Energy

Another skirmish in the pipeline wars

Another skirmish in the pipeline wars

Dueling studies assess impact of cold snap in late December, early January

THE LATEST PIPELINE SKIRMISH centers around the two-week cold snap New England endured at the end of December and early January. Massachusetts businesses groups last week released a study that quantified the environmental impact of  the cold snap, which sent demand for natural gas soaring to levels that couldn’t be satisfied with existing pipeline capacity.(...)

Read More »

Obama saw a key role for natural gas

Obama saw a key role for natural gas

We should follow his lead in New England

MASSACHUSETTS HAS A LONG HISTORY of leading the nation through innovative programs and establishing tough standards that improve public health and environmental protection. From some of the nation’s earliest innovative hazardous waste cleanup programs to requiring innovative technologies to reduce emissions, protecting our air and natural resources has always been a source of pride in(...)

Read More »

Time to update state’s appliance standards

Time to update state’s appliance standards

Energy efficiency makes economic and environmental sense

MASSACHUSETTS HAS MADE great strides in reducing electric and gas usage through state policies and our nationally recognized energy efficiency programs. These programs have provided billions of dollars in rebates to thousands of residential and business customers for investments in boiler upgrades, motor replacements and lighting changes. But there is more to be done, particularly(...)

Read More »

Baker goes slow on smart meters

Baker goes slow on smart meters

DPU order authorizes $220m in grid upgrades

THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION authorized the state’s utilities to spend $220 million over the next three years upgrading the power grid to accommodate renewables, electricity storage, and more efficient ways of detecting outages. An order issued on Thursday by the Department of Public Utilities put off a decision on the purchase of smart meters, which allow(...)

Read More »

What’s the best bet on wind?

What’s the best bet on wind?

Three bidders seem receptive to notion of splitting contract

A clarification was added to this story after its original publication. TWO OF THE THREE COMPANIES vying to build offshore wind farms off the coast of Massachusetts say it would make sense for the state to select two companies to split an 800-megawatt procurement. The third company said an 800 megawatt procurement is the way(...)

Read More »

Time to hit the off switch on electricity sellers

Time to hit the off switch on electricity sellers

Consumers shouldn’t be harassed, misled, or lied to

IN 1997, MASSACHUSETTS PASSED the Electric Restructuring Act to “promote the prosperity and general welfare of its citizens . . . by restructuring the electricity industry in the Commonwealth to foster competition and promote reduced electricity rates.” But the residential market for competitive electric supply never worked as hoped, and the competitive market has instead increased(...)

Read More »

Do Healey, Baker have a truce?

Do Healey, Baker have a truce?

Political rivals play nice on electricity sellers

ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY and the Baker administration engaged in an interesting political dance on Tuesday at a legislative hearing on what to do about companies that sell electricity to residential customers. By her own admission, Healey, the Democrat, has staked out a fairly extreme position. She feels the 50 companies have ripped off consumers(...)

Read More »

What’s up with the Globe and natural gas?

What’s up with the Globe and natural gas?

Paper has adopted panic policy of utilities, grid operator

GIVEN THE LONG HISTORY of the Boston Globe’s editorial board advocacy for consumers and the environment, including its current strong criticism of regulation rollbacks by the Trump administration, it is puzzling to see the paper crusading for new natural gas pipelines that rigorous studies say we do not need, are outrageously expensive, and harm the(...)

Read More »

More shots fired in pipeline wars

More shots fired in pipeline wars

Opponents: New report debunks grid operator’s rolling blackout claims

A group of natural gas pipeline opponents released a report on Thursday suggesting the operator of New England’s power grid used “unreasonable assumptions” when it concluded that rolling brownouts were possible in 2024 without additional gas supplies. The new report, prepared by Synapse Energy Economics for the Conservation Law Foundation and a handful of other(...)

Read More »