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N.H. House committee recommends rejection of climate provision

A bill instructing the Public Utilities Commission to take climate change into account when setting electric rates failed to gain the support of the House Science, Technology, and Energy Committee in a vote on Monday.

The committee voted, 12-10, in favor of killing House Bill 1250, a recommendation that will go before the full House before it is finalized.

Republicans on the committee said the bill was unworkable as drafted, and that the bill would be impossible to implement. Some argued that turning environmental criteria into financial criteria would be almost impossible – an idea Democrats pushed back on.

Democrats said the costs of climate change are real, and that the bill was aimed at providing policy guidance to regulators who should factor it into decisions about which costs utilities can recover from ratepayers. Rep. Lee Oxenham, a Plainfield Democrat, did indicate that the provision might be better placed in a different part of statute, requesting that the bill be referred to interim study rather than inexpedient to legislation, a request that was rejected by the majority of the committee.

New Hampshire Bulletin is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. New Hampshire Bulletin maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Dana Wormald for questions: info@newhampshirebulletin.com. Follow New Hampshire Bulletin on Facebook and Twitter.

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