As Focus Shifts To NH, Climate Change and Clean Water Are Key Issues

Climate change and clean water are the two biggest environmental issues facing the Democratic Presidential candidates stumping in New Hampshire.  New Hampshire, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, has experienced average temperature increases annually of 2.7 degrees and that is resulting in shorter winters, heavy rainstorms are more frequent, summers are hotter and drier, sea level is rising, and along the coast, severe storms cause floods that damage property and infrastructure.  Moreover, the state has a major problem with water polluted with the “forever” chemicals known as “PFAS” from an Air Force Base and contaminated landfills with as many as 100,000 residents potentially impacted by the water contamination it caused, which has led the state to impose strict limits on the chemical.

Why This Matters:  Pollution and climate change were big issues in Iowa and they will be important in New Hampshire as well.  The recreation industry is poised to take a beating due to shortened ski seasons and PFAS contamination is pervasive and too expensive to clean up right now.  These issues are more important to New Hampshire voters, according to recent polling data, than the economy, education, national security, immigration or racial justice.  The moderators of the debate should take note and ask climate AND clean water questions early and often tonight.

What The Candidates Are Saying About Climate Change and PFAS

On PFAS in the water in New Hampshire, Senator Warren said: “We need to hold polluters accountable for putting toxic ‘forever chemicals’ like PFAS in our waterways. In a staggering conflict of interest, President Trump has filled the EPA with officials who used to represent the very same polluters. This is corruption, and it’s unacceptable.”

Senator Sanders said that “Corporate greed is threatening one of the most basic necessities of life: clean water.  Not only will we support state efforts to enforce stronger clean water laws, we are going to create federal clean water standards that force these companies to clean up their mess.”

Pete Buttigieg told New Hampshire public radio with respect to PFAS contamination that “the number of parts per trillion should be set by science, not by any politician.  What I will do as president is see to it we have a science-based standard and that, in addition to standards, we have adequate enforcement.”  And at a forum in Concord earlier this week, Buttigieg said: “a shift in emotion from ‘guilt and doom’ to pride is needed to propel the nation forward on climate change.”

At the waterfront in Portsmouth, Andrew Yang talked about climate change, saying ““On a beautiful day like this, it’s easy to talk yourself into the fact that climate change may not be bearing down on us and pose an existential threat. But the numbers, unfortunately, tell a very clear story…”

Vice President Biden has talked to New Hampshire voters about the threat of climate change: “I said, we have an existential threat, we are in a situation where, if we don’t act quickly, we’re going to basically lose almost everything we have,” Mr. Biden said. “And that’s exactly the case. It’s even more urgent now.”

Graphic: Climate Central

Up Next

Dear Senate, Pass COVID Relief, Support Transit, Support Workers

Dear Senate, Pass COVID Relief, Support Transit, Support Workers

As the Senate began debate on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely leading to a final vote this weekend, Senate Republicans have attacked it as “big, wasteful, and bloated.” The version of the bill passed by the House of Representatives contains $30.5 billion in aid for public transit systems that desperately need the […]

Continue Reading 112 words
DOE Loan Program to Get Revamp Under Granholm’s Leadership

DOE Loan Program to Get Revamp Under Granholm’s Leadership

by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Less than two weeks after being confirmed, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has announced that the Biden administration is resuming an Obama-era program that gave billions in loans to clean energy companies. Granholm, during talks at the CERAWeek energy conference on Wednesday, pointed the clean energy businesses the Department of Energy loan program […]

Continue Reading 636 words

Portraits of Change: Women In Fishing Working For Sustainability

It’s not just men in the fishing sector who are impacted by climate change, overfishing, and COVID-19 — women are too.  Women like Alexia Jaurez of Sonora, Mexico, who is featured in this Environmental Defense Fund video, do the important work of monitoring the catch and the price, and most importantly determining how many more […]

Continue Reading 142 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.