Energy crisis hits New Hampshire hard ahead of midterm elections

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With energy prices at record highs, the number of New Hampshireites asking for heating assistance as the weather cools has increased from last year, a development that could cause problems in the mid-election. -mandate for Democrats in the swing state.

Southern New Hampshire Services, a statewide nonprofit that offers rental and home heating assistance, has already received 6,000 requests from residents who need help paying their energy bills, or 1,500 more than last year, local ABC affiliate WMUR reported.

“Prices are definitely going up. We can see that on all levels with all levels of fuel,” Ryan Clouthier, the nonprofit’s deputy director, told WMUR. “People should expect an increase in their bill. It’s going to happen.”

Southern New Hampshire Services says it expects more than 15,000 requests for heating assistance this season. That Granite Staters are battling rising fuel prices is bad news for vulnerable Democrats like Sen. Maggie Hassan, who is acutely aware of how energy costs are a liability to her campaign.

Hassan has publicly criticized President Joe Biden’s energy policies, distancing himself from the administration’s green agenda that many blame for record prices.

The senator, who herself is used to promoting green policies like gas taxes, called it “frustrating” in June that Biden hadn’t repealed the federal gas tax. In a campaign ad, Hassan told voters she was pushing the president “to release more of our oil reserves.” Hassan in March also called on oil companies to increase production, saying, “We have to stand up to the big oil companies and really tell them that they have to start increasing production.”

The threat of expensive energy prices in New Hampshire is serious enough that the state last month passed an emergency energy assistance plan that allows residents to apply for hundreds of dollars in fuel assistance. and in electricity.

Soaring energy prices are panicking Democrats across the country. As gas prices surged this week in states that will determine congressional control in the midterm elections, the Biden administration, hoping to protect the Democratic Party’s electoral prospects, reportedly threatened oil companies of unprecedented executive action if they did not bring prices down.

Biden, who during his 2020 campaign said the oil industry would “not be able to keep drilling, period,” also changed his mind on oil production. The Biden administration said Wednesday that the United States must become less dependent on foreign oil and touted the administration’s recent oil lease sales as evidence of its commitment to that goal.

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