Friday, October 24, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;52.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/ovc.png;2014-10-24 14:42:35
Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gary Lambert signs pledge against federal carbon tax despite past support for Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

CONCORD – The competitive but civil Republican primary in the 2nd Congressional District got physical Wednesday over Gary Lambert’s opposition to federal climate change legislation.

Lambert, the former state senator from Nashua, announced Wednesday that he signed a pledge from the fiscally conservative Americans for Prosperity to oppose a federal carbon tax. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

CONCORD – The competitive but civil Republican primary in the 2nd Congressional District got physical Wednesday over Gary Lambert’s opposition to federal climate change legislation.

Lambert, the former state senator from Nashua, announced Wednesday that he signed a pledge from the fiscally conservative Americans for Prosperity to oppose a federal carbon tax.

“Today, I promise the people of the 2nd District that I will not support any climate change legislation that raises taxes,” Lambert said. “New Hampshire has some of the highest energy prices in the country, and right now, working families and small businesses are struggling to make ends meet. One of the worst things government could do at a time like this is restrict energy production and increase costs.”

But the campaign of GOP primary rival Marilinda Garcia, of Salem, reminded that while in the state Senate in 2011, Lambert voted to support the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Lambert had voted against repealing RGGI, a program that imposes a charge on monthly electricity bills to support energy efficiency projects and the reduction of emissions from fossil-fuel burning plants.

“Gary has long been one of New Hampshire’s most vocal supporters of RGGI, a cap-and-trade program that has resulted in a tax increase for the hardworking people of the Granite State,” said Tom Szold, Garcia’s campaign manager. “He has voted repeatedly to preserve this costly and expensive program, and even cast the deciding vote to prevent New Hampshire from ending its participation in RGGI. RGGI exists in New Hampshire because of Gary Lambert.”

AFP State Director Greg Moore agreed that three years ago Lambert was widely seen as the key vote in the Senate to repeal RGGI.

That’s because Gov. John Lynch vetoed the measure and the Republican-led Senate fell one vote shy of overriding Lynch.

“We knew there were three Republicans who were consistent supporters of RGGI; many saw Gary Lambert as the swing vote,” Moore said.

As for the pledge on the federal carbon tax, Moore said AFP undertook it in 2010 and hasn’t updated it since.

“It’s still on our website which is no doubt where Gary saw it,” Moore said. “We aren’t pushing it this year frankly because there is no appetite on Capitol Hill these days for a carbon tax even from the far left. From our perspective we are glad he signed it, but it doesn’t change his record of voting in favor of RGGI and against blocking low carbon fuel standards.”

During a recent Telegraph editorial board, Lambert defended his votes on RGGI in that the value of emission reductions and grants outweighed ratepayer costs for the program.

Lambert noted he did vote for New Hampshire to pull out of the program after at least two other New England states did so first.

“Instead of more government regulation and red-tape, we need an all-of-the-above American energy strategy in order to remain competitive globally and create jobs domestically,” Lambert said. “Our representatives in Washington must stand up for Granite Staters.”

Garcia’s campaign said, however, that Lambert won’t be able to run away from his record in this race.

“Gary cannot have it both ways; he cannot make campaign promises to oppose new taxes, yet support policies that create those very same climate taxes,” Garcia campaign aide Szold added.

While serving in the state House of Representatives, Garcia voted in favor of repealing RGGI.

Kevin Landrigan can reached at 321-7040 or klandrigan@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Landrigan on Twitter (@Klandrigan).