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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

NH groups celebrate planned closure of New England’s last coal plant

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Monday, April 1, 2024   

Environmental activists in New Hampshire are celebrating the planned closure of New England's last coal-fired power plant.

Granite Shore Power said it will close Merrimack Station in Bow by 2028 and turn the site into the state's first renewable energy park with solar power and battery storage systems.

Rebecca Beaulieu, organizer for the group 350NH Action, said years of litigation and community protests helped convince the utility to change course.

"The fact that this will now mean the region is going to be coal-free, and nobody's power is going to get shut off as a result of that, is an important distinction," Beaulieu emphasized.

Granite Shore Power said it is a "voluntary closure," but the plant was the focus of a lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club and Conservation Law Foundation, alleging it repeatedly violated the Clean Water Act.

For years, environmental groups sought to draw attention to what they say are the costly and toxic effects of the coal plant on the Merrimack River and surrounding communities. They said the company needs to ensure environmental justice for the town of Bow and live up to its clean energy commitments.

Beaulieu hopes groups working for cleaner energy in other parts of the country will be inspired by the plant's closure and realize change is possible.

"These companies that are running our energy grid have a choice that they can make," Beaulieu pointed out. "And if we all work together, we have the power to force them into the choices that are going to be better for us, and better for our planet."

Granite Shore Power said it will also close the Schiller Station in Portsmouth next year, although the coal units have not operated for several years. The closures will make New Hampshire the sixteenth state to go coal-free and New England the nation's second coal-free region, following the Pacific Northwest.


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