My Turn: Brown’s approach isn’t the New Hampshire way
I was disappointed when I read your recent coverage of Scott Brown’s “energy tour,” his energy policies and his reaction to the new EPA rules for coal-fired power plants.
I was holding out hope that Brown would support commonsense, bipartisan solutions that protect our health, create good paying jobs right here in New Hampshire and tackle climate change. Instead, he continues to write (and talk) about increasing the supply of fossil fuels; to condemn discussion on putting a price on carbon; and to lobby to defeat a bipartisan package of job-creating energy efficiency initiatives when it came up for a vote in the United States Senate.
Has Brown heard that New Hampshire businesses support programs to invest in clean energy technology and to make our homes and businesses more energy efficient? Does he think New Hampshire’s future will be improved by us importing more fossil fuels and sending our hard-earned dollars to Texas and the Dakotas?
As a New Hampshire business owner who has invested in energy efficiency and renewable energy, I know that our citizens and businesses understand our future is in clean technologies that create good-paying jobs and preserve our quality of life, and sustain the natural beauty of our state.
I was particularly disturbed how Brown put big oil companies and his political agenda ahead of our own interests in New Hampshire.
Why did Brown lobby Republican senators to oppose critical energy efficiency legislation sponsored by Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman and our own Sen. Jeanne Shaheen? New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine joined Shaheen in supporting this legislation because it would have created nearly 200,000 jobs, saved consumers billions of dollars and helped reduce the air pollution across this state.
Brown’s opposition to the EPA’s effort to reduce carbon emissions from coal fired power plants by 30 percent by 2030 has further distanced him from collaborative, commonsense politicians on both sides of the aisle.
These emissions are a leading cause of climate change. The new rules will create additional incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy.
Only a few years ago in Concord, some courageous Republicans joined Democrats to oppose efforts to repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – a program that has strengthened the state’s economy and helped create jobs.
As a lifelong resident of New Hampshire, a business owner and someone who has worked alongside Republican and Democratic officials in Concord and in Washington to advance commonsense conservation policies, I would be disappointed if Brown’s big oil agenda and partisanship became the new norm in the Granite State.
Our state succeeds by us all working together. It would be the end of what I have always considered the “New Hampshire Advantage” – something that makes me proud to live and work in this wonderful state.
(Jameson French is the CEO of Northland Forest Products and lives in Portsmouth.)