Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Round three on renewable energy

Round three on renewable energy

Supporters’ own data disproves their case

A RECENT OPINION PIECE in Commonwealth (“The Upside of Renewables” by Peter Rothstein and Michael Behrmann) attempts to rebut an earlier piece by me which pointed out the high cost and lack of reliability of renewable energy. However, any objective analysis of their data undercuts their arguments that renewables are economically productive. First, in response(...)

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The upside of renewables

The upside of renewables

Clean energy advocates dispute any downside

A Commonwealth opinion piece (“The downside of renewables”) published on May 11 provided a flawed argument against renewable energy and its implications for the New England electricity grid by picking and choosing facts from European countries that are decades ahead of the US in the clean energy transition. We should learn from the successes and(...)

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Exports explain interest in gas pipeline

Exports explain interest in gas pipeline

Project isn't about need, it's about greed

AFTER MANY SIGNIFICANT LEGAL and legislative defeats, it’s tempting to think that the massive Access Northeast gas pipeline is dead. That project would transport natural gas from the fracking fields of southwestern Pennsylvania to New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and maritime Canadian ports. In the past year, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court unanimously ruled against the(...)

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Paris withdrawal won’t deter wind, solar

Paris withdrawal won’t deter wind, solar

Clean energy economics becoming irresistible

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S WITHDRAWAL from the Paris climate agreement, and the reactions to that retreat, are more theater than substance.  Whether the United States is in or out does little to prevent the rise of clean energy at the expense of coal, nuclear, and other traditional sources of electric power. There are two reasons. One is(...)

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Baker all talk on regional carbon limits

Baker all talk on regional carbon limits

Governor MIA on greenhouse gas initiative

AS PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP moves forward with his efforts to dismantle the Clean Power Plan and accelerate the extraction of coal, oil, and gas on federal lands, it’s worth taking a look at our own record here in Massachusetts. While state officials speak the language of “climate leadership,” their actions have often fallen short. Case(...)

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Seven suburbs blast Eversource solar proposal

Seven suburbs blast Eversource solar proposal

Communities say rate change could cost them $1.6m annually

SEVEN WESTERN SUBURBS of Boston are crying foul about an Eversource proposal that would cut the amount of money they receive for selling solar energy to the power grid, resulting in a $1.6 million loss of revenue annually. The proposal, contained in a massive $96 million rate request filed by Eversource in January, would cut(...)

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In shift, Eversource backs W. Mass. rate relief

In shift, Eversource backs W. Mass. rate relief

Utility calls last-minute changes in $96m proposal response to public feedback

EVERSOURCE IS PROPOSING significant changes to a $96 million rate hike request that would have the effect of lowering bills for customers in western Massachusetts and raising them for customers in eastern Massachusetts. The utility hasn’t detailed the changes yet, but the company has told state regulators it wants to alter the way it would(...)

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Offshore wind moving too slowly

Offshore wind moving too slowly

Faster buildout will mean greater savings, jobs

“GOOD THINGS COME to those who wait” is an old phrase extolling the virtues of patience.  When it comes to bringing offshore wind energy to Massachusetts, it is advice we should ignore.  We shouldn’t wait a moment longer than we need to. As of right now, Massachusetts is proposing to wait and bring offshore wind(...)

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Brayton Pt closing ups need for gas

Brayton Pt closing ups need for gas

New pipeline capacity needed to match supply, demand

AS BADLY AS ALL OF US in Massachusetts have been needing improved access to natural gas, Wednesday at midnight our need–and the challenge to our economy and energy security–grow even more critical. The reason? Wednesday at midnight is when the giant, coal-powered Brayton Point electric generating station in Somerset, Massachusetts, shuts down for good. For(...)

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Baker backs Paris climate accord

Baker backs Paris climate accord

Joins Vermont governor on letter to Trump administration

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE Students had prepared Wednesday to attempt to persuade Gov. Charlie Baker to speak out in support of the Paris climate change agreement. Instead, they ended up visiting his office to thank him for his support. Representatives from youth climate groups had announced plans on Tuesday to visit the State House to(...)

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