Sununu Lauds GOP ‘Clean Energy’ Bills that Dems Condemn as ‘Political Stunt’

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Paula Tracy photo

Gov. Chris Sununu is pictured in this file photo speaking with reporters.

CONCORD – Gov. Chris Sununu’s support for three Republican-backed bills that he says will “expand access to clean energy, break down government barriers, and protect ratepayers from higher electric costs” caused a battle of press releases.

One of his Democratic challengers for the corner officer, state Sen. Dan Feltes, D-Concord, called it a “clean energy stunt.”

Sununu said in a press release: “These clean energy bills are a homerun for ratepayers and the environment.”

They would expand access to net metering, open new opportunities for clean energy development, and allow towns to better control their electric bills, Sununu said.

“Most of all, these bills protect ratepayers and remove government barriers instead of enacting new ones – something past clean energy-related legislation has not been able to accomplish,” Sununu said.

State Sen. Dan Feltes, D-Concord, who is running against Sununu, said in a press release: “Governor Sununu released his partisan ‘clean energy plan’ in an attempt to rewrite his terrible record on clean energy.”

During the 2019 legislative session, Sununu vetoed eight pieces of bipartisan clean energy legislation, Feltes said. All three of the pieces of legislation Sununu highlighted are sponsored solely by Republican legislators. 

“Gov. Chris Sununu has a long, unpopular track record of opposing clean energy and he’s now attempting to rewrite his record with this political stunt,” Feltes said.

“It’s disappointing that after vetoing bipartisan legislation, Governor Sununu chose to focus on partisan measures rather than reaching across the aisle to find real solutions. From family leave to clean energy, this is the start of a troubling trend of Governor Sununu trying to save face during an election year and hoping voters forget about his vetoes,” Feltes said.

Another Democratic candidate for governor, Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky, said if Sununu wanted to help the state move towrad a clean energy economy, he wouldn’t have vetoed all the clean energy and energy efficiency bills passed by the state Legislature.

“Instead, he endorses these Republican-only bills that do nothing to stem the current climate crisis. It is also fraudulent to tout a clean energy plan while eagerly promoting natural gas fracking pipelines that are a waste of money and endanger our air and water,” Volinsky said.

Volinsky said he is the only candidate for governor with “a true net-zero carbon vision who opposes wasteful pipelines and is refusing dirty fossil fuel corporate money.” 

State Sen. David Watters, D-Dover, also said Sununu has a long, unpopular track record of opposing clean energy initiatives.

“While we welcome movement from the governor on net metering, the most important thing to do is to raise the cap on net metering as proposed in HB 365 and SB 13, a concept that was endorsed by municipalities across the state and had bipartisan support in the Legislature,”  Watters said.  

Sununu’s office worked with Republican lawmakers to draft the legislation. The bills are sponsored by Representatives Howard Pearl, R-Merr 26, Tim Lang, R-Belk 4, Michael Costable, R-Rock 3, and John Plumer, R-Belk 6.

“Conservatives have united behind Governor Sununu’s clean energy plan because it focuses on results rather than government handouts to special interests,” said Republican Policy Leader Rep. Jason Osborne. “These bills are fair to everyone without picking winners and losers in the energy market.”

The Republican bills are as follows:

HB1262, relative to the purchase of output of limited electrical energy producers

HB1402, establishing procedures for municipal host customer-generators of electrical energy

HB1481, relative to the net metering cap for customer-generators

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