Climate change, racial justice and campaign funding don’t seem obviously related at first glance, but in fact are deeply intertwined.
Climate change presents itself in many forms, one being increased extremes in weather, like flash floods or drought. As a farmer, I deal with this reality on a daily basis. Climate change also lands hardest on minority populations and neighborhoods, those that are most often home to the financially vulnerable.
Given this, it’s clear that climate change is linked to racial and economic justice as a whole. Which shouldn’t be a surprise. But here’s something that might be. In the race for Executive Council District 2, in which I am a candidate, three Democratic contenders recently listed lobbyists and corporations among their donors. Two, Leah Plunkett and Cinde Warmington, listed a lobbyist for Liberty Utilities as a donor, the same Liberty Utilities that is behind the Granite Bridge Pipeline.
This pipeline is an effort to perpetuate our reliance on natural gas for decades to come. If the pipeline gets built, ratepayers will foot the bill for building it and our state as a whole will pay for the costs incurred by climate change. Where will those costs land the hardest? On minority populations and the poor.
As a Democrat, I believe the party should fight against the climate crisis and for racial and economic justice. When I entered the Executive Council race, I made a conscious decision to reject contributions from corporations, lobbyists and the fossil-fuel industry. I can only assume other candidates made a conscious decision to take that money. If those candidates who take fossil fuel money end up on the council, will they be responsible to the voters or to those donors? Let’s not forget it’s the Executive Council that approves nominees to the Public Utilities Commission and the Site Evaluation Committee — the boards that ultimately rule on fossil fuel infrastructure projects like the Granite Bridge Pipeline.
With Democrats like that, who needs Republicans?
31 Clymers Drive
(This writer, a Democrat, represents Cheshire District 14 in the N.H. House and is a candidate for Executive Council in District 2.)