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GOP Senate Hopeful: My Landscaping Means ‘I Do More For Climate Change Than Anyone’

GOP Senate Hopeful: My Landscaping Means ‘I Do More For Climate Change Than Anyone’

Sen. Maggie Hassan has a 98% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters.

Chuck Morse, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate in New Hampshire, said owning a plant nursery and landscaping company means he has done “more for climate change than anyone,” despite a long record as a state lawmaker of opposing carbon-cutting policies.

Sunday’s interview on local television showed that Morse the president of New Hampshire’s state Senate voiced his opposition for federal efforts to reduce planet-heating emissions. He cast those who advocate for emissions cuts from the United States — which has cumulatively added more carbon to the atmosphere than any other country — as elitist hypocrites.

“The part that bothers me most is these people that get on airplanes and fly on their little junkets and drink their wine and basically start to discuss how they’re going to change the world, and they do it only in the United States,” he told WMUR’s “CloseUp” program.

By contrast, “I do more for climate change than anyone else out there,” said Morse, 61.

I mean that I own a nursery/garden center. I’ve been a landscaper,” he said. “I planted more trees than any of the candidates that are running together, you know, at any point in time.”

Sen. Maggie Hassan has a 98% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters.
Sen. Maggie Hassan’s lifetime score from League of Conservation Voters is 98%

EVELYN HOOCKSTEIN via Getty Images

Yet Morse, who hopes to take on Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan in November, has routinely voted against measures to cut emissions during the nearly quarter-century he’s spent as a Granite State legislator.

He will be retiring in 2020. Voted DoubleNet-metering policies should be opposed to provide financial incentives for utility ratepayers who generate their own clean electricity. He will be retiring in 2019. OpposedExpanding protections for wetlands voted againstInitiating a program to rebate greenhouse gases Voted down a bill to increase the state’s solar-energy targets. In 2011, he VotedNew Hampshire was removed from the regional cap and trade market. This market allows companies to trade polluting permits and sets a limit on carbon emission.

“Senator Morse has a long voting record that contradicts his climate claims,” Catherine Corkery, the director of the Sierra Club’s New Hampshire chapter, said in an email. “He has adamantly opposed clean energy access and expansion. He has resisted addressing the climate crisis and its risks to public health, infrastructure and the Granite State’s underserved. That is a fact.”

“I planted more trees than any of the candidates that are running together, you know, at any point in time.”

– Chuck Morse is a GOP candidate

While newly planted trees do absorb carbon from the atmosphere, “a lot of landscaping comes from new construction, which involves clearing forest land, especially in northern New England,” said Jack Dibb, a tree farmer and research professor at the University of New Hampshire’s Earth Systems Research Center.

“So the net is usually a lot less trees, and something way different than a healthy forest,” Dibb said over email. “Landscaping relatively small lots in a development really does not contribute in a significant way.”

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An email Morse received Monday night asking for comment was not returned.

Morse is third candidate to enter the race against Hassan. Gov. heavily recruited by National Republicans Chris Sununu will run. He held a press conference in November. Surprised everyoneHe announced that he would instead seek a fourth term in office as governor.

Republicans see Hassan’s seat as a potential pickup opportunity in the tight battle for control of the Senate. Kevin Smith, an ex-Londonderry Town Manager, was also present. retired Army Gen. Don BolducThey are running for the GOP nomination.



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