Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Gas explosions show how dangerous the fuel is

Gas explosions show how dangerous the fuel is

It’s time to break our addiction to fossil fuels

THE CONSERVATION LAW FOUNDATION in late September held a meeting in Lawrence to highlight the work of our community partners there. Just as these groups began their presentations, natural gas-fueled explosions and fires began to erupt in South Lawrence and the neighboring towns of Andover and North Andover. Amidst the ensuing chaos, one person was(...)

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Hydro-Québec’s greenwashing game

Hydro-Québec’s greenwashing game

No guarantees Massachusetts deal will lower emissions

IN A RECENT COMMENTARY PIECE, “Sierra Club fires back on Québec hydro,” the Sierra Club explained why electricity imported from Québec is not clean. The focus was on the adverse environmental impacts directly related to flooding large areas of land for hydroelectricity. But that’s only part of the story. As a result of Hydro-Québec’s ability(...)

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Consumers overlooked amid ISO power politics

Consumers overlooked amid ISO power politics

Who should bear the brunt of Exelon subsidies?

THE FUEL SECURITY CONTROVERSY in New England, particularly as it relates to the availability of natural gas in the winter, escalated dramatically with the issuance of a fuel security study by the operation of the region’s power grid, ISO New England. That was followed quickly by Exelon’s announcement that it intends to shut down its(...)

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Sierra Club fires back on Quebec hydro

Sierra Club fires back on Quebec hydro

Stored energy is neither green nor clean

THE ASSERTIONS IN THE RECENT ARTICLE “Hydro-Québec, Central Maine Power respond to critics” by John Carroll and Lynne St-Laurent are not correct. Of course, one must consider the source of the statements. New England Clean Energy Connect project proponents put a nice spin on their joint project, but they respond as public relations employees rather than(...)

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Hydro-Québec, Central Maine Power respond to critics

Hydro-Québec, Central Maine Power respond to critics

Accuse Sierra Club, Maine group of siding with fossil fuel industry

MASSACHUSETTS’ LEADERSHIP on energy policy has created a once-in-a-generation opportunity to move the needle on clean energy.  According to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, the proposal from Hydro-Québec  and Central Maine Power to deliver clean energy over the New England Clean Energy Connect will result in nearly half (47 percent) of the electricity consumed by Massachusetts(...)

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Lawmakers have more work to do on energy

Lawmakers have more work to do on energy

We need access to more natural gas

AS IT ALWAYS DOES, the summer’s legislative session on Beacon Hill concluded with a flurry of activity, ending with a number of bills sent to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk on everything from a sales tax holiday to automatic voter registration. For all our progress, one area where work isn’t finished is energy. Massachusetts has shown(...)

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Mass. makes unsteady progress on emissions

Mass. makes unsteady progress on emissions

Goal is 25% below 1990 emission levels by 2020

MASSACHUSETTS GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS increased for the fourth year in a row in 2015, but state officials are forecasting a downturn when numbers are crunched for 2016, according to an email sent out by the Baker administration. State law mandates that emissions reach a target of 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80(...)

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Will MA hydro contract increase, or decrease, emissions?

Will MA hydro contract increase, or decrease, emissions?

Hydro-Quebec dismisses claims by enviros, power generators

MASSACHUSETTS SIGNED a $16 billion, 20-year contract to import hydro-electricity from Quebec to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but energy advocates and other power generators are saying the deal is unlikely to move the needle on emissions and could actually increase them. The debate revolves around the meaning of emissions. The contract will definitely lower greenhouse(...)

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Quebec hydro isn’t a good fit for Mass.

Quebec hydro isn’t a good fit for Mass.

We need closer-to-home renewables that actually reduce emissions

MASSACHUSETTS ELECTRIC DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES submitted long-term hydro electricity supply contracts to the Department of Public Utilities for review recently. The Massachusetts Sierra Club believes strongly that these contracts are not the right way to get the regional clean energy we all need. Here are four reason why importing electricity from Quebec via a transmission line(...)

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NE Power Pool seeks to ban press

NE Power Pool seeks to ban press

Says coverage would hinder debate on electricity policies

THE NEW ENGLAND POWER POOL, an organization that helps develop policies and procedures governing the region’s wholesale electricity markets, is seeking federal regulatory approval to bar reporters from its meetings. NEPOOL has always had an unwritten policy excluding the press, but it decided to make it a formal policy after a reporter with a trade(...)

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