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Michael Sununu, Brother of Governor, Takes Aim at Climate Science in State Report


Michael Sununu, brother to Gov. Chris Sununu, is criticizing the science behind a recent bipartisan state report on the impact of climate change on the Seacoast.

In a 25 page critique, Michael Sununu calls the Coastal Risks and Hazard Report “alarmist hand wringing” that would lead to wasteful spending of public money.

“They have chosen the most alarmist, least likely scenario to portray to decision makers," Sununu said in an interview. "And in doing so, I think, they have done a disservice to the people who have to review this and determine what sort of actions to take or not to take.”

Michael Sununu, a business consultant with a background in energy issues, is also a selectman for the town of Newfields. And he has close ties to the executive office apart from being the governor’s brother.

His business partner Jamie Burnett led Chris Sununu’s transition team up until earlier this month. And this critique was published by the Bartlett Center for Public Policy, a conservative think tank run by Charlie Arlinghaus, who is advising Governor Sununu on state budget matters.

The Coastal Risks and Hazards Report was written by a legislative commission that included representatives from Seacoast towns, state lawmakers, and private interests.

Cliff Sinnott with the Rockingham Planning Commission was chairman of the commission. He defends the group’s report, saying it outlined a wide range of possible outcomes.

“And therefore one of the key recommendations is that we need to go back and look at this every five years," says Sinnott, "to see what the current science is telling us about what to expect and adjust our response based on those repeated reviews.”

The projections and recommendations in the Coastal Risks and Hazard report were adopted with unanimous, bipartisan support in November.

A spokesperson for the governor’s office says Gov. Sununu and his policy staff are looking forward to reviewing Michael Sununu’s report.

Jason Moon is a senior reporter and producer on the Document team. He has created longform narrative podcast series on topics ranging from unsolved murders, to presidential elections, to secret lists of police officers.
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