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Advocates Highlight Familiar Renewable Energy Issues In Fight To Override Sununu's Veto


State legislators hope to override vetoes of five bills they say are key to combating climate change and developing new sources of energy in New Hampshire.

One bipartisan measure advocates want to push through would expand net energy metering, letting towns and businesses save more on their energy costs by generating more of their own solar, wind and hydropower.

Sununu also vetoed the bill when it was proposed last year, arguing without clear evidence that it would raise rates for consumers. Legislators fell just short of overriding him then.

At a press conference Wednesday in Concord, Rep. Lee Oxenham, a Democrat from Plainfield, says she thinks a new sense of urgency around climate change will change that this year.

"This is an unprecedented push to take charge of our energy future,” Oxenham said.

She was joined by labor leaders in backing another vetoed bill, to pay the prevailing construction wage on public works projects. Advocates say it would help workers employed in building new energy projects and efficiency retrofits.

Concord resident Morgan Browne held her 1-year-old daughter Adelaide at the press conference as she spoke about the dangers of unchecked climate change.

"These vetoed energy bills… are something we can have influence over,” Browne said.

Advocates also hope to uphold a bill requiring utilities to use more solar power, a bill transferring control of an energy efficiency fee from the legislature to the Public Utilities Commission, and a bill preventing utilities from claiming unused renewable energy credits generated by customers.

Legislators will vote on whether to overturn Sununu’s record number of vetoes next week.

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