Saturday, November 27, 2021

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Don't want the hassles of Black Friday - consider a refurbished gift this year; day after Thanksgiving travel could be messy - and supporters regroup for recreational marijuana in South Dakota.

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Big retailers predict an historic holiday shopping season, but small businesses are not sharing that optimism, and economists weigh in on what s behind the nation's labor shortages.

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South Dakota foster kids find homes with Native families; a conservative group wants oil and gas reform; rural Pennsylvania residents object to planes flying above tree tops; and poetry debuts to celebrate the land.

Businesses, Environmentalists Say Climate Action Urgent as Infrastructure

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Tuesday, September 28, 2021   

CONCORD, N.H. -- Business leaders are urging Congress to take action to curb climate change by supporting the Biden administration's Build Back Better plan, to be voted on this week.

They argued not only will measures to incentivize and invest in clean energy help the U.S. contribute to stopping the most catastrophic effects of climate change, but they can boost local economies.

Jim Doyle, president of the nonprofit coalition Business Forward, pointed to data that showed New Hampshire imported 100% of its fossil fuels in 2019, and switching to in-state renewables could generate $4 billion to buy local energy.

"Most states spend billions and many states spent tens of billions importing coal, oil and gas to power their economies," Doyle observed. "Renewables, solar and wind represent an opportunity to keep that money in state, to essentially 'Buy Local.'"

Opponents of the budget-reconciliation bill contended it goes too far, and $3.5 trillion over a decade is too expensive. But Doyle countered the cost of climate change is too high not to take these steps. He added severe weather and extreme temperatures lead to financial impacts, from spiking commodity prices to disrupting supply chains and damaging plants and equipment.

Rob Werner, New Hampshire state director for the League of Conservation Voters, said among other climate resiliency measures, the national renewable-energy standard, which would require utility companies to get a certain amount of their power from renewable sources, would make a big difference in the Granite State.

"In New Hampshire, that would be very helpful because we have a relatively low renewable portfolio standard on the state level compared to our New England neighbors," Werner explained. "To have a national standard would be very good."

A bipartisan physical infrastructure bill has already been passed by the Senate. In addition to climate resiliency, the Build Back Better bill includes expansions to the social safety net and changes to the tax code.


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