Climate & Infrastructure | New Hampshire Public Radio

Climate & Infrastructure

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire colleges, trade workers and policy makers have high hopes for job growth in the Northeast’s burgeoning offshore wind industry, even if we’re still years away from wind projects in the Gulf of Maine.

That was a major focus of a roundtable on wind industry development at the Port of New Hampshire in Portsmouth Tuesday, with Congressman Chris Pappas, the League of Conservation Voters and members of New Hampshire’s offshore wind commission.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Seacoast tourism and business leaders want federal officials to approve more foreign visa workers and economic aid to support what they hope will be a busy summer on the tail end of the pandemic.

The fight against fossil fuel expansion in New England has a new front in Killingly, Connecticut. Climate activists want the state to reject a proposed natural gas plant there, which is tied to the company behind a controversial pipeline development currently underway in Minnesota and a recently completed natural gas line in New England.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR file

In New Hampshire and much of New England, climate change is already causing a lot more of what's sometimes called winter whiplash -- rapid freeze-thaw cycles, from unusually warm to bitter cold and back again mid-season. 

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire are working to learn more about how this affects ecosystems and people. NHPR's Morning Edition host Rick Ganley spoke with one of those scientists, Alix Contosta, about her work in this area.

President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal seeks to help reach the administration's ambitious clean energy goals for the U.S. over the next decade.

Part of that means funding upgrades to the country's electric transmission system — the poles and wires that everyone relies on to access power nearby or from hundreds of miles away. As New England experts explain, these upgrades are essential to reach clean energy goals in the region.

Eversource

Eversource is joining a group of utilities aiming to build a national network of high-speed electric vehicle chargers.

The company, which is New Hampshire’s largest electric provider, is the first in the Northeast to join the Electric Highway Coalition, launched last month by utilities in the Southeast, Gulf Coast and Midwest.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

President Biden’s $2-trillion-dollar infrastructure plan could bring expanded Amtrak train service to New Hampshire and Northern New England.

Amtrak, the publicly funded national rail operator, released a new map this week of expansions it could offer by 2035 under Biden’s proposal.

Icy road in Hopkinton, N.H.
Rebebecca Lavoie / NHPR

New Hampshire Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas is serving on a House committee on transportation and infrastructure, and he says those are his priorities in this next term as Congressman.

NHPR's Morning Edition host Rick Ganley spoke with Pappas about the issues facing New Hampshire's infrastructure and transportation sectors.

Eversource NH / Twitter

This week in Texas, millions of people lost power in rolling blackouts after a historic winter storm. But could this happen in New England? And what are the tradeoffs of being prepared to keep the lights on as climate change drives more extreme weather?

Annie Ropeik - NHPR / Aerial support by Lighthawk

Hampton Beach officials will hear from a range of climate change scientists at a symposium next week as part of their work on a coastal resilience piece of a new town master plan.

Heavier rain, more storms and higher tides are already causing more frequent low-level flooding on the streets of the oceanfront community. Roads were closed due to standing tidewater as recently as last week, in the wake of a nor’easter.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Studies show that climate change could prompt millions of Americans to relocate in the coming decades. And by some measures, New Hampshire and northern New England could be ideal places to move.

But preparing for those potential waves of climate migrants will be no easy task – and some are already arriving.


/Kristoferb - Creative Commons

Energy efficiency upgrades can save money and cut back on carbon footprints. but how should much should we invest, especially during a pandemic? It’s been a big debate for N.H. utility regulators in recent weeks.  As part of  NHPR’s By Degrees climate reporting project, we unpack this issues and examine the pros and cons of greater efficiency. Should businesses and residents have to deal with up-front costs to create savings down the road? And what does this debate say about the state’s energy future?

Airdate: Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Despite some recent rain, New Hampshire’s drought is growing, causing wells to run dry across the state. And the hotter temperatures of a changing climate could make future droughts more likely. 

As part of NHPR’s By Degrees project, Annie Ropeik reports on how the dry conditions are affecting people who rely on well water, and what it would take to prepare for the future.  

What Is The Promise of Green Hydrogen?

Aug 26, 2020
Q Hydrogen Solutions

Is there a way to combat climate change and keep that furnace in your basement? We learn about green hydrogen and examine if we can use it to take advantage of existing natural gas infrastructure as we wean ourselves off fossil fuels. We discuss the promise and pitfalls of green hydrogen and where these fit in the energy future of N.H. and the country. This program is part of NHPR’s By Degrees climate reporting initiative.
 

Airdate: Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists says hundreds of coastal Superfund sites – including several in New Hampshire – face new risks of flooding due to climate change.

The analysis looked at federal toxic waste sites within 25 miles of the East and Gulf Coasts, and found that New Jersey, Florida and New York have the most sites at risk of extreme flooding. Many are concentrated along the I-95 corridor. 

350 New Hampshire

Liberty Utilities says it will not build the proposed Granite Bridge natural gas pipeline in Southern New Hampshire, after finding a cheaper way to serve new customers by using existing infrastructure.

The company told the state of the change in plans in a Public Utilities Commission filing Friday afternoon. 

The $340-million pipeline plan dated to late 2017 and drew fierce opposition from climate change activists, who oppose any expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in the region.

Hemera Collection

The state is launching a broad new effort to find ways to reduce the air emissions that drive respiratory disease and climate change in New Hampshire.

The non-partisan Emissions Commission meets for the first time next week and will include members of state agencies, utilities and the legislature, along with health, business and environmental advocates.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Environmental groups want federal regulators to reconsider a new water discharge permit for New England’s largest coal-fired power plant – Merrimack Station in Bow.

The Environmental Protection Agency permit was issued in May after many years of delay.

It dictates how the power plant uses water from the Merrimack River – burning coal to heat the water into steam that generates electricity, before putting that hot water back into the river.

"I’ve Seen a Future Without Cars, and It’s Amazing" is the title of a New York Times opinion piece exploring how to reduce the space cars take up in New York City and improve the liveability of the city. We talk with the author to explore his ideas to transform our dependence on cars and consider whether we can make public spaces friendlier and more equitable here in New Hampshire. During the pandemic, bicycle sales have soared, and parking spots are being re-imagined as outdoor dining. Can we seize this moment, when we’re using our cars less, and make these changes permanent? Sam Evans-Brown of NHPR's Outside/In podcast is the host. 

  • Airdate: Wednesday, July 22, 2020

 

First Street Foundation

A major new study says federal flood maps have far underestimated how many properties in New Hampshire and nationwide are at risk from substantial flooding, now and in the coming decades.

The report, out Monday, comes from a range of academic institutions and the nonprofit First Street Foundation.

Cobbetts Pond Improvement Association

State officials say too much salt is being applied to New Hampshire roads this winter, and they worry that warmer, wetter winters could make the problem worse in future.

Kim Reed / UNH

State officials are using federal money to look at how rising seas will threaten major highways and connecting routes on the Seacoast.

The project, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will build a "vulnerability assessment" for the I-95, Route 1 and Route 1A corridors, and local connector roads, including Routes 101 and 286.