New Hampshire’s Clean Energy Programs Avoided 62,000 Cars’ Worth of Pollution in 2012

Media Contacts
Madeline Page

Environment New Hampshire

Concord, NH – As public concern about extreme weather ramps up, New Hampshire is proving that we can win the fight against global warming. Clean energy policies, such as New Hampshire’s renewable electricity standard and participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), are significantly cutting emissions of carbon pollution – the leading cause of global warming – according to a new report by Environment New Hampshire Research & Policy Center. 

The report, Moving America Forward, showed that New Hampshire’s combined clean energy programs reduced carbon pollution by at least 300,000 metric tons in 2012. That is comparable to the annual emissions from more than 62,000 cars. 

“By using energy more efficiently, and by generating more power from clean, renewable sources, we are delivering a one-two punch in the fight against global warming,” said Madeline Page, Federal Field Associate with Environment New Hampshire. “We’ve proven that we have what it takes to protect our children and future generations from the worst impacts of climate change. We will need firm limits on carbon pollution in order to deliver a knockout blow.”

Scientists say extreme weather like Winter Storm Nemo foreshadows what could be a new normal of weather extremes that could threaten our children and future generations if we fail to act on climate. Coal- and gas-fired power plants are America’s largest source of the carbon pollution fueling global warming.

“Through state programs like the Renewable Portfolio Standard, New Hampshire is doing its part to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean energy,” said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01). “Congress should follow New Hampshire’s lead and adopt a similar plan to help secure a healthier and more livable environment for our future.”

Environment New Hampshire pointed to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) plan to move forward with limits on carbon pollution from power plants as the next step to fight global warming and shift to clean energy. Right now EPA limits arsenic, lead, soot and other pollution from power plants – but not carbon pollution. Power plants are America’s largest source of the carbon pollution fueling global warming, accounting for about 40 percent of total emissions.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Renewable electricity standards have helped New Hampshire develop enough renewable energy to offset as much carbon pollution as 10,417 cars produce in a year.
  • Energy efficiency policies have helped avoid as much carbon pollution as 35,417 cars produce in a year.
  • New Hampshire’s investments in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative saved more than 20,000 metric tons of carbon equivalent to the emissions of 4,211 cars.
  • Limits on carbon pollution from power plants would build on New Hampshire’s success in using wind, solar, and energy efficiency to reduce carbon pollution.

Page pointed to opposition from power companies, the coal industry, and other big polluters as a roadblock to action. Already, groups from the American Petroleum Institute to the National Mining Association have launched campaigns to block or undermine federal carbon limits.

Page thanked Senator Shaheen who joined the Senate’s new climate action task force and last week along with 30 other Senators, stayed up all night giving speeches on the floor demanding action on climate.

“With enough willpower, New Hampshire can rise to any challenge. We’ve seen that climate solutions work – now it’s time for the next round,” Page concluded. “Our leaders can start by supporting the EPA’s plan to limit carbon pollution from power plants.”

The full report can be found here.

staff | TPIN

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