New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan is launching some friendly fire at fellow Democrat and Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy, publicly calling upon him to reject legislation that would make changes to his state’s renewable energy policy.
Proposed legislation in Connecticut would, according to a release from Hassan’s office, “reclassify large-scale hydroelectric power projects such as the Northern Pass – which has not yet submitted a proposal – as ‘renewable energy sources.’” Her release further argues that “already operating small wood-fired plants” would simultaneously lose their classification as a renewable form of energy.
Hassan blasted the legislation as benefiting only large-scale projects, like the Northern Pass, that some have alleged could pose risks to New Hampshire resources.
“Many in my state believe that the impetus for Connecticut’s legislation is your state’s desire to benefit from the Northern Pass project,” Hassan wrote in a letter to Malloy, “As you know, Northern Pass raises many questions for New Hampshire. That project could have an impact on some of our state’s most important natural resources, such as the White Mountain National Forest, which are critical to the success of our tourism industry.”
Hassan issued a formal letter directly to Malloy’s office as part of her public appeal. Despite that, though, his office gave clear indication that they won’t be backing away from their support of the plan.
Hassan also took to social media to spread the message tweeting at Malloy to change his mind on the proposal.
“Accessing hydroelectric power is a win-win for Connecticut and the region because it will lower rates for Connecticut residents and increase our supply of renewable energy,” stated Malloy chief of staff Mark Ojakian, as reported by the NH Union Leader.
This public dustup comes on the heels of Malloy’s push for extending a tax on electrical generators, a move that NH Journal’s Shawn Millerick noted could result in energy rate hikes across the entire region, including New Hampshire. Initially pushed as a temporary revenue fix, with an expiration date set for June 30th of this year, the Connecticut governor is moving to make it permanent. New England’s 350 electrical plants operate in a grid, meaning that individual states’ policies have consequences beyond their borders.
Hassan’s vocal opposition to Malloy’s latest energy proposal raises the question of whether she will also call on Malloy to walk back his producer tax hike and fund his state’s spending in a way that only impacts his constituents.