Battle for the Senate: New Hampshire

Almost uniquely, both candidates support action on climate change.

Kelly Ayotte’s rating from the League of Conservation voters is 35%.  That’s on the high side for a Republican.  Her opponent, Maggie Hasan, is a strong advocate of action on climate change.

Ayotte is a former prosecutor and long-time state attorney general; she says that as AG she “stood up to polluters to protect New Hampshire’s natural beauty.”  So far as I know, she’s also the only Senator to have served on an environmental law journal (at Villanova). She says she’s “reached across party lines to protect New Hampshire from out-of-state and conserve our public lands and waters for outdoor recreation.”  According to her Senate website, she supports the Clean Power Plan, and the EPA rule limiting mercury from coal power plants.  Her website also says she is “working to combat the effects of climate change” and that she “believes that climate change is real, humans significantly contribute to it, and it needs to be addressed.”  I double-checked all this because it was so unusual for a Republican officeholder.

Hassan, who is also a lawyer, is now the state’s governor.  Her website says that “combatting climate change is critical to our economy, our environment, our people and our way of life.”  She strongly supports the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement.  As a state senator, she sponsored legislation to allow the state to join RGGI, the northeastern states’ emissions trading system. Her website also lists several initiatives during her term as governor to encourage renewable energy.  She supports strong fracking regulations and wants to subject fracking to EPA regulation.

Hassan seems to have a stronger environmental record than Ayotte, but the difference is not as stark as in some other states. It remains to be seen how the electorate of the Granite State weighs their differences.