislation

One of the strategies to fund the $3.5 trillion spending package now in play is a 20-cent per pound fee on the sale of new "virgin” plastic to make single-use plastic products. This would discourage the creation of new plastic and promote the use of recycled plastic. The concept of a plastic fee was introduced by Rhode Island Senator Whitehouse in his REDUCE ACT in August. The idea is now being considered by the Senate Finance Committee as one of the funding mechanisms for the budget package.

Senator Hassan is a member of the Senate Finance Committee. Sen her a short email asking her to support the fee: A sample:

“...I am in support of Senator Whitehouse's concept of a fee on plastic resin and understand that it is being considered by the Senate Finance Committee as one of the strategies to fund the $3.5 trillion spending package. I hope you will also support this as a member of the Finance Committee, and am interested to know if you have been working on this in Committee.”

Here are two links to understand the plastic fee idea:

Senator Whitehouse's Press Release on the REDUCE Act: https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/news/release/whitehouse-unveils-reduce-act-to-tackle-plastic-pollution

Article in The Hill: https://thehill.com/policy/equilibrium-sustainability/573908-plastics-industry-lashes-out-at-regressive-democratic-tax?rl=1

  • Landfill Action

There will be a protest at the NCES Landfill in Bethlehem on Saturday, October 2, 10am-1pm to oppose Casella's plans for a new, unneeded landfill only 6 miles away in Dalton next to Forest Lake State Park. we'd love for you to at least spread the word with any friends and family in the North Country who might be interested in joining us!

  • Legislative bills

Energy bills highlighted last week are still in motion. The ranking democratic member on the Ways and Means Committee, Susan Almy, encourages in person presentations on these two bills or submit letters she can read. Session is on October 7th at 9 30 am

HB 614

Synopsis: This bill would exempt the state and its political subdivisions from paying the costs of compliance with the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).

Talking Points: This bill is aimed at subverting the intent and purpose of the RPS – one of our state’s primary sources of funding for renewable energy. The RPS obtains funds from all electricity users in order to contribute to incentives for renewable.

Exempting the state from paying its share of these costs shifts costs to all other ratepayers and could start a race to the bottom as one group after another is exempted until no fees are collected at all.

NH already lags behind all other states in our region in its efforts to promote renewable energy, decarbonize electricity production and promote a sustainable grid. Why undercut the few programs available to incentivize positive adaptation to the climate crisis?

HB624

Synopsis: This bill would decrease the fee to file a petition for a declaratory ruling with the Site Evaluation Committee (SEC).

Talking Points: The Site Evaluation Committee is not funded out of the state’s General Fund. It has to support its functions through the few fees it is authorized to collect. Its costs include: consultant fees, holding public meetings in different parts of the state, stipends for public members, and the salary of the SEC Administrator.

Kill the funding source and you eliminate the committee’s ability to do its job – which is to ensure that the public interest is represented in decisions on siting large energy projects (e.g. Northern Pass).

Reducing its fees could also open the floodgates to frivolous or nuisance actions designed to hamstring renewable energy projects.

HB 549 has deferred consideration, and Chairman Vose is introducing an amendment that will be a comprehensive redraft of the proposal, which concerns ratepayer-funded energy efficiency and in its present form threatens the future of the programs. He further explained that because is proposing such a sweeping change to the bill he will convene a public hearing to discuss the new version on October 12 at 1:00 p.m. Chairman Vose said the hearing would be entirely in-person at the Legislative Office Building in Concord; there will not be an opportunity for remote viewing or participation.


Carbon Cash-Back

Experts say it's required to adequately address climate pollution, and cash-back carbon pricing is the most powerful and equitable way to do it. For the support, power, and benefits of this policy, see carboncashback.org/carbon-cash-back (policy) and carboncashback.org/benefits (emissions reducing power and benefits to families).

Information for your brain:

Climate Disinformation on Social Media


Plastics Information


Sustainable Clothing

  • For anyone concerned about textile recycling, I have just come across a company that recycles t-shirts through its 'Re-Spun' program - the company is called Marine Layer. You receive a credit to purchase their sustainable clothing, made from beechwood pulp.

  • To learn more about purchasing sustainable clothing, here's an article from TreeHugger with their Top 10 brands.

  • Youtube seminars on clothing (rumored to be long, but important)





YouTube Solar Video

The video linked below is a 20 minute presentation by a visual effects artist entitled "How Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power the ENTIRE World."

It's a fast-moving, technically quite accurate, highly entertaining look at our energy sources and the amount of land area needed to power the earth with solar alone (bottom line: the size of France).

It is also perhaps the longest advertising-supported thing I've ever watched on YouTube. The ads pop up not just at the beginning, but two or three times during the 20 minute show. Remember, that after 5 seconds into each ad, you click can "Skip Ads". But it's also the first thing I've watched on Youtube that is evidence of the creative powers unleashed by Youtube having advertising...that's how this guy paid for his production. His work is mostly in the Dungeons and Dragons video game world.

If you are over 50, you will probably have trouble staying with the pace of this. I had to watch it twice, and hit pause once in a while to let my brain absorb a few minutes of what I'd seen from its limited buffer capacity.

It's brilliantly done, fun to watch, and full of great images.

The final message is to young people to study engineering, so they can be a part of the technical part of the solution to climate change.

https://youtu.be/IZEaYjo4ZJU


2021-9-22 - Weekly Update

Weekly Summary 9/22/2021

Good morning,

There is a flood of information. Hoping that it is digestible.

Thank you for your participation in the Summit on September 18th and a summary will forthcoming. Although participants came with different goals, the common one is a more sustainable New Hampshire. Our aims are ambitious and VOLUNTEERS are needed to consolidate the many opportunities. A near term goal is to streamline communication, messaging and framing to enhance electoral success and legislative success. (Our NH representatives say “we need to run.”)

Items for this week

-Action on reinstating remote access for hearings. (IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED)

-Statewide protest against Bow coal plant on Friday, September 24th -Plastics updates and a template for the Ten Towns Initiative. (attached)

-Sub-committees are meeting, state legislation is pending and we are encouraging LTEs (letters to the editor) and phone calls to the governor to VETO legislation.

-Upcoming conference opportunities for the public and one specifically for students.

-UNESCO webinar with excellent information for combating misinformation, and informative letter by Englishman to reduce plastic usage.

-Barn raising (solar raising!) in NH

PUC job opportunity

In addition to the open state Energy Administrator position, there is also an PUC Advisor position open. Would be great to get an open minded person with a bias towards action to fill that role.

https://www.puc.nh.gov/Home/AboutUs/Employment-Opportunities/ 20210827-senior-advisor-commssion.pdf

ACTION ITEMS:

1. IMPORTANT. Contact Sherm Packard and write LTEs to demand remote access to meetings. Newspaper links are attached as a google doc. (Sample letters are at the end of this summary)

2. Statewide CLIMATE ACTION on September 24th against the Bow coal plant.

https://actionnetwork.org/forms/strike-for-climate-action?

link_id=0&can_id=3ed90064aecca7c03e9efd0ffcf6484b&source=email-strike for-the-climate-show-up-for-youth-organizers-on

september-24th&email_referrer=email_1288662&email_subject=strike-for the-climate-show-up-on-september-24th

Join us for a climate strike near you!

North Conway: Gazebo on Main St. at 3pm

Portsmouth: North Church Courtyard, 3pm

Durham: Murkland Courtyard, UNH, 2:30pm

Concord: State House, 1pm

Nashua: Greeley Park, 3:30pm

3. Ten Town Initiatives to reduce plastic usage (attend a plastics meeting for more info)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/

1AK5Q_tO36f4ck8KCAXvVmDQxLWWgGRHJ/edit

Next meeting is October 3rd at 6 pm. One goal is to bring a college or high school student!

4. Sub-Committee Bills. Write and call to voice your opposition.

Please note - These meetings do not provide any opportunity for public input (unless the chair so chooses, usually only for agency personnel to clarify a point under discussion). The Legislative Office Building has no effective ventilation system and there is no requirement for committee members or members of the public to be vaccinated or wear masks. Also - committee rooms may be crowded, especially in the public area.

Written testimony or letters can be submitted to the committee chair for distribution to committee members, to media outlets, or posted on social media. Ways and Means Chair – Rep. Norman Major, nlbem@comcast.net.

Two Energy Bills will be before the Ways and Means Committee – Wed. Sep. 29. The meeting begins at 9:30am, but HB 614 and HB 624 will only be taken up after 10 other bills are considered.

HB 614

Synopsis: This bill would exempt the state and its political subdivisions from paying the costs of compliance with the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).

Talking Points: This bill is aimed at subverting the intent and purpose of the RPS – one of our state’s primary sources of funding for renewable energy. The RPS obtains funds from all electricity users in order to contribute to incentives for renewable.

Exempting the state from paying its share of these costs shifts costs to all other ratepayers and could start a race to the bottom as one group after another is exempted until no fees are collected at all.

NH already lags behind all other states in our region in its efforts to promote renewable energy, decarbonize electricity production and promote a sustainable grid. Why undercut the few programs available to incentivize positive adaptation to the climate crisis?

HB624

Synopsis: This bill would decrease the fee to file a petition for a declaratory ruling with the Site Evaluation Committee (SEC).

Talking Points: The Site Evaluation Committee is not funded out of the state’s General Fund. It has to support its functions through the few fees it is authorized to collect. Its costs include: consultant fees, holding public meetings in different parts of the state, stipends for public members, and the salary of the SEC Administrator.

Kill the funding source and you eliminate the committee’s ability to do its job – which is to ensure that the public interest is represented in decisions on siting large energy projects (e.g. Northern Pass).

Reducing its fees could also open the floodgates to frivolous or nuisance actions designed to hamstring renewable energy projects.

5. Conference Opportunities:

Clean Energy NH “Local Energy Solutions Conference” October 8th in Concord

https://www.nhenergy.org/conference

Students for Zero Waste Conference via the PLAN website: Post Landfill Action Network.

https://whova.com/portal/registration/szwc_202011/

This is the link to PLAN: https://www.postlandfill.org/

6. Interesting Reads

UNESCO webinar

Unesco https://en.unesco.org/news/unesco-urged-take-measures address-climate-change-disinformation

Everyday Plastic

This is a very interesting read about a citizen in the UK who collected his plastic waste for a year (4,490 pieces), analyzed it (70% = not recyclable, 67% food related), and wrote a report about how it raised his awareness of plastic packaging and his power as a consumer to make different choices, especially at the grocery store.

Read the Report Here:

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5a899f44b1ffb63e0c81fed9/t/ 5bd606380852291fdf5b1d2b/1540753006345/Everyday+Plastic+- +What+we+throw+away+and+where+it+goes.pdf

Students in action!

View the Video Here:

https://www.everydayplastic.org/survey

7. Barn Raising/solar style

https://www.harei.org.

Sample LTE

“Live Free or Die”: Freedom is our oxygen. And we fiercely value our political freedom.

Our political freedom is reduced to less than a whisper when we are denied free access to the legislative process. Sure, we can go to the polls every 2 years to show our approval of our legislators, or to “vote the bums out.” But a thumbs up or down, after the legislation has been completed, is not participation.

Last year, political freedom was thriving in New Hampshire. Our legislative process was open for all to view, to comment on, to participate in. Legislators had continuous access to the opinions of New Hampshire’s citizens on all areas of legislation. They did not have to wait for our vote next November. And we were engaged. We were able to see the complexity of issues our legislators must balance, and we were able to assist in their deliberations. If we had day jobs, we could review the taped legislative sessions in the evening. We might live two hours from Concord, but we could join our legislators via Zoom.

COVID is having a resurgence. A number of our legislators are medically fragile, and once again cannot safely attend sessions in Concord. If these legislators are denied Zoom access, their constituents are denied their freedom, their representation. For all of us citizens and our legislators with health concerns --without Zoom access, our freedom dies.



2021-9-14 - Weekly Update

Good evening,

The legislative agenda will be busy this fall, but for now, the focus is twofold.

One, is the upcoming virtual summit this Saturday from 9 am to 12:30 pm. Lydia Blume, who is is a member of the Maine House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment will be the keynote speaker highlighting the environmental and energy successes of Maine.

Two, if you have not completed your ballot for the NH EEC governance positions then please do so.

On a different note, fascinating press release by representative Rep. William Marsh, MD, Carroll

Just now, I met with the Town Clerk of Brookfield, NH and officially changed my party affiliation to Democratic.

The events leading up to this are public information. On June 3, I spoke on the House floor against amendment 1864h to SB155 – an amendment which would have restricted our ability to control the spread of COVID-19 in NH much as Gov. Desantis has done in Florida. That speech is printed on page 148 of House Journal 8.

Consequent to that speech, I was removed from the Vice Chairmanship of the Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee.

This summer has provided me time to consider what my beliefs truly are. Politics is really a team sport. I have come to realize a majority of Republicans, both locally and in the NH House, hold values which no longer reflect traditional Republican values. And so I am recognizing the reality that today’s Republican party is no longer the party I first joined when campaigning for President Reagan many years ago. Further, I feel the local Carroll County Republicans and Winnipesaukee Republicans have been taken over by extremists who see no place for moderates like me in the Republican party.

My intention had been to quietly finish my term and enjoy my retirement in peace. Unfortunately events have forced my hand.

As we all know, the combination of the infectious delta variant and waning immunity is causing COVID-19 to surge both in NH and throughout the United States. ICUs are filling up and younger people are getting sick and dying. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vaccination of children over age 12 and masks in schools as control of this virus will require multiple interventions. Maintaining in person education is a priority, and we need every tool to do that for our children.

The press release today from Republican House leadership forces me to take a stand. The constitutionality of vaccine mandates is well established by the 1905 precedent of Jacobson v. Massachusetts, which upheld mandatory smallpox vaccinations. In a civilized society, individual rights are limited when they start to impinge on the rights of others. By denying the appeal of Klaassen v. Trustees of Indiana University to the United States Supreme Court, Justice Amy Coney Barrett upheld this precedent, allowing a university to require COVID vaccinations.

I was a physician long before I became a representative. Doctors live by the principle “first do no harm.” I cannot in good conscience support this selfish refusal to take reasonable precautions. And while I might wish for a viable third party, the reality in our country is that does not exist. So far, NH has done remarkably well with COVID by taking all reasonable precautions while carefully reopening our economy. I was proud to be part of the Governor’s Economic Reopening Taskforce that made that happen. I cannot stand idly by while extremists reject the reasonable precautions of vaccinations and masks which made that happen. And so I have reluctantly changed my party affiliation. I urge others to consider what is happening and come to their own conclusions.



2021-8-26 - Weekly Update

Good morning,

Apologies for a lengthy weekly summary. Critical points include

-Update on September 18th Summit.

-Introduction to the network’s website.

-Proposal for NHEECN governance structure.

-Nominating and voting on a NHEECN leadership team.

-Action opportunities: solar initiative, cash back carbon legislation, the Extended Producer Responsibility and Plastics Education Working Group meeting Sunday August 29

Summit update

The meeting with be held at the Concord Citywide Community Center, 14 Canterbury Road beginning at 10 am on September 18th. Invitation and agenda to follow.

Network’s website

Information for the summit and “all things” NHEECN can be found on the network’s website. Make it your “single shop stop” for news, events, actions, weekly summaries and winning lottery tickers (maybe.) https://www.newhampshirenetwork.org

Action items:

-Governance proposal and nomination opportunity.

We, the members of the NH EECN Governance Team, are writing to you today to introduce a proposal for a governance structure for NH EECN and a timeline and methodology for approval of the proposal. In parallel with this proposal, we are also seeking nominations for leadership and election of the NH EECN leadership.

The Governance Team agreed on a small, flat governance structure allowing for both continuity and scheduled turnover of the leadership team, that would minimize member “burn-out” potential while also being nimble enough to make day-to-day decisions and delegate tasks.

Governance Structure

We propose three “At-Large Managers” be elected to a Network Management Team. An additional Manager would be added from each existing or future Work Group sponsored by the NH EECN. Although each Manager will have an equal vote, we anticipate Managers will seek consensus on decisions.

The three At-Large Managers elected in the first year (2021) would have staggered terms. The Manager receiving the most votes would serve a 3 year term (replaced in year 2024), the Manager with the second largest number of votes would serve a 2 year term (replaced

in year 2023) and the Manager with the third largest number of votes would serve a I year term (replaced in year 2022). At this point, we are not proposing any term limitations.

The Network Management Team will be tasked initially with establishing the frequency and conduct of Management Team and NH EECN meetings, developing and implementing any necessary policies/procedures for the NH EECN organization and oversight of the physical Network itself and the technology utilized to support the Network. Although the NH EECN is not chartered or recognized by any division of government, we do recommend that the Network Management Team develop a set of Bylaws including decision-making limits to the authority of the Management Team, succession of Managers who are unable to complete their term, financial management if and when the NH EECN establishes a financial capability, and selection of Managers from Work Groups.

Action

This proposal was discussed at the Goals Committee meeting of the Network held on Monday, August 23rdto which all NH EECN members were invited. Following discussion, the Goals Committee agreed to issue this proposal to the NH EECN membership.

IMPORTANT! Call for Nominations

With this email, we are putting out a call for Nominations for Managers of the NH EECN. Nominations, including self-nominations, are encouraged and can be made by any member. We ask that nominations be submitted to Susan Richman by September 3rd along with a brief CV (1 paragraph). Following receipt of nominations, we will vet each nominee’s interest in being nominated and subsequently distribute a Google Forms Survey to members for approval of this proposal and election of Managers. The Google Forms Survey will close on September 15th. The results of this Google Forms Survey and election results will be distributed to members by September 17thin advance of the NH EECN September Summit.

Sept. 3-Nominations Submission Deadline

Sept. 6-Google Forms Survey opens

Sept. 15-Google Forms Survey closes

Sept. 17-Google Forms Survey results and election results announced to membership

-Possible municipal solar action

The following is an excerpt from Carolyn Johnson. She did receive polite pushback from the town administrator, but this feels that a local action wherein we can all participate

“Greetings,

As you probably know, nearly all New Hampshire towns met the deadline last Wednesday

to apply for funds allocated to them under the American Rescue Plan (passed back in January), and scheduled for disbursement in 2 tranches in 2021 and 2022. I expect that most towns, like mine (Gilford), are currently in the decision-making process about how to use these funds. Since towns always run on tight budgets, this unusual infusion offers an opportunity consider things that might otherwise seem out of reach. And there is no established review/approval process for how the funds are to be expended, so its down to local decision makers. What better time to invest in solar? And if a substantial portion of towns made that choice, what a difference it could make for renewables in NH overall.

Following is a portion of my dialogue with Gilford's Administrator. This being a very conservative area, I did not lead with environmental concerns but with cost (the other green), that has driven most renewable investment so far. If this can be of use to any of you in engaging locally to push renewables, be my guest. Regards,

" I would like to propose the Selectmen consider installing solar panels on at least the Town Hall roof. This would be an investment in the town’s long term finances, since energy generated from the panels would reduce the electricity bill for that facility and potentially generate savings for the budget going forward that could be deployed in other ways, either to offset other unanticipated expenses or if not needed in that way, to underwrite the cost of making additional improvements in insulation and/or adding additional solar panels for the fire station and the schools in the future. One argument against solar panels always seems to be that the up-front costs are substantial even if the investment generates savings down the road. This unusual infusion of resources could provide a good opportunity to improve the long-term energy infrastructure for the town."

-Carbon Cash Back Legislation. Follow up action from August 19th Concord Celebration

Write Congress asking for effective climate legislation by sending a pre-written email from cclusa.org/write.

-The Extended Producer Responsibility and Plastics Education Working Group will be meeting at 6 p.m. on Sunday evening, August 29. All are welcome. We have a succinct agenda:

● Introductions

● Brainstorm Ten Towns Initiative

● Decision on Working With Community Action Works

Link to Working Group Slide Deck - Ten Towns Information on Slide 10

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aVjwMub5Fsw8EUZmkNm_PeKbOWE2ra2k/view?usp=sh aring

Links to Community Action Works documents for review in advance of Sunday's meeting:

● Website page with New England success stories:

https://communityactionworks.org/category/news/

● Community Action Works One Pager:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aVjwMub5Fsw8EUZmkNm_PeKbOWE2ra2k/view?usp =sharing

● Community Action Works Annual Report:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pEfGHv61c5h4grzZhQsuDWtwv9MkvXSf/view?usp=sh aring

If you have trouble viewing any of the documents, please email me at cheath58@gmail.com.

Question for those of you who plan to attend:

Does anybody object to having Claire Potter, the Valley News (Lebanon) climate reporter join us? She is very interested in our work. If anyone does object, please let me know by the end of the day on Thursday.

ZOOM LINK:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6275609302?pwd=cDd0eDlqYytxa0xKek5FRVVYclJVUT09 Meeting ID: 627 560 9302 Passcode: garden

-Local Energy Solutions Conference, 2021 - Energy Systems of Our Future

Friday October 8th, 2021 at the Grappone Center in Concord, NH.

The Local Energy Solutions Conference is the event of the year for local energy champions, policymakers, municipal officials, town staff, regulators, and industry representatives. The event is hosted by Clean Energy NH and the LES Workgroup.

The LES Conference is the only event of its kind that delivers the latest topics and knowledge from leading experts, innovative ideas and best practices, and best-of-the best networking opportunities. The LES Conference has been hailed as the "go-to event of the year" and is known as the premiere conference for energy in NH, selling out each year.

Session topics for the conference include: Community Power, Grid of the Future, Next Generation Efficiency Regulation Design, The Legislative and Regulatory Roundup, The Federal Infrastructure Plan

Register before September 8th for early bird pricing!

Learn more on the LES Website -

nhenergy.org/conference

Register Here!

https://www.universe.com/events/local-energy-solutions-conference-tickets-GDBJW

Information:

Indepth New Hampshire’s review of the NH’s (new) Energy Department http://indepthnh.org/2021/08/23/creation-of-new-energy-department-reinvents-puc/



Questions?

Contact newhampshirenetwork@gmail.com to get more information or to join us.