Northeast Deepwater Climate Bill? A fossil fuel bill?

Estimated read time 3 min read

The roar of Bow Creek echoed through the quiet winter woods of Concord on Monday, a ripple compared to the raging river that flooded New Hampshire’s neighbors. This year’s floods feel like the latest chorus in a global opera of extreme weather that has left us battered and overwhelmed.

Was it just the summer that the smoke from the Quebec wildfires choked our skies? How could Montpelier be submerged again just months after the “100-year flood”? Scientists assure us: these disasters are a symphony of climate change hell. Burning fossil fuels generates heat, fuels storms, and turns once-rare events into frighteningly familiar melodies.

The cost of this climate concerto is deafening.Between 1980 and 2022, the U.S. suffered an average of $8 billion a year in weather disasters. Now, it has reached $18 billion. This September alone, more than 25 disasters caused $57 billion in damage.

Northeast Deepwater Climate Bill? A fossil fuel bill?

In the relatively mild climate of the northeastern United States, the cost of climate is also rising. Billion-dollar weather events have doubled in the last five years, and that’s just one of the pressures on our wallets. Ski resorts are struggling with shorter ski seasons, coastal communities face rising sea levels, and hot summers bring health problems and exponentially more ticks.

So who’s paying for the climate? Right now, it’s all of us. Disaster recovery, rising insurance premiums and higher taxes have the public worried. Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry sits in the background sipping champagne.

For decades, companies like Exxon and Shell have known that their fossil fuel tango would warm the planet. Exxon’s own scientists predicted our current predicament with amazing accuracy. They even raised oil rigs at high tide, but forgot to warn the rest of us.

Instead, they orchestrated a multi-billion-dollar propaganda ballet, pirouetting to avoid responsibility while blocking climate action. Now that the crisis is undeniable, they’ve turned to green propaganda and the destruction of renewable energy sources – anything to keep fossil fuels in the spotlight.

While they strut and grab profits, fueled by war and high oil prices, the rest of us face the consequences. They’re like the big tobacco companies of our time, peddling their product long after the damage is obvious.

We’ve had enough. More than 40 states and cities representing a quarter of the U.S. population are suing fossil fuel companies to hold them accountable. That’s only fair, isn’t it? Researchers can pinpoint each company’s climate footprint and easily calculate their fair share. The public agrees: two-thirds of likely voters support holding Big Oil accountable.

In New Hampshire, however, our lawmakers seem content with the current arrangement. In May of this year, the House of Representatives rejected an effort to join Big Oil’s lawsuit. But the pressure will only increase as climate disasters become an ongoing nightmare and public funding for essential services dries up.

Someone has to pay, and why not those who orchestrated the entire climate catastrophe? It’s time for New Hampshire to stop dancing with fossil fuels and hold them accountable for the catastrophe they’ve brought to our planet and our wallets.

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