Concord, N.H. – This week, Governor Maggie Hassan continued pushing for action to combat climate change, holding an event with Senator Jeanne Shaheen to call on Congress to stop efforts to block the Clean Power Plan and signing the Under 2 MOU, a global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and and combat climate change.
Meanwhile, Kelly Ayotte continued her attempts to rewrite her unpopular record of siding with corporate special interests at the expense of New Hampshire’s natural resources. Ayotte has voted multiple times to protect tax breaks for Big Oil, while voting to block the Environmental Protection Agency from ever having the ability to reduce greenhouse gases – earning a lifetime score of 23% from the League of Conservation Voters.
“In the State Senate and now as Governor, Maggie Hassan has always been a leader on protecting New Hampshire’s environment and beautiful natural resources – and she always will be,” said Campaign Communications Director Aaron Jacobs. “Despite Kelly Ayotte’s political maneuvering to follow the Governor’s lead, Ayotte can’t change the facts about her deeply unpopular record of undermining the environment, including by protecting tax breaks for Big Oil and voting to block the EPA from ever having the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
See coverage roundup below:
On Monday, Shaheen and Gov. Maggie Hassan joined environmental advocates and business leaders at the New Hampshire Audubon Society urging support for the plan.
… Hassan said, “The Clean Power Plan is an important step forward in our efforts to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment that will help our citizens, businesses and economy thrive. Together, we can protect our people, our environment and our economy, but we need to act now.”
Since announcing her support for the plan, Ayotte has come under fire from Democrats. The state Democratic Party accused her of “trying to re-write history” on her record on the environment and charged that she has been an opponent of key environmental initiatives while promoting subsidies for big oil companies.
Democrats quickly attacked Ayotte after Sunday’s announcement. The New Hampshire Democratic Party issued a press release calling Ayotte’s support for the EPA rule “hollow.”
Democrats pointed to Ayotte’s vote in favor of a failed 2011 amendment authored by McConnell that would have blocked EPA regulation of greenhouse gases and support for a 2015 McConnell amendment that would prevent EPA from withholding highway funds from states that do not take steps to implement EPA’s power-plant rule.
“While I’m glad to see that Kelly Ayotte is heeding Maggie Hassan’s call for New Hampshire’s delegation to support the Clean Power Plan, it’s impossible to take Ayotte’s hollow support seriously considering that she’s voted to undermine the very efforts she now claims to support,” said Ray Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.
A Republican senator facing a tough reelection fight is supporting President Obama’s signature climate change rule.
… New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan is seeking the Democratic nomination to face Ayotte, and would be seen as a top-notch challenger. She’s already attacked Ayotte on climate, signaling she intends to make it an issue in the race.
Hassan on Friday called for the state’s congressional delegation to support the climate plan. She accused Ayotte of siding “with corporate special interests over New Hampshire’s environment,“ arguing the senator had fought to protect tax breaks for oil companies and voted to block the EPA from moving forward with regulations to reduce carbon emissions.
Some observers question whether the new Senate Energy and Environment Working Group will end up merely as a fleeting effort to help Ayotte and Kirk appeal to moderate and independent voters in their tight reelection contests rather than as a substantive move to press for a more environmentally friendly Republican policy.
Ayotte hasn’t always been so appealing to environmentalists. As Rebecca Leber at the New Republic points out, her environmental voting record through her first term earned her an “abysmal” 26 percent score from the League of Conservation Voters, and Ayotte once pledged to vote against any legislation on climate change.