Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

N.E. governors seek bigger say in power policies

N.E. governors seek bigger say in power policies

Seek greater role in oversight of grid operator

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER and four other New England governors made a push on Friday for a much bigger say in the way the region’s electricity markets are regulated and governed, although the vision statement they issued steered clear of the top recommendation put forth by the region’s power grid operator – a carbon tax. The(...)

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5 N.E. governors criticize grid operator

5 N.E. governors criticize grid operator

Call for changes -- need partner in decarbonization efforts

THE GOVERNORS of five of the six New England states, including Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, issued a statement that appeared to criticize the operator of the region’s power grid for failing to partner with them in combatting climate change by bringing renewable energy to market. “Going forward, we require a regional electricity system operator(...)

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Grid operator calls for ‘net carbon pricing’

Grid operator calls for ‘net carbon pricing’

Says approach deals with political impediments

THE HEAD of the organization that runs the New England power grid on Friday called for “net carbon pricing” of electricity in the region as the best way to develop the massive amount of clean energy needed to decarbonize the region’s economy. Gordon van Welie, the president and CEO of ISO-New England, has long argued(...)

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New England needs to go all in on offshore wind

New England needs to go all in on offshore wind

Region is falling behind as other states push ahead

THIS WEEK, the Environmental League of Massachusetts launched a campaign to significantly increase the amount of offshore wind built off New England’s coast and deepen coordination in the region.  We have formed the New England for Offshore Wind Coalition, a diverse group of stakeholders from environment, business, labor, environmental justice, and academia who are committed(...)

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Challenge to Mass. hydro-electricity connection yanked from ballot

Challenge to Mass. hydro-electricity connection yanked from ballot

Maine court says referendum question unconstitutional

THE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT of Maine on Thursday yanked a referendum question off the November ballot that could have derailed a Massachusetts proposal to import hydro-electricity from Quebec using a power line running from the Canadian border to Lewiston, Maine. The high court, overturning a lower court’s decision, held that the referendum question was unconstitutional(...)

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Our next plunge: Going big on wind

Our next plunge: Going big on wind

The state is poised to be a global leader in green energy

IT WAS A PLUNGE I’ll never forget – into the Charles River with Gov. Bill Weld in 1996 to celebrate the passage of the Massachusetts Rivers Act. Let’s just say the Charles was a little murky that day at a time when clean, swimmable water in our rivers was not exactly the norm. The status(...)

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Mass. in middle of Maine power fight

Mass. in middle of Maine power fight

Maine lawmakers tell Hydro-Quebec to stop meddling in ballot campaign

A group of 25 current and former Maine state lawmakers sent a letter to Hydro-Quebec on Wednesday urging the provincial utility to stop meddling in a state election battle spawned by Massachusetts’ thirst for hydro-electricity from Canada. Massachusetts utilities, with the backing of the Baker administration, signed a nearly $1 billion contract to purchase electricity(...)

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Healey reluctantly rejects Brookline bylaw

Healey reluctantly rejects Brookline bylaw

Measure banned most oil, gas pipes in new buildings

ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY’S office on Tuesday reluctantly shot down a bylaw approved by the town of Brookline that would have barred the installation of most fossil fuel infrastructure in any new buildings or significant rehabs of existing buildings. In a 12-page ruling, Healey applauded the town’s bid to start addressing greenhouse gas emissions but(...)

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Mass. becomes dirty word in Maine referendum fight

Mass. becomes dirty word in Maine referendum fight

Bay State hydro deal irks those opposed to power line

CORPORATE SURROGATES for Massachusetts have spent close to $17 million so far battling a referendum question in Maine that seeks to block the importation of hydroelectricity from Quebec using a power line running through wilderness areas in the western part of the state. The referendum battle is in some ways the dark underbelly of a(...)

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New transmission infrastructure needed for offshore wind

New transmission infrastructure needed for offshore wind

Aging coastal grid must be upgraded for industry’s expansion

EARLIER THIS MONTH, Attorney General Maura Healey posed a fundamental question to the Department of Public Utilities. Now that Massachusetts has proclaimed a goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, how do we get there? Implicit in Healey’s question is our recognition that the entire world must do this together. If we don’t, Boston and(...)

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