Updated: Jun 9, 2019
by: Barbara Peterson April 13, 2019
Actively involved in concrete projects around the state, 350 New Hampshire (350NH) is making a real difference in transitioning New Hampshire from dependence on fossil fuels to relying on renewable energy. As an autonomous affiliate of the international organization 350.org, 350NH has taken on issues particular to our state’s ecological health and well-being. We are in an environmental crisis, and because our political representatives are not doing nearly enough, 350NH is leading people power efforts to push for clean energy policies and practices.
One project 350NH is taking on is the Liberty Utilities’ proposed Granite State Bridge project. This project is seeking to build both a pipeline and large industrial plant in the greater Seacoast area of New Hampshire. The 27-mile long fracked gas pipeline would go from Stratham all the way to Manchester, passing through the towns of Exeter, Brentwood, Epping, Raymond, Candia, and Auburn. The facility will be in Epping and, as stated on their Website, the “facility includes a giant 170ft high, 200 ft wide tank to store 2 billion cubic feet of liquified natural gas (larger than the “Rainbow Tank” in Boston) as well as an industrial plant to convert methane to liquid for storage and back to gas for distribution.” Local residents of this project are not afforded the legal right to have deciding input about whether the Bridge project will go through. Instead, the decision will be made by the Public Utility Commission and the Site Evaluation Committee, both appointed by the governor, and both favoring corporate interests over the well-being of individuals.
The fossil fuel companies are eager to take advantage of our country’s current government support of fracked gas. Fracking is one of the primary contributors to global climate change, and the goal of the U.S. fracking industry is to make our country entirely dependent on it, which will favor corporate financial interests over the health of our land and people. According to 350NH’s website, the project will “double Liberty Utility’s rate payer base … The Granite Bridge Pipeline is a poor economic investment, a threat to our health and wellbeing, and will further propel us towards a climate crisis.”
350NH is building a movement so that more and more citizens will call on their legislators and in other ways express their concerns over the Granite State Bridge project, which not only threatens the air and water quality of affected towns, but subverts efforts to move from dependence on the fossil fuel industry to building clean energy options. Working for a cleaner environment means working to oppose projects that put profit over health, safety, and sustainability. While we all want solutions to efficient and cost-effective energy supply in New Hampshire, we also need those solutions to be clean so we protect the well-being of our communities now and for future generations.
Another viable way 350NH is helping our state transition to renewable energy is via offshore wind power. According to their website, wind energy has the potential to power the entire state. In 2015, 350NH collected over 1000 petitions and sent them to Governor Hassan. The goal was to have Hassan request the formation of a task force from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which must be done to begin the process of determining the cost and feasibility of a wind farm. Because Hassan failed to act, 350NH has been lobbying Governor Sununu with 20 warrant articles and resolutions in various New Hampshire cities and towns to request that BOEM form a task force. 350NH continues to put pressure on Sununu by educating people on the feasibility and necessity of wind farms. They are also working to make this a vital issue in the 2020 elections.
Although they started as an ad hoc group in 2012, in only two years, 350NH was able to fund a staff position entirely through their own fundraising efforts in New Hampshire. Currently, 350NH runs trainings and other events with adults as well as youth and student groups. Thus far, they have provided over 70 young people with tangible, practical ways to work toward a healthier environment. Additionally, they have trained hundreds of community volunteers to organize others through storytelling and political advocacy, and they educate people on climate justice and energy democracy. Their Legislative Team focuses on lobbying state legislators with grassroots advocacy methods.
While 350NH runs as an independent organization, they are an affiliate and share the mission of 350.org, an international organization founded in the US in 2008 by a group of students and author Bill McKibbon. The name of the organization is taken from the safe concentration level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is 350 parts per million. Their mission is to oppose all new efforts at maintaining and expanding coal, oil, and gas projects in favor of clean and renewable energy.
In New Hampshire, 350NH continues to work on capacity building by growing their movement and building power. Presently, most of their volunteers and activists are in Concord, Littleton, Dover, Exeter, and the Seacoast. Yet, they hold trainings and outreach events in communities throughout the state to expand their primary areas of outreach and broaden the impact of the important work they do to address the very real climate crisis in New Hampshire.
350NH is a volunteer driven organization, and thus they are always in need of more volunteers.
Some ways people can get involved are listed below.
Start a local 350NH chapter to work for climate justice in your community (contact Griffin)
Join the Granite Bridge Pipeline resistance campaign (contact Griffin)
Volunteer a skill like accounting, marketing, or graphic design (contact Lila)
Members, Affiliations, and Contact Information
350NH is part of a network of affiliated 350 groups around the country but are not legally or financially connected to 350.org National. Rather, 305NH is run by and for the people of NH and do all of their own fundraising.
350NH operates as a 501c3, volunteer driven grassroots movement for climate justice.
Facebook and Twitter: @350NH