New Hampshire Union Leader
MANCHESTER — Nearly 100 environmental activists from southern New Hampshire rallied against climate change in Manchester, setting a record for the largest climate-oriented rally in state history, organizers said.
The rally drew students from Southern New Hampshire University, Keene State College, St. Anselm College and University of New Hampshire-Manchester, as well as families from Gilsum, Weare and Manchester. Opponents to the Kinder Morgan pipeline also attended the rally, bringing a black, cylinder-shaped ballon with the words Stop the Pipeline.
The rally was organized by NextGen Climate New Hampshire.
NextGen spokesman Wyatt Ronan said the rally qualifies as the largest climate rally in New Hampshire. The approximately 95 participants topped the crowd of 60 who attended a League of Conservation Voters rally over the summer in Portsmouth, he said.
“It’s a super low bar, we understand that,” Ronan said.
NextGen also held a roundtable discussion at UNH in Durham and a candlelight vigil at Dartmouth College. NextGen said the Manchester ally is part of a national day of action to focus on a goal of achieving more than 50 percent clean energy by 2030.
The rally included brief remarks from several speakers.
Mayoral candidate Joyce Craig faulted incumbent Ted Gatsas for blocking a 1 megawatt solar project in Manchester. Craig said the project would have saved the city $1.5 million in energy bills and generated $5,000 in property tax revenues.
“The mayor put an end to that project — that’s unacceptable,” Craig said.
“Instead of Manchester being a leader in clean energy, we have our government officials actually lobbying against the project,” said Garth Corriveau, the Ward 6 alderman who is running for alderman at-large.
Climate action activists display a parachute and pipeline balloon Wednesday afternoon during a rally at Pulaski Park in Manchester. (MARK HAYWARD/UNION LEADER)
Other speakers included college students spoke about getting university recycling programs off the ground and problems related to environmental justice and environmental racism. The rally lasted for about a half hour.
Greg Moore, the state director of the Koch Brothers-affiliated Americans for Prosperity, said energy plans from the left will drive up the cost of energy. “It will cost us economic growth, cost us jobs, cost us wages,” he said.
But in an interview with the Union Leader, Moore would not answer questions of whether climate change is real and what is responsible for it. “We’re focused on dollars and cents,” he said.