What’s Happening at the NH Network
Our Calendar with NH Network’s and Partners’ Events
Inflation Reduction Act, NH Network Steering Committee, Dover Plastic Reduction Group webinar on EPR, Plastics WG, Climate WG. Local Energy Solutions Conference (LES), NH Food Alliance Cafe Series, North Country Food and Agricultural Summit
Submit testimony on the 2024-26 Triennial Energy Efficiency Plan
Submit testimony on the 10 year Transportation Bill.
Plastics WG Mesh Bag project
Submit testimony on solid waste expansion
Forever Chemicals Are Eternal No More Thanks To Pollution Destroying…..
NH House Needs a Climate Science Intervention (John Gage)
NH Food Alliance Series
Great Green Wall - film opportunity in Portsmouth Public Library October 26
NY Times: In a Twist, Old Coal Plants can Deliver Renewable Energy
Access to Natural Gas Keeps Our Lights On (Michael Vose, Chair STE Committee)
NH Energy and Action Education program: school curriculum for clean energy
Monday, October 23 11 am
Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Elective Pay Webinar. Those working with nonprofits, churches, schools, municipalities and others that are tax-exempt and wish to consider pursuing upcoming opportunities to reduce energy efficiency, electrification or renewable energy project costs may wish to attend this webinar, and how it may be helpful to your town or non-profit
Please Register Here
Monday, Oct 23, 2023 05:00 PM NH NETWORK Steering Committee Meeting
MINUTES from Last Steering Committee available at:
Minutes, Steering Committee, 10/18/2023
Thursday, October 26 7 pm Dover Plastic Reduction Group.
Guest speaker Peter Blair, Policy and Advocacy Director at Just Zero, a national non-profit advancing community-centered Zero Waste solutions. Peter will present information on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), a policy approach that holds manufacturers responsible for the lifecycle of their products including handling the waste produced. Just Zero craft a model bill that we expect to be used as the foundation for a NH bill. On Monday of this week, the NH House EPR Study Committee voted to send forward proposed EPR legislation to be considered during the next legislative session, so this is a particularly timely topic. To obtain the zoom link, respond to Kristine’s Baber’s email https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgzGwHLjpVJtNfVdHLKRJwzclsnGV
Sunday, October 29 6 pm Plastics WG
(Also, stop by the Mesh Bag Mamas Produce Bag Launch on Saturday, October 21, Noon - 2 pm to cheer us on. Photos of Mesh Bag Mamas in action attached, along with educational with postcard insert. To start your own Mesh Bag Mamas project to help raise awareness about reusables contact chea...@gmail.com.)
Wednesday, November 1 at 7:00 pm Climate WG
NH Network Climate Working Group - Monthly Meeting Agenda / Minutes
Thursday, November 2 8 am to 4 pm 2023 Local Energy Solutions (LES) Conference The annual Local Energy Solutions (LES) Conference is New Hampshire's premier event for local energy champions, policymakers, municipal officials, town staff, regulators, and industry representatives.
WHAT IS LES?
Organized by Clean Energy NH, the Local Energy Solutions (LES) Conference is the state's premier energy conference and the only event of its kind that brings together the clean energy community in New Hampshire. Collectively we learn about the latest topics, listen to experts discuss innovative ideas and best practices, and experience new technologies first-hand. The LES Conference offers best of the best networking opportunities with industry partners, state policy professionals, non-profits, and municipal leaders.
November 3 noon to 1 pm The NH Food Alliance’s 2023-2024 Network Café Series
is exploring A Regional Approach to Food System Resilience, a four-volume report of foundational food system data commissioned and released by the New England State Food System Planners Partnership. The New England State Food System Planners Partnership is a collaboration among six state-level food system organizations and Food Solutions New England.
November 8th 2nd Annual North Country Food and Agriculture Summit is now open!
Please register today. Registration is open until November 1st. Share this invitation with your networks, friends, and co-workers.
Don Kreis, NH Consumer Advocate, expressed his strong support of continuing NH Saves. The PUC has hearings Oct 25 & 31 on the upcoming triennial energy efficiency plan for 2024, 2025, and 2026. and hearings that are coming before the PUC on Oct. 25 and 31.
Please write to p...@puc.nh.gov, mention docket DE 23-068 in the subject line, and ask the PUC to approve the 2024-2026 triennial energy efficiency plan. The PUC must decide by 11/30.
TALKING POINTS: businesses and households alike need to plan their budgets, and a 3-year horizon is especially needful for business, as they decide major energy expenditures.
When the last 3-year energy plan tottered, a swath of NH energy contractors lost business or went out of business.
Transportation - comments due Oct 26.
At the meeting I attended, it seemed clear that priorities are road upgrade and enlargement, bridge repair, and airports. Please write to urge development of PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS.
Your input wanted -- transportation in NH
Hearings are happening now for the Draft 2025-2034 Ten Year Transportation Plan.
The hearings began 9/7 but continue to 10/25. Here is the link to view the schedule:
Written input additionally accepted, through Nov 3, directed to William.firstname.lastname@example.org
and there is a survey to fill out at https://metroquestsurvey.com/yn8w8t (The survey is tilted toward road construction & improvement – but there are open comment opportunities.)
there's a survey for the 10 year plan: https://live.metroquestsurvey.com/?u=yn8w8t#!/?p=web&pm=dynamic&s=1&popup=WTD
HOWEVER: The survey gives you a very narrow range of choices, mostly to do with road & bridge upgrade and road expansion. You have to creatively use the few open-ended spaces if you want to urge more public transportation, EV charging etc.
To the Commissioner of NHDOT and the Executive Councilors,
The ten year plan for transportation in NH lacks the imagination and forward look that is required to address the challenges of efficiently moving people and goods in New Hampshire in the coming decade. While it focuses on improving our roads and bridges, the plan lacks investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and public transportation. We need our transportation plan to carry New Hampshire into a future where vehicles will be electrified and fast trains will carry people and goods around the state and connect with economic centers, especially to the south of us. People in NH have been asking for the commuter rail from Boston to extend to Nashua and Manchester for years. Now is the time to make it happen.
Every car manufacturer has recognized that electric transportation will replace gasoline vehicles over the next twenty years with benefits in lower emissions and reduced operating costs for state residents. In order to make that happen, it is the responsibility of public officials to establish policy and economic support to make more fast chargers available in the state through a public-private partnership with the electric industry. The State can lead the way by transitioning governmental vehicle fleets to significantly increase electric vehicle use.
Our transportation system is at a crossroads. I encourage you to look forward, not backwards and provide funding for public transportation and electrification infrastructure so that New Hampshire can continue to be the great place we all love even as the world spins unpredictably around us.
From Cindy Heath/Plastics WG
Notes from tonight here. This is an amazing group of activists. Thank you all for getting it done in your communities and statewide.
We welcome updates from members in the updates section of the notes. Feel free to drop a line about what actions you’re taking these days.
Great investigative reporting article on the nefarious practices of chemical recycling companies, Garbage In, Toxics Out (The Intercept 9.28.23)
Stop by the Mesh Bag Mamas Produce Bag Launch on Saturday, October 21, Noon - 2 pm to cheer us on. Photos of Mesh Bag Mamas in action attached, along with educational with postcard insert. To start your own Mesh Bag Mamas project to help raise awareness about reusables contact chea...@gmail.com.
From Jon Swan. He highlights these are his opinions and for his complete summary click on this email link. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgzGwHLkxFBZFPCzJFggKwNSKvgSG
Here is part of his email:
I just wanted to share some updates, and of course, documents. There is SO MUCH going on, but I will try to summarize and be as brief as possible. I apologize for the attachments, but hopefully they are of interest and are informative.
First off, I have been spending a lot of time in Concord at NHDES, as a result of a 91-A Right-To-Know request for files relative to the NCES Landfill and my research into the explanations offered by Casella/Sanborn Head/NHDES for the numerous detections of PFAS and other contaminants at the numerous groundwater monitoring wells that lie outside of the lined landfill, located within the watershed and upgradient of the Ammonoosuc River. I have had an op-ed relative to my findings printed in both the Concord Monitor and the Union Leader, attached, and linked below. I do hope the powers that be have read my op-ed, and subsequently, Dr. Adam Finkel's, as it is my firm belief that the landfill is failing. I continue to amass documentation that supports my conclusion that NCES is failing, primarily due to the Stage I and possibly Stage II liner systems. The construction reports and NHDES responses make for some revealing reading!
Jon Swan op-ed, with links:
Dr. Adam Finkel op-ed, with links:
If you have not yet, please, take a moment and reach out to our elected officials and ask them to intervene at NCES. It's time to stop feeding the source of the contaminants which are being released within the watershed of the Ammonoosuc River. Garbage going into the landfill leads to more leachate generation, which is not being contained within the landfill. It's time to close the NCES Landfill in Bethlehem and address the contamination which is being released within the watershed of the Ammonoosuc River.
You can also send an email to the aides of Senator Shaheen, Senator Hassan, and Congresswoman Kuster:
Forever Chemicals Are Eternal No More Thanks To Pollution Destroying…..
NH Food Alliance
Thank you to those who attended our October Network Café, part of our 2023-2024 Network Café Series on Friday, October 6. For those who missed our October Café, we were joined by Brian Donohue, of Brandeis University, the lead researcher for the team whose research became “Volume 1: Estimating Resilient Eating Patterns” of A Regional Approach to Food System Resilience. Brian shared what the team learned in analyzing dietary patterns across major food groups to understand the food that New Englanders currently consume and how that might change by 2030, followed by a discussion of the research’s implications for New Hampshire's food system.
What would it take for 30% of the food consumed in New England to be regionally produced by 2030? Join the NH Food Alliance network as we address this question during our 2023-2024 Network Café Series through A Regional Approach to Food System Resilience, a four-volume report of foundational food system data commissioned and released by the New England State Food System Planners Partnership. The report lays out an unprecedented compilation of the most current New England food systems data and frames the data intentionally to inspire conversation and action towards New England producing and consuming more of its own food.
During each Network Café, the lead researcher for each volume of A Regional Approach to Food System Resilience will join us to dig into the data. They will provide a short summary of the volume and answer questions, helping our network of partners utilize the report in strategic planning, fundraising, advocacy, and other work as we continue to build vibrant food systems in New Hampshire and New England.
The New England State Food System Planners Partnership is a collaboration among six state-level food system organizations and Food Solutions New England. Please note that our September Network Café will be held on the second Friday of the month to avoid the Labor Day holiday weekend. If you have questions about our 2023-2024 Network Café Series, reach out to our Communications Coordinator, Colleen Stewart, HERE
From John Gage NH Network Climate WG:
NH House Needs a Climate Science Intervention
When my daughter and I attended a hearing of the NH House Committee on State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs last year, I was astonished by the disinformation we heard in the testimony of two House Science, Technology, and Energy (STE) Committee members. In support of a House resolution that called for ignoring mainstream science and economics, they repeated long-disproven climate myths promoted by fossil fuel industry-funded front groups. My daughter had refuted the fallacies in a Concord Monitor article before the hearing (My Turn: NH Legislature attempts to remove our best climate solution). No citizens testified in support of the resolution, five testified in opposition to it, and it was overwhelmingly opposed in online testimony (149 to 4). Yet the committee took the two STE members' opinions over the public input and voted HR 17 ought to pass down party lines. The resolution later passed in a House floor vote with only Republican support.
It is the responsibility of STE Committee members to advise all House committees on scientific matters. To establish her credibility, one of the HR 17 co-sponsors noted that she had been an STE committee member for four legislative sessions. But her testimony led me to wonder – where did these crazy ideas come from? Climate science denial and the “free market fundamentalist” ideology have long been refuted by experts in science and economics. Global warming is happening, mainly due to fossil fuel pollution, and policy changes are required to address the market’s failure to account for the costs of that pollution in the price of fossil fuels. It should not be free to pollute. Experts recommend charging the fossil fuel industry a carbon polluters fee to reduce the pollution and giving the money collected to everyone equally to protect household purchasing power. Most families would get more money back than they would spend in trickle-down higher costs. This is the kind of solution HR 17 resolved NOT to do.
What do we tell our children – students who get top marks in science classes and are concerned about climate pollution – when House STE Committee members disregard mainstream science and our state’s own experts? Adding insult to injury, the other STE member called those who disagreed with his opinion “environmental crusaders” three times in his testimony – while my daughter and I waited to share what we knew about climate science from NASA, NOAA, and UNH, and climate policy from our state’s economic experts.
HR 17 was not a sensible, conservative resolution. It was a Koch-inspired statement designed to delay legislation to address Koch Industries' pollution.
Charles Koch accrued his wealth from fossil fuel businesses. The Koch Network is a group of billionaires who fund out-of-state polluter-friendly legislative initiatives via dozens of front groups, including DonorsTrust, Americans for Prosperity, Heartland Institute, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and the State Policy Network (of which the Josiah Bartlett Center is the New Hampshire node and the DonorsTrust “dark-money ATM” a heavy funder). These groups produce and promote disinformation about what we know through science, push polluting industries' policies, and delay energy efficiency, electrification, and clean energy progress across the country. They have power in the Concord State House, but they don’t represent New Hampshire businesses, citizens, or our children’s interests.
The Koch infiltration runs high and deep in New Hampshire. Governor Chris Sununu’s connection to the Josiah Bartlett Center goes back to his father, John Sununu, emeritus board member. His brother James is also on the board. One of the STE committee members who sponsored and testified for HR 17, NH House Republican Whip Jeanine Notter, has attended Heartland, ALEC, and similar groups’ conferences in California, Texas, and Florida on all-expenses-paid trips courtesy of Koch-funded front groups valued over $11,500 in the last five years. She distributes their pamphlets and pushes their polluter priorities in legislation. State Legislators’ mailboxes are periodically stuffed with Koch front-group propaganda pushing climate opinions not supported by any scientific organization.
When New Hampshire leaders are guided by out-of-state fossil fuel industry-funded groups rather than by Climate Assessment Reports from our state's official climatologist and information from the NH Department of Environmental Services (des.nh.gov/climate-and-sustainability/climate-change), New Hampshire citizens pay the consequences. Our state lags behind our neighbors in solar installations, EV adoption, charging station deployments, and energy efficiency. We suffered far more than our neighbors when gas, oil, and electricity prices shot up due to the recent Saudi market manipulation and boycott of Russian gas.
How can we demonstrate to our children that our democratic system works for us? We must help our state leaders break their blind allegiance to out-of-state fossil fuel industry interests. The NH House STE Committee leadership needs a climate science intervention.
The Chairman of the STE Committee, Representative Michael Vose of Epping, can not be pleased when two of his committee members promote climate science misinformation as representatives of his committee. He should invite state climate science and economic experts to an STE committee Q&A hearing to clear up their confusion. None of the Democrats on the STE committee suffer from those delusions. But until something changes, the STE Republican majority will continue leading the NH Legislature astray on climate and energy policy, misguided by ideology and out-of-state polluters’ interests.
The first step to addressing a problem is admitting you have one. There are beneficial bipartisan solutions such as Carbon Fee and Dividend, and our state should use them to prepare for major global policy and climate changes that are headed our way.
We wanted to make sure you were aware of our upcoming documentary film screening and community conversation, scheduled for next Tuesday, October 24th. WACNH will screen the film "The Great Green Wall", which follows the journey of Malian Musician, Inna Modja, as she travels the length of this ambitious continent-wide project to prevent the further desertification of the Sahel region. By creating a 9 mile wide living barrier, communities from Senegal to Djibouti are banding together to protect their lands and continue the fight against climate change.
After the film, the audience will break into facilitator lead conversations to further understanding of the themes of the film. These will be lead by community leaders from Education for All Children, Rain for the Sahel and Sahara, and the League of Conservation Voters.
Join us at 6:00 pm on October 24th at the Portsmouth Public Library for this free community event. Advanced registration is requested, as space is limited.
From Catherine Corkery/Sierra Club:
I wanted to share this oped from the Republican State House Committee Chair, Michael Vose, about the necessity of natural gas.
While it has some misinformation and stretches the truth, it is instructional. My hope is to replace the power plants on these industrial sites with clean energy, like solar and battery storage. I attached the recent NYT article on projects just like that. This is the clean energy future we could replicate in NH!!
NY Times: In a Twist, Old Coal Plants can Deliver Renewable Energy
NH Union Leader – October 17, 2023
Access to natural gas keeps our lights on
Rep. Michael Vose
PROPANE and natural gas get a bad rap. Together, they heat 39% of Granite State homes. Both burn far cleaner than conventional heating fuels, which lowers heating system maintenance costs and reduces carbon emissions. The 60% fewer emissions from natural gas also make it far better than oil and coal for generating electricity. With these positive attributes, what gives gas a sour smell? Critics rail against it for not being renewable (even though renewable gas exists) and for being in high demand worldwide, leading to periods of price volatility. Add to that the possibility that pipelines may become a stranded
cost in a future clean energy grid and natural gas comes out looking like a loser.
But far from being a loser, natural gas has allowed the U.S. to lower its emissions more than any other region over the past 15 years, including the European Union. It has helped keep per capita emissions in the Granite State lower than most other states in the country even though we heat 42% of our homes with fuel oil and kerosene. Replacing coal and oil with gas in the generation of electricity has not just lowered emissions nationally but also lowered its cost. Except in New England. The Northeast has the country’s highest electricity costs due to a shortage of natural gas during periods of peak demand.
Getting this high-value fuel to our borders remains difficult due to limited pipeline capacity. Vast reserves of natural gas reside just a couple of hundred miles to our west. But states like New York discourage building pipelines that cross their borders.
Pipelines symbolize our industrialized past in a gleaming modern world. Even though they lie invisible, buried alongside our highways and beneath our city streets, evidenced only by the occasional compressor station, they inspire an intense notin- my-backyard (NIMBY) response from some citizens and localities. These attitudes have consequences. Last winter saw New England burning oil to make 30% to 40% of its electricity during multiple cold snaps that drew away natural gas to heat homes and businesses. There was simply not enough gas to do both. The region also had to depend on its last remaining coal plant during those periods, increasing both emissions and costs.
Such events will only increase in the winters ahead should natural gas generation continue to be subject to fuel scarcity. A recent bid to the regional grid operator by the coal plant in Bow was not low enough to qualify for ISO-NE capacity payments in 2026, which likely means it will shutter its doors soon. Equally troubling, the Mystic Station natural gas plant near Boston has signaled that it plans to close at the end of 2024. Since the plant uses liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Trinidad/ Tobago delivered to the nearby Everett LNG terminal, a shutdown would likely force the closure of that LNG port. This LNG helps support the pressure in the gas pipeline that runs from Boston to the Canadian eastern provinces and its loss could further reduce gas supply from the north.
In a region that needs more natural gas electricity generation, plant closures can only mean trouble. The region came close to rolling blackouts this past winter and will be even more vulnerable if gas supplies get even tighter. Help surfaced recently with news that Enbridge, the owner of the Algonquin natural gas pipeline, has announced an expansion effort it calls Project Maple. This expansion will replace existing smaller diameter pipe with larger-diameter pipe, increasing total capacity by 25%. While it will not be complete until 2029, Project Maple’s design will allow more natural gas from the plentiful
Utica/Marcellus shale deposits in New York and Pennsylvania to reach New England.
Our regional dependence on natural gas for generating electricity stems in part from the need toprovide reliable backup for renewable energy, which operates intermittently. Gas-fired plants can ramp up and down quickly to provide power when the sun goes down and winds subside. Such ramping guarantees that the lights always come on when you flick the switch. People rely on that dependable power. As the parade of presidential candidates marches through New Hampshire this fall, they need to outline how they will address our nation’s energy future. Natural gas has been a boon to the nation in
the past decade and can serve us well in the decades to come.
Rep. Michael Vose (R-Epping) serves as chairman of the House Science, Technology, and Energy Committee.
From NH Energy Education and Action Program (Aubrey Nelson www.nheep.org 603.493.7225)
We are keen to continue to bring energy and climate learning and awareness of green energy careers into classrooms across the state, and we've also started offering programs for adults and families by partnering with community groups, so we’d love for the opportunity to collaborate with you!
NHEEP has traditionally offered hands-on, engaging, NGSS-aligned programs to support energy and climate science/technical learning for students and teachers. Our programs come in a variety of formats:
You can visit our website to learn more about our offerings, or call or email me directly. Several of our equipment kits and our co-taught workshops are free thanks to our partnership with NHSaves, so we can discuss what makes the most sense!