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Documents reveal who's behind RPS & RGGI repeal bills [Senator Jeb Bradley]

SENATOR JEB BRADLEY IS ROLLING IN CONFLICTS OF INTEREST. THIS IS NOT IN NH'S BEST INTEREST. - - - - - - - - - - - From Pat Brady Martin: "Yesterday we learned that Senator Bradley, Co-Chair of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, and sponsor of SB 128 (which would allow a pipeline tariff on electric ratepayers) and HB 368 (spends $25 million to shutdown Concord Steam and convert State buildings from district steam to natural gas) is a shareholder in Kinder Morgan and Spectra Energy. Today, we find that primary sponsors of bills to repeal RGGI and the RPS also have serious conflicts of interest." - - - - - - - - - - - "February 14, 2017 update: A bill to repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)will be retained the committee for now, the bill’s sponsor told ICIS Analytics. Republican Jeb Bradley, the New Hampshire Senate Majority leader, also told the Associated Press that he doesn’t expect two bills aimed at repealing RGGI and the renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS) to pass. Senator Bradley explained that repealing the RPS could put jobs in the growing renewable energy jobs at risk.

In addition, the sponsor of the RPS repeal bill belatedly filed a Declaration of Intent form required of state legislators who introduce bills that pose financial or personal conflicts of interest. The form was filed only after the Energy and Policy Institute raised concerns in the original article below. The limited information disclosed by the bill sponsor fails to fully address these concerns.

February 7, 2017 update: Local clean energy businesses and supporters turned out in force today in Concord to voice their support for the RGGI and RPS. This strong show of public support for clean energy came during a winter storm that brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain to the Granite State.

The primary sponsors of two separate bills aimed at repealing RGGI and the RPS in New Hampshire were no shows for today’s public hearings on their controversial bills.

Representative Michael Harrington, the sponsor of the RGGI repeal bill, did not show up for the 10 AM hearing on his bill. A state representative who spoke in lieu of Harrington declined to answer questions or take a position on the bill. Harrington is the bill’s only sponsor. No explanation was offered for Harrington’s absence, beyond that he couldn’t make it.

Representative Bart Fromuth failed to show up for the 2 PM hearing on his bill to repeal the RPS, and no specific reason for his absence was provided. Representative Michael Vose, a co-sponsor of Fromuth’s bill, spoke instead. One solar supporter noted Fromuth’s role in running Resident Power, a competitive electricity supplier that is subject to the RPS, and voiced concern about conflicts of interest discussed in further depth in the original article below.

Those concerns were promptly muted by Representative Richard Barry, who chairs the committee that hosted today’s hearings. Barry just happens to be a co-sponsor of Fromuth’s RPS repeal bill, and a longtime opponent of New Hampshire’s clean energy policies.

Greg Moore, state director for the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity (AFP), was among the few to testify against RGGI and the RPS today. Moore was granted an early speaking spot during the packed afternoon hearing on the RPS, while Rep. Barry used his bully pulpit to interrupt and rush testimony by RPS supporters as the day wore on.

Beyond Moore and AFP, the RGGI and RPS repeal bills received only the sparsest of support. The overwhelming majority of the testimony came from RGGI and RPS supporters who spoke to the economic, climate, and public health benefits of these key clean energy programs.

A video recording of the public hearings on both bills can be found here.

February 5, 2017 update: This article has been updated below with information about the New Hampshire General Court’s ethics guidelines, and Representative Bart Fromuth’s failure to file Declaration of Intent forms to document conflicts of interest involved in his sponsorship of bills to repeal the state’s renewable portfolio standard and roles in running and representing utilities subject to that law’s requirements.

A bill to repeal New Hampshire’s renewable portfolio standard is backed by the Koch brothers, and is sponsored by a state representative who is an executive in a company that runs utilities subject to the law’s requirements. And a separate bill to repeal the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has received similar backing.

Repealing state renewable portfolio standards is a priority for the Koch network in 2017

As Jim Geraghty of the National Review first reported last weekend, the Koch group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) recently highlighted plans to push for the repeal of renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies in Kansas, New Hampshire, and North Carolina. The news came as the powerful network of political donors led by Charles and David Koch met at the Renaissance Resort and Spa in Indian Wells, California.

That time Charles Koch dressed up like Darth Vader.

The RPS repeal push will be part of the Koch political network’s broader plan to spend $300 to $400 million to influence public policy in 2017-2018. It also represents the latest attempt to revive a largely failed campaign by a number of Koch backed groups, including AFP and the American Legislative Exchange Council, to roll back state RPS policies.

A total of 29 states currently have RPS policies on the books, the same number as when the Koch network launched its anti-RPS campaign back in 2012 (though the makeup of those states has shifted slightly). These failed attacks serve as a reminder of the popularity and job creating benefits of our nation’s fast-growing wind and solar power industries – growth propelled in large part by those state policies requiring utilities to obtain a percentage of their electricity from renewables." (MORE!)


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