ICYMI: Senator Shaheen: Brown’s energy agenda is not for New Hampshire

ICYMI: Senator Shaheen: Brown’s energy agenda is not for New Hampshire

Manchester – In case you missed it, the Concord Monitor published an op-ed this morning from Senator Shaheen, highlighting how Scott Brown’s energy agenda would mean more billion dollar tax breaks for the largest oil companies but fewer jobs and higher prices for people in New Hampshire.

Concord Monitor: My Turn: Brown’s energy agenda is not for New Hampshire
By Sen. Jeanne Shaheen
Saturday, November 1, 2014

Here in New Hampshire, we face unique energy challenges, which is why we must recognize the economic and environmental importance of crafting sound energy policies. We must drive innovation in clean energy that will create jobs in New Hampshire, while at the same time keeping energy costs affordable for families and local businesses.

I’m proud of the work I did as governor and state senator to restructure New Hampshire’s electric industry to boost competition and to establish a successful program to make state government buildings more energy efficient. I’ve continued that work in the Senate because I know smart energy policies will help create jobs and protect our environment from pollution.

Unfortunately, Scott Brown’s energy agenda proves yet again that he doesn’t understand New Hampshire.

During this campaign, Scott Brown has said that he supports exporting “as much of the natural gas as we can.” But energy experts know that increased natural gas exports will make energy costs skyrocket in New Hampshire. This won’t just hurt individuals using this fuel to power or heat their homes, it will also negatively impact New Hampshire businesses that could otherwise hire new employees and expand.
I’m working to make sure our natural gas policy keeps energy affordable for consumers. And unlike Scott Brown, I know that exporting natural gas will increase energy costs – something working families in New Hampshire’s can’t afford.

But Scott Brown doesn’t stop there. As a senator from Massachusetts, he once voted to cut funding for the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – a vital lifeline for thousands of families and seniors in New Hampshire who need help to heat their homes during the winter. Right now, the number of families eligible for LIHEAP is greater than the number the program is able to assist. That’s why we must do everything we can to protect this program and its funding.

Instead of standing up for working families and local businesses, Scott Brown has protected the interests of oil giants that are among the most profitable companies in the world. In return for voting multiple times to give them more then $20 billion in subsidies, these out-of-state oil giants rewarded Scott Brown with hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars.

I don’t think it’s right for New Hampshire taxpayers to have to subsidize Big Oil. That’s why I voted against those subsidies.

New Hampshire should also be alarmed by Scott Brown’s denial of the existence of man-made climate change. Because here in New Hampshire, we know that climate change is real, and that we’re already seeing consequences in the form of beach erosion on our coast, reductions in maple syrup production, and shorter and warmer winters for our outdoor recreation and tourism industry. We must take action to slow these harmful trends, not deny their existence.

That’s why I have worked so hard with Republicans and Democrats alike in the Senate on legislation to promote energy efficiency. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, my bill would create almost 200,000 jobs, save consumers more than $16 billion a year, and cut air pollution by the equivalent of taking 22 million cars off the road by 2030 – all without adding a penny to the deficit. That’s why it enjoys broad support from a diverse coalition of business, environmental and labor groups.

Despite the merits of this bill, Scott Brown lobbied a number of Republicans behind the scenes to block it, costing New Hampshire good-paying jobs and consumers billions of dollars.

New Hampshire needs a senator who will put their energy needs first, but that’s not what Scott Brown’s energy agenda does. He wants billions more in subsidies for Big Oil but fewer jobs and higher costs for people here in New Hampshire. That’s just further proof that Scott Brown is not for New Hampshire.

(Democrat Jeanne Shaheen is New Hampshire’s senior U.S. senator.)

See a link to the op-ed here: