UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space

UNH Scientist Can Offer Comment on N.H. Clean Power Act

By Sharon Keeler
UNH News Bureau

November 14, 2001

DURHAM, N.H. -- Debate over an amended air pollution bill heated up at a public hearing today in Concord. The bill -- supported by lawmakers, environmentalists and utilities, but criticized by others for going too far or not far enough -- would make New Hampshire the first state to mandate reductions in four major pollutants from fossil fuel-burning power plants in Bow, Portsmouth and Newington. One of the major provisions of the Clean Power Act is a mandate to reduce CO2 emissions, one of the largest contributors to global warming. Neither the federal government nor any state government has passed such legislation.

George Hurtt, research professor in the University of New Hampshire's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, can talk about what is likely to happen if the Granite State does nothing to curb CO2 emissions. Hurtt is an author of the New England Regional Assessment (NERA) Report which shows that if nothing is done to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere, the average temperature of New England is likely to increase by 6° to 10° F over the next century. In addition to temperature change, the region may experience increases in precipitation from 10 to 30 percent. These changes, if they occur, would profoundly affect the New England region, with major impacts expected on weather, air quality, human health, the natural environment and the regional economy.

Hurtt was in Concord today to testify at the hearing. To reach him for comment, please call 603-862-1792 or by email at george.hurtt@unh.edu.

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