Kuster, Pappas Hold Virtual Discussion on Building a Clean Energy Economy in the Age of COVID-19
Concord, N.H., June 5, 2020
Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) held a virtual discussion on building a clean energy economy in the age of COVID-19. The Representatives heard feedback from local climate and business leaders about building a clean energy future through economic stimulus legislation. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the clean energy sector, with the industry predicting job loss numbers upwards of 850,000. New Hampshire lost almost 2,000 clean energy jobs in March and April of this year, with the majority of those in the energy efficiency industry. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently issued a report warning that the economic effects of the pandemic would risk international progress towards Sustainable Development Goals and recommended that countries double down in their efforts to seek sustainable energy solutions.
The panelists and Representatives discussed opportunities to fund long-term investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicle infrastructure, and clean energy workforce training as a way to stimulate economic recovery and combat climate change.
Reps. Kuster and Pappas were joined in today’s discussion by:
“As we move forward in our coronavirus response efforts, we must look at ways to create economic opportunity while also confronting the pressing issue of climate change,” said Rep. Kuster. “Renewable energy and clean energy jobs are an asset to New Hampshire that we cannot afford to lose – not only do they keep Granite Staters’ electric bills low, they also keep our dollars circulating in-state and support the domestic energy industry. I deeply appreciate our panelists for sharing their critical insights with us today. Working together, we can build back a better, stronger and cleaner economy while combatting climate change.”
“As we recover from this crisis and think about how to rebuild our economy, we must invest in a clean energy future,” said Congressman Chris Pappas. “We must put the United States on a path to 100% renewable energy. In addition, legislation like the Invest in America Act gives us a key opportunity to transform our nation’s infrastructure and put people back to work while reducing emissions and protecting the environment.”
"The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing deep injustices in our nation, including communities of color that are especially harmed by the climate crisis,” said Rob Werner, NH State Director of the League of Conservation Voters. “Making the needed investments to move more strongly to a clean energy economy will put people back to work and protect public health"
"Rebuilding our economy with a focus on clean and efficient energy will not only create jobs in the short term but also build a clean energy economy future that will reinvest our energy dollars locally, reduce energy burdens, and conserve a healthy environment,” said Madeleine Mineau, Executive Director of Clean Energy NH.
“Businesses across New Hampshire, including farms, have opportunities to reduce their energy bills by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy,” said Lisa Drake, Chair of the NH Business for Social Responsibility Advocacy Committee and Director of Organic and Sustainable Agriculture at Stonyfield Organic. “Encouraging these investments can support local and regional economic recovery and allow us to ‘build back better’ to a cleaner, healthier, and more resilient economy.”
In January, Rep. Kuster released her Clean Energy Agenda, which consists of legislation to address climate change and transition to a renewable energy economy. The Clean Energy Agenda explores the Congresswoman’s work in Congress to promote investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, environmental protection and protecting public lands, clean energy jobs, and national security and global action. The agenda can be viewed here.