Send a Postcard to Governor Sununu Asking for Honest, Competitive Voting Districts: Complete by February 9th!
Open Democracy Action is asking you to send a single postcard to Governor Chris Sununu to keep his word and oppose the rigged House, NH Senate, Executive Council and Congressional maps. He spoke last week to WMUR and said the Congressional maps need to be fixed, but the NH Senate is particularly bad, and the proposed Executive Council map still features the "dragon" District 2. We expect the full NH Senate to vote on at least some of these bills on February 17, so the postcard should be mailed by next Wednesday, February 9. We want to see a blizzard of postcards going to the Governor next week!
This Google Doc has further instructions, with links to printable postcards (your cardstock needed), suggested messages, the address, and other helpful information.
Share this Action with Groups From all Corners of NH to Participate!
Do you belong to a group which believes in protecting voting rights? Share this email and other members to participate! Fair redistricting is good for EVERYONE. Competitive voting districts keep candidates and legislators responsive to YOU, keep turnout levels up, and keep our democracy vital -- not rigged elections with a predetermined partisan outcome.
Use any Postcard or Notecard
You don't have to use our printable postcard. You can use any postcard or note card you have around the house. What's important is the message and the timing!
Thank you for helping with our Blizzard of Postcards action!
If you send a card, please let Brian know:
Brian Beihl, Deputy Director
Open Democracy Action
Sign this Petition: From Jon Swan - Relative to Casella and Microplastics in Compost
Can you sign this petition that just came across my desk? It's relative to...guess who? Casella! Seems their methods of de-packaging food waste in Vermont, using a crusher, leaves tiny bits of plastics from food packaging in the compost they produce. VPIRG in VT would like to stop that practice, in order to keep microplastics out of soil.
Background article: https://bit.ly/MicroplasticsWillTaintFields
JANUARY 20 Hearing: From John Gage (Oppose HR 17!) and Rep. Kat McGee
Oppose: January 20, State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee, HR17 - a resolution against federal or state carbon tax. Oppose this resolution because a border-adjusted, cash-back fee on carbon charged to fossil fuel producers is an expert-recommended foundational policy to put us on a net-zero by 2050 emissions path. My Turn submitted here.
Other bills to Oppose. Presentation from Rep. Kat McGee at the Kent Street Coalition Zoom meeting on Jan. 13th:
HB 1459 - oppose (relative to recycling solar panels)
HB 1599 - oppose
HB 1611 - oppose
HB 1148 - oppose
HB 1258 - oppose
HB 1270 - oppose
HB 1328 - oppose
HB 1331 - oppose
HB 1629 -oppose
More information about the dates for the bills above will be found under the Work Groups > Legislative Work Group > NH Bill Calendar and Actions page (Page development in progress.)
JANUARY 18 Hearings: These actions overlap the ones below from Jon Swan, but it is from Kristie Pecci of the CLV (Conservation Law Foundation).
The New Hampshire House Environment and Agriculture Committee will be hearing a variety of bills dealing with landfills, recycling, and everything in-between on January 18, 2022. Among the bills up for discussion are:
HB 1652 – Would create a bottle bill in New Hampshire.
HB 1420 – Would prohibit the Department of Environmental Services from issuing any permits for a new landfill facility prior to the release of the New Hampshire Solid Waste Management Plan, which is required to be published before October 1, 2022. The Department last published the solid waste plan in 2003. This means the Department is currently relying on a solid waste plan that is nearly two decades old when it reviews applications for new or expanded landfills.
HB 1121 – Would require all applicants for new or expanded landfills to demonstrate through an independent hydrologist that if any leachate were to escape from the landfill it would take at least five years for the leachate to migrate to any New Hampshire waterway (lake, stream, river, ocean).
HB 1111 – Would establish a legislative committee to study extended producer responsibility for packaging.
HB 1049 – Would establish a legislative committee to evaluate landfill siting criteria and ways to reduce pressure on landfill capacity.
HB 1547 – Would establish a maximum contamination level for PFAS in soil
The Committee hearing will begin at 9:00 am in room 301 of the State House. Written testimony can be submitted to HouseEnvironmentand...@leg.state.nh.us. You can follow along at the Committee's YouTube Channel.
You can sign up to support the bills remotely at the House website. Just select the date (Jan 18), committee (Environment and Agriculture), and bill you want to support.
MORE JANUARY 18 Hearings: From Jon Swan—Save Forest Lake
Tuesday, Jan 18, will be a very busy day for us in Concord as we have several landfill and solid waste related bills that will be heard in committee. I would certainly appreciate any and all support, whether it's just voting in support for each via the House calendar:
or even submitting written testimony via email.
I've also attached our bill tracker, which includes a link to the text for each bill. Thanks! (Hover over the right corner to download if you like.)
E&A Committee Hearings, Tuesday January 18, 2022, same room, LOB301-303:
HB1111 Establishing a commission to study extended producer liability, 9:00AM
HB1121 Relative to new solid waste sites, this bill requires an applicant for a new solid waste landfill to provide proof of insurance and obtain a surety bond against all damages, 9:30AM
HB1420 Prohibiting the issuance of new landfill permits until the state's solid waste plan is updated, 10:45AM (TEXT needs to be amended to apply ONLY to NEW landfills, NOT expansions, and ONLY when the state solid waste plan is OUTDATED)
HB1049 Establishing a committee to study landfill siting criteria and methods for reducing pressure on landfill capacity, 11:15AM
HB1454 Relative to permits for the siting of new landfills, groundwater, 1:00PM
HB1652 Relative to the recycling of beverage containers, 2:30PM
Save That Styrofoam for the Next Polystyrene Collection Day!
Living A Sustainable Lifestyle: Tea & Talk, an Upper Valley group dedicated to exploring sustainable lifestyle practices, encourages everyone to save polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) and avoid throwing it in the trash. Read on for why, and please share this message with your networks.
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 (thank you Bruce Bergeron of Jake’s Market!), 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.
Foam to save includes packaging foam used for TVs, computers, and other appliances, as well as foam coolers. All other foams, including clean food containers, egg cartons, and cups will be recycled through Terracycle. Make sure all tape and labels are removed and all foam is clean, dry, and free of food residue or other debris. If you have packing peanuts, either biodegradable or polystyrene, True Value/UPS in Hanover accepts them anytime. So enjoy the holiday season, and save that foam!
NH Network Environment-Energy-Climate
NH PUC Order of November 2021
On NHSaves Program
All of New Hampshire’s energy programs are on the chopping block—from the NH Saves energy efficiency program to the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Can you join others in raising a powerful chorus of voices that want to protect NH’s economy, our climate, our very future?
The November 12th order issued by the NH Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is arguably the most significant, divisive, and destructive decision by the PUC in recent memory. The order sets New Hampshire on a penny-wise and dollar-foolish accelerating descent away from cost effective investments in energy efficiency. Over the next three years, it reduces electric customers’ contributions to the NH Saves program and irresponsibly seeks to make it a market-based program—without any basis in economic reality. We should implement the Triennial Energy Plan agreed upon by all stakeholders in November 2020. In addition, members currently in control of the Legislature are heading towards defunding the effective RPS that has at its core the installation of renewable energy resources in NH. None of these actions are in the long-term interests of the citizens of NH; they need to be reversed. Please use your influence and the collective voices of those you represent to speak out.
!!! TAKE ACTION !!!
Public comment period is open for proposed changes to state composting rules
Public Hearing December 13. Written comments accepted through December 20. Click arrow on the right for more information.
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.
DES will host a public hearing on December 13, and written comments will be accepted through December 20.
!!!! ACTION UPDATE !!!!
HB 549 will be coming onto the floor of the NH House of Representatives in early January 2022 for an up or down vote. Please contact your representative! If a Democrat, urge them to show up at the House sessions in early January to vote down HB 549. If a Republican member, urge them to vote to defeat this bill.
Oppose HB549 - Defend Energy Efficiency
In the News: At hearing, lawmakers and stakeholders debate the future of state’s energy efficiency programs New Hampshire Bulletin BY: AMANDA GOKEE - OCTOBER 13, 2021 6:10 AM.
For more information about energy efficiency and programs available to NH Citizens and low income programs watch this episode of NH Citizens for Progress' interview with Don Kreis, NH Citizen Advocate, with Ray Burke, NH Legal Aid/NH Legal Assistance.
UPDATE (part of email from John Gage): Also at COP26, Senator Whitehouse [D, RI] said they have 49 of the 50 Democrat votes in the Senate needed to include carbon pricing in the reconciliation package this year, negotiations are ongoing (with Senator Manchin) for that final vote, and the House and Biden will support it if the Senate does it. Our NH Senators would become more vocal advocates for this when they hear from enough of their constituents that we want this. Each of us can help with that right now by sending a quick email telling them we want carbon pricing included in the reconciliation package. That's quick and easy to do from http://cclusa.org/write.
“Explicit carbon prices remain a necessary condition of ambitious climate policies” - IPCC SR15 chapter 22.214.171.124.
Dear Network members,
Here are some actions we are suggesting you can take now, and actions we are taking, as we seek a reversal of the PUC’s drastic U-turn on energy efficiency. (This letter looks long, but most of it is useful resources! Click to read.)
Flood the newspapers with LTEs, post to your Facebook and other social media. (Clickable LTE addresses here: https://www.sierraclub.org/new-hampshire/how-submit-letter-editor-lte-new-hampshire)
Write the PUC at email@example.com , the Department of Energy at firstname.lastname@example.org , the Governor at https://new-hampshire.secure.force.com/support/GOV_Opinion
Write your own town leadership and Energy Committee, asking them to write email@example.com and the Governor and Dept of Energy… telling what we will lose, in dollars, in jobs, and in our race against the changing climate.
>>>>Talking points and useful links below. Include your personal experiences – make your story unique. HINT: Once you write your first letter, most of it can be recycled for your other recipients.
Write your executive councilor, senator, representative(s), and the Office of Strategic Initiatives firstname.lastname@example.org
We will work with Kent Street to coordinate visibilities at the PUC and/or Statehouse.
We are working with other organizations to leverage voices of municipal leaders and Energy Committees across the state.
Anyone who can get to Concord this Friday, you can attend the meeting of the Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy Board (EESE Board), Room 110-112, 29 Hazen Drive, Concord, 9-11 a.m. Link to the agenda: https://www.puc.nh.gov/Documents/eese-board-agenda-20211119.pdf
Please do NOT write Don.
Joe Kwasnik is in contact with Consumer Advocate Donald Kreis. Joe will keep us updated, and let us know if/when we can help. IF YOU HAVE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with NH Saves (especially a job incomplete or cancelled due to insufficient funds) please pass that on to Joe.
From Network member Mary Downes:
For more information on the achievements of the NHSaves programs during the first triennium of the Energy Efficiency Resource Standard, this report gives the highlights. Note the list of municipalities that have directly participated in the programs, just in the last three years, leading to lower utility bills and therefore lower burdens on taxpayers. The list of participants, of course, goes well beyond municipalities.
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) gives great background and talking points. They’ve already got an article on this week’s NH developments! https://www.aceee.org/blog-post/2021/11/new-hampshire-regulators-order-drastic-cuts-utility-energy-efficiency-funding
And Joe Kwasnik has written our Cliff Notes on history and impact of EE decisions in NH:
Subject: PUC Order on Energy Efficiency-Talking Points
Date: November 17, 2021
Please find a bulleted list of what I think are the important talking points related to the PUC Order (Order 26.553 and Docket DE 20-092) dated November 12, 2021:
· Following the Electric Restructuring Act of 1998, the NHPUC adopted recommendations to create energy efficiency (EE) programs run by the electric utilities and paid for by the System Benefits Charge (SBC)…a rate based charge on each electric customer monthly bill.
· In response, the electric utilities created the NH Saves brand for EE programs in NH.
· In 2016, the PUC approved the Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS), which sets yearly and triennial EE goals for the utilities and adjusted charges to customers to fund the goals.
· The latest EERS goal was agreed to in late 2020 by the utilities and other settling parties and submitted to the PUC for approval, similar to the process for approval of the first triennial plan in 2017.
· All goals and plans must be cost-effective and save money for all electricity ratepayers, determined via the Granite State test approved by the PUC in 2019.
· The latest triennial plan called for increases in spending up to $380 million over the three years with a goal of reducing energy use by 4.5%. Total savings was estimated in the $1.2 billion range.
· Nine GOP members of the House filed a letter with the PUC to reject the latest triennial EE plan and freeze EE charges on bills at their 2020 levels.
· The PUC froze EE charges at the 2020 level until further notice. It took the PUC 316 days to issue its order on November 12th.
· The November 12th order
-rejected the latest triennial EE plan;
-stated that EE needed to be market-based rather than utility sponsored;
-determined that the EE charges will descend gradually year-on-year until they return to a reasonable level (whatever that might be);
-most importantly, arbitrarily determined that the EE charges per kilowatt-hour would be 0.528 cents per kwh in 2021, 0.373 cents in 2022 and 0.275 cents in 2023
-eliminated any performance incentives for the utilities’ successful deployment of EE;
-directed utilities to propose EE programs that are not solely ratepayer funded.
The significance of all of these findings is:
· These changes will guarantee that NH will fall farther behind its neighboring states in deploying EE among its electric ratepayers/customers.
· NH is currently rated 18th among the 50 states and DC for energy efficiency deployment by the ACEEE (American Council of Energy Efficient Economies) and will slip farther behind as a result of this order. The other New England states are all in the top 10 in EE deployment. NH will be less competitive economically with the other NE states.
· Reducing EE deployment and thus not trying to slow or reverse the growth of electricity use in NH will leave electric ratepayers/customers with higher electricity costs because more electricity will be used per customer, we will pay higher transmission costs based on rising peak demand for electricity and more NH energy dollars will flow out of state.
· More NH fuel poverty electric customers will be forced to live in energy inefficient homes and will spend more of their incomes on electricity all at a time of rising costs of living.
· The PUC and the GOP members of the House are focused solely on the electricity rate for electricity (cents per kwh) and not on the total bill (dollars) for electricity. By lowering the SBC rate for EE, there will be a short term reduction of the overall electricity rate for electricity ratepayers in NH but over time, the growth in electricity usage and the other costs of energy (transmission, growing costs of purchasing more electricity from out of state generators, etc.) will increase electric bills far beyond the short term reduction of the SBC directed by the PUC.
· In addition, I fear that the GOP members in the House will continue to attack other areas, including eliminating the participation of state and local governments in the Renewable Portfolio Standard and/or making participation an “opt in” only rather than the current system of all electricity consumers participating through their electricity suppliers.