Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Wait, we’re number 2?

Wait, we’re number 2?

Time for Massachusetts to try harder on efficiency standards

LIKE THE FAMOUS Avis commercial says: when you’re number two, you gotta try harder! When it comes to energy efficiency policy, that is the unfamiliar position Massachusetts now finds itself in. For years –– nine years to be precise –– the Commonwealth led or tied as the most energy efficient state in the nation, according(...)

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Solar revolution is stalled, needs to shift into gear

Solar revolution is stalled, needs to shift into gear

Lawmakers need to move on climate action bill

AFTER FOUR YEARS of denying climate science and downplaying its consequences, the federal government is on the cusp of a new era. Although deep political divides persist on many issues, there is one thing that Americans are united on – and that’s a desire for a national transition to clean, renewable energy. A resounding 82 percent of voters say(...)

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Confusion over tax status stymies solar projects 

Confusion over tax status stymies solar projects 

Municipalities worry about lost revenue 

AN OUTDATED LAW and a series of rulings by an obscure tax board are throwing the state’s landscape for solar projects into disarray.  The question revolves around whether commercial solar projects should be exempt from paying municipal property taxes. The lack of clarity is threatening to take revenue away from municipal budgets – and stymie(...)

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Weymouth settles compressor fight, collects $10m

Weymouth settles compressor fight, collects $10m

Hedlund: 'The clock has run out on us'

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE TOWN OF WEYMOUTH will drop its ongoing legal fight against a controversial natural gas project, and energy giant Enbridge will pay the municipality $10 million as part of a newly reached host community agreement that immediately drew condemnation from opponents of the compressor station. With the compressor station already built(...)

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DPU orders gas utilities to rethink their future

DPU orders gas utilities to rethink their future

What is their role in net-zero emission future

THE MASSACHUSETTS Department of Public Utilities on Thursday ordered the state’s natural gas utilities to jointly hire consultants and come up with a way to dramatically phase down or eliminate their businesses over the next 30 years. The order is a response to Gov. Charlie Baker’s call for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.(...)

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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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