Melissa Birchard

Staff Attorney CLF New Hampshire @melissabirchard

Melissa Birchard is a Staff Attorney for CLF in Concord, New Hampshire.  Melissa promotes a clean energy economy where our children can flourish safe from the harmful impacts of climate change.  She advances strong policies to support solar and wind power and fights to end New England’s reliance on fossil fuels.  Melissa also works to empower individuals like homeowners and businesses to participate in the clean energy economy, including through rooftop solar and battery storage.  Melissa is a big advocate for high-efficiency heat pumps that reduce New England’s use of home heating oil and natural gas, as well as electric cars.

Melissa holds degrees from Bryn Mawr College, UCLA, and Georgetown University Law Center.  Prior to joining CLF, Melissa represented state and local governments in energy and environmental matters at the Washington, DC-based law firm Spiegel & McDiarmid.  She has also worked to promote democracy and human rights, including environmental and public health rights.

Melissa enjoys frozen ponds, tree frogs, and owls, as well as passing slow vehicles in her speedy electric car. If you are interested in clean energy, she welcomes you to follow her on twitter.

Recent Posts

New England Closes the Door on Northern Pass
Northern Pass received two major blows in March, knocking it fully out of contention as the energy winner in Massachusetts. The Commonwealth, which initially selected the proposed transmission line for a lucrative clean energy contract in January, severed ties and announced on March 28 that it is moving on to a different project. Just two…
Northern Pass Denied Lifeline by New Hampshire Decision Makers
Northern Pass is now on life support. The latest decision in New Hampshire further signals the end of this ill-conceived project – a high-voltage transmission line that would cut through the White Mountain National Forest and bisect New Hampshire from north to south. Northern Pass tried to rush New Hampshire through permitting, but the Granite…
What Is Grid Modernization? An Explainer
Solar panels on your neighborhood library’s roof? Smart thermostats? Light bulbs that can be turned on with a smart phone? Is your electric utility making the best use of these new technologies? Probably not. Most utilities are old-fashioned, and don’t know how to integrate innovative technology into the electric system. That’s where grid modernization comes…
Denier: Governor Sununu Says Global Warming May Not Be Caused by Carbon Emissions
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu has now openly denied the scientific consensus that climate change is primarily caused by excess heat-trapping carbon in our atmosphere. Initially, we were hopeful the governor might rise above partisan politics and family prejudices (his brother Michael is an outspoken climate denier) to take a responsible position on climate change.…
Big Decision Issued on Solar in New Hampshire
The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission recently issued a long-awaited decision about the future of rooftop solar and other clean, local energy in the Granite State — and the result is a short-term loss but a long-term gain. While there are short-term setbacks in the order, it also takes major steps forward to make clean,…


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