This is a Moms Clean Air Force exclusive interview with New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan:
What is unique about protecting New Hampshire’s resources?
From the noble mountains that tower over the North Country, to our beautiful lakes and rivers, to the sandy beaches along our Seacoast, New Hampshire has a variety of natural resources that make our state special. Protecting New Hampshire’s natural resources is critical to preserving our state’s natural beauty, promoting the health of our citizens, protecting New Hampshire’s rich history and vibrant culture, attracting new businesses and high-quality workers, and maintaining the high quality of life that we are known for in the Granite State. Our state’s unmatched natural beauty also keeps visitors returning year after year, making travel and tourism New Hampshire’s second largest industry.
As a parent are you worried about the impacts of climate change on your family and the children of New Hampshire?
Yes. As the Governor of New Hampshire, as a citizen, and as a parent, I am committed to building a future where all children have the opportunity to learn, to grow and to lead – and the foundation of that future starts with a healthy environment and healthy families. As climate change continues to threaten the health of our citizens, our environment, our economy and our way of life, we must continue working together to strengthen efforts to protect the environment and the natural resources that make our state special. Doing so will help us create a cleaner and safer environment that all of our people – including our children – need to live healthy, productive lives.
Why is the Clean Power Plan so important for New Hampshire?
Addressing air quality and climate change is an economic imperative, as clean air is critical to the high quality of life that helps attract businesses and families to the Granite State. As the potential impacts of climate change threaten our economic security, we can both combat climate change and also help businesses create new jobs by building a more innovative, cleaner energy future.
The Clean Power Plan is an important step forward in our efforts to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment that will help our citizens, businesses and economy thrive – and I am concerned that the failure of the U.S. Senate to confirm a Supreme Court nomination this year could further delay implementation of the Clean Power Plan.
Our progress toward cleaner air here in New Hampshire in the past has been slowed by other states that are not taking swift action to reduce pollution. The Clean Power Plan is an important mechanism to hold other states to the higher standards that the Granite State and other Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states have successfully implemented, while maintaining reliability and helping to spur clean energy innovation and investments.
Why is a bipartisan effort so important and how can these efforts be achieved in our politically polarizing culture?
We must work together to protect our natural environment and to move our nation forward. That is what I have done as a State Senator and as Governor. In the State Senate, I worked across party lines to sponsor the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and helped pass the Renewable Portfolio Standard. As Governor, I worked to strengthen and protect the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Renewable Portfolio Standard. I also worked with legislators of both parties to invest in energy efficiency and to continue the growth of our solar future. And I have worked with my fellow Governors and the Eastern Canadian Premiers to set aggressive goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
On these issues, as with others, I have worked to find common ground with people of all backgrounds and to identify opportunities to build on our progress together.
Is there anything you would like to share that is important for Moms Clean Air Force members to know?
New Hampshire has long been a leader in efforts to cut carbon emissions and combat climate change so that we can have the cleaner and safer environment that our people need to live healthy, productive lives, and the work of organizations such as Moms Clean Air Force is critical to our efforts. We must be steadfast in this work to protect our environment and the natural resources that make New Hampshire unique.
Governor Maggie Hassan was sworn in as the 81st Governor of New Hampshire on January 3, 2013. She began her career in public service in 1999 when Governor Jeanne Shaheen asked her to serve on the Advisory Committee to the Adequacy in Education and Finance Commission. Her experience as a business attorney, along with her role as the parent of two children, one of whom experiences severe disabilities, enabled her to provide a unique perspective as the commission did its work.
In 2004, Governor Hassan was first elected to the New Hampshire Senate, serving the people of the 23rd District, which included numerous Seacoast towns. During her six years in office, she was selected by her colleagues to serve as both President Pro Tempore and Majority Leader of the State Senate. As a leader in the Senate, she sponsored the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to reduce long-term energy costs, curb pollution, and create jobs.
Governor Hassan earned her B.A. from Brown University and her J.D. from the Northeastern School of Law. Governor Hassan and her husband, Tom, the former principal of Phillips Exeter Academy, are the proud parents of two children, Ben (27) and Meg (23). They live in Newfields along with the family dog, Honey Mae.