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Sep 30, 2014 7:59 AM

Candidates trade barbs at energy summit in Concord


CONCORD - The last two winters have brought soaring gas prices, sticking consumers frigid sticker shock.

With some of the highest energy costs in the nation, an energy summit on Sept. 30, 2014, at the Holiday Inn in Concord attracted plenty of attention in a very competitive election year.

Candidates for governor and U.S. Senate today accused one another of being part of the problem and not the solution.

Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown says Senator Jeanne Shaheen took a key step last year in favor of creating a new carbon tax on polluters that fail to reduce their emissions.

"The last thing we should do, should be doing is to raise and support a new energy tax that's what Senator Shaheen did last year when she voted to pave the way for a new energy tax," Brown said.

Less than two hours later before the same audience, Shaheen said Brown was lying about her record.

"He talked about my support for a national energy tax. I want you to know that according to independent fact checking organizations they have said that allegation is incorrect, it is false," Shaheen said.

In the race for governor, Republican Walt Havenstein said the controversial Northern Pass hydroelectric project would not solve the state's energy supply problems.

"The conclusion I have come to is this: I cannot support the current proposal. While we need cheaper - and cleaner - base load power, the Northern Pass project does not provide that in a way which benefits everyone in New Hampshire," Havenstein said.

The 10-year state energy strategy Gov. Maggie Hassan championed says little about New Hampshire's energy crisis - a woeful supply of natural gas and other energy sources, Havenstein charged.

Gov. Hassan said there's still a win-win scenario for new energy projects, but only if concerns about high energy prices and the environment are met.

"If we are to be a net exporter of energy to supply the rest of the region, New Hampshire ratepayers must also see the benefits of reduced costs," Hassan said.

"And we will not compromise when it comes to siting. Our state's natural beauty and precious resources must be protected."


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