Environment

A fracking ban is hypocritical

A fracking ban is hypocritical

Why ban a product that doesn’t exist in Massachusetts?

MEANINGLESS, hypocritical political grandstanding. Those are words no one should ever use lightly – but they are words that accurately describe a provision of Massachusetts energy legislation now pending on Beacon Hill that calls for a 10-year moratorium on the production of natural gas anywhere in the Bay State through “fracking,” or hydraulic fracturing. Originating(...)

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Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard

Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard

A boost is needed to help state meet emissions goals

AS THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION draws to an end, state lawmakers are considering bills that would increase the annual growth rate of the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). As these proposals move ahead, it is important that decision-makers not be deterred by unsubstantiated claims made by opponents that an RPS increase is incompatible with procurements of hydroelectricity required by statute (Section 83D) or will undermine compliance with the state’s Clean Energy Standard (CES). This argument(...)

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Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard II

Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard II

Boost is needed to keep up with other states

WIND HAS POWERED Massachusetts’ economic prosperity before, and it is poised to do so again. Two hundred years ago, whalers harnessed wind off the coasts of New Bedford, Cape Cod, and Cape Ann, charting a course for whale oil to light up our region and economy. Today, our communities are again racing into the wind(...)

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Electricity trick or treat?

Electricity trick or treat?

Pro and con: Do competitive electricity suppliers help or hurt in Massachusetts?

Well-intentioned law has been corrupted by con men BY DANIEL STEVENS AS SUMMER SWINGS into high gear, our electric bills do, too. Modern life dictates that we need power to keep us cool. To try and reduce electricity prices for people living in Massachusetts, a few years ago, the state Legislature created a program called(...)

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FERC OKs help for Mystic plants

FERC OKs help for Mystic plants

Gas pipeline issue hovers over decision

THE FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION has given New England’s power grid operator until the end of August to come up with a plan to prop up a pair of uneconomic natural gas power plants in Everett and until July 2019 to develop a long-term approach to fuel security vulnerability in the region. The 3-2 decision,(...)

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The Codcast: Business tackles transportation emissions

Alli Gold Roberts says the business community is a bigger supporter of addressing climate change than you might think. A senior manager for state policy at Ceres, which works with Fortune 500 companies and other business groups in addressing sustainability issues, Roberts said many businesses view climate change from a perspective of self-interest. Transportation, for(...)

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The end of recycling?

The end of recycling?

Cutting curbside collections will overload landfills, create environmental crisis

CURBSIDE RECYCLING PROGRAMS are disappearing in Massachusetts. Our Commonwealth has made the absurd decision to dump thousands of tons of recyclable materials into landfills. Recycling infrastructure is approaching its breaking point, and the slow response from our public leaders is due to a conspicuous lack of resources to prevent this crisis. Indications of this systemic(...)

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A towering battle

A towering battle

State approval of a waterfront zoning plan brings controversy

A month ago, the Conservation Law Foundation signaled its concern over state approval of a waterfront zoning plan that would allow a 600-foot tower on the edge of Boston Harbor next to the New England Aquarium. A letter sent to Matthew Beaton, the state’s environmental affairs secretary, “does not explicitly threaten a lawsuit,” if the(...)

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A towering battle

A month ago, the Conservation Law Foundation signaled its concern over state approval of a waterfront zoning plan that would allow a 600-foot tower on the edge of Boston Harbor next to the New England Aquarium. A letter sent to Matthew Beaton, the state’s environmental affairs secretary, “does not explicitly threaten a lawsuit,” if the(...)

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Harbor barrier study undermined by assumptions

Harbor barrier study undermined by assumptions

Starting point of UMass Boston research dictated conclusions

A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY releases a report advising on the course of action that a major urban center should pursue to prepare for predicted sea-level rise and increased frequency and severity of storm events.  What is the public reaction?  How is the report evaluated?  Does a single study based on numerous unexamined assumptions set the course(...)

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