Is Mass. eyeing out-of-state nuke, wind power for clean energy? 

THE CLIMATE AND ENERGY bill sitting on the governor’s desk contains two policy sections that could open the door to clean energy procurements involving onshore wind from Maine and nuclear power from Connecticut, according to one of the key drafters of the legislation.

Rep. Jeffrey Roy of Franklin, the House chair of the Legislature’s Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy Committee, said the sections are designed to help the state begin exploring new ways to procure clean energy to meet emission targets, particularly if the Maine Supreme Judicial Court upholds a referendum vote blocking a transmission line importing hydroelectricity from Quebec.

The two sections are worded broadly, and don’t mention Maine or Connecticut. Senate and Baker administration officials said they were unfamiliar with any specific plans for procuring clean energy from Maine or Connecticut.

Roy, however, said the sections give state officials flexibility to work with other states in contracting for clean energy. He said the sections were drafted with Maine and Connecticut in mind.

One section directs the Department of Energy Resources, in consultation with the attorney general’s office, to decide by December 31 whether to enter into a long-term contract for clean energy from projects coming on line this year or later. Roy said a proposed onshore wind farm in northern Maine’s Aroostook County could fit the bill.

The other section directs the secretary of energy and environmental affairs to conduct a study by March 31 exploring regional or multi-state efforts to procure long-term contracts for clean energy or participate in market-building efforts by the operator of the New England power grid to find ways to reduce emissions.

Roy said the section could open the door to procurements of nuclear power from Millstone Station in Connecticut. Millstone supplies a large amount of the region’s carbon-free energy but is facing competitive pressures from cheaper gas-fired power plants.

Connecticut’s two utilities purchased nearly half of the plant’s output under 10-year contracts that began in 2019. Roy said Massachusetts may decide to do the same. 

Contracting with Millstone would not lead to the generation of new carbon-free energy, but it would give Massachusetts the ability to claim the clean energy as its own in terms of meeting emission targets. To qualify, however, Massachusetts law would have to be changed to qualify nuclear power as renewable.

Weezie Nuara, state policy director for New England at Dominion Energy, the owner of Millstone, said the Massachusetts provisions are vaguely worded. 

“It’s not exactly spelled out,” she said of the provision’s intent. “But we’re excited to be part of the conversation.”

Dan Dolan, president of the New England Power Generators Association, is interested in the same provision, suggesting its reference to market-building mechanisms might be something his members would favor. For example, he said many of his members favor a carbon tax.




Tax cap coming: The state’s long-forgotten tax cap, approved by voters in 1986, is about to be triggered. Record tax revenues in fiscal 2022 are expected to come in well above the cap, prompting the return of the excess money in the form of credits on 2022 taxes.

– How much money will be returned is unclear because the state’s June revenue numbers are not in yet, but Evan Horowitz of the Center for Public Policy Analysis at Tufts University is predicting $1.2 billion could be headed back to taxpayers.

– If the tax cap is triggered, it would be the first time since 1987. The tax cap giveback could also impact down-to-the wire negotiations on Beacon Hill over a $1 billion tax relief package of tax breaks and cash rebates. Read more.

Tran sues Healey: Former state senator Dean Tran files suit against Attorney General Maura Healey, claiming criminal charges she brought against him alleging he stole a gun from a constituent is really a political hit job designed to derail his campaign against US Rep. Lori Trahan, a political ally of Healey. Read more.

Grubhub victory: The Supreme Judicial Court sides with Grubhub, affirming an arbitration requirement for drivers. Read more.

Soldiers home deal: Lawmakers reach agreement on the governance of the Holyoke and Chelsea Soldiers Homes, elevating the secretary of veterans services to a cabinet level position and creating a new independent veteran advocate’s office. Read more.

Public bill health on move: With time running short to get a bill passed, a measure reshaping the way local public health is delivered in Massachusetts begins moving on Beacon Hill. Read more.


We aren’t just props: The survivors of abuse working to pass Gov. Charlie Baker’s dangerousness bill say the suggestion by Rep. Michael Day and Sen. Jamie Eldridge that they are part of a public relations campaign belittles their courageous stories as victims. Read more.




Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration pushes for a narrower compromise on dangerousness legislation. (State House News Service)


WIN Waste Innovations offers Saugus a $15 million host community agreement for the right to continue operating its landfill in town for another 25 years. (Daily Item)

Plymouth, Nantucket, and Hopkinton are the Massachusetts communities permitting the most new single-family homes since 2018, according to a USA Today review. 


Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia shifts course and agrees to a deal that would allow a bill to move forward in Congress dealing with climate change, taxes, health care, and inflation. (NPR)

Sen. Ed Markey pens an op-ed for MassLive in which he argues that the Supreme Court’s actions undermine action on climate.


The Massachusetts GOP files lawsuits alleging that its volunteer signature gatherers for a referendum seeking to overturn the law granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants have been subject to threats and intimidation, which the GOP says Attorney General Maura Healey has ignored. (Gloucester Daily Times)

Republican Dean Martilli, a West Springfield resident who owns a government affairs and business consulting group, launches a congressional campaign against US Rep. Richard Neal. (MassLive)

A Suffolk University poll shows support for the millionaires tax ballot question remains strong, with voters favoring the measure 56-36, but that margin is somewhat smaller than the spread in earlier polls. (Boston Globe)


Between inflation and drought, SouthCoast farmers are struggling to survive. (The Herald News)

A study by the Beacon Hill Institute finds inflation on key goods like gas, used vehicles, and electricity is hitting Massachusetts harder than the rest of the country. (MassLive)


A ship’s passport signed by President John Adams is among a collection of historical memorabilia from the estate of two private antique dealers that will be auctioned off next month. (Patriot Ledger)

A Berkshire Eagle editorial finds some instructive lessons in the failure of North Adams to find a bidder for the abandoned Mohawk Theater.

How do you go after David Ortiz during the week when the icon of reversing the curse and all things Boston is being celebrated from here to Cooperstown? Very carefully, as Joan Vennochi does this morning. (Boston Globe


Legislation regulating e-bikes is on the move on Beacon Hill. (Boston Globe


WBUR offers a primer on hydrogen and prospects for creating large quantities of green hydrogen. 

The Environmental Protection Agency issued its annual report card on river quality, with the Boston area’s main rivers scoring reasonably well. (Boston Globe


Former detainees at the Bristol County House of Correction sue Sheriff Thomas Hodgson alleging cruel treatment and conditions of confinement. (Standard-Times)

Instructors at the State Police Academy are under investigation after trainees were forced to crawl along hot pavement in an unauthorized training exercise, causing blisters and abrasions to nearly two dozen of them. (MassLive)

Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo, who is running for Suffolk district attorney, is still listed as part of his brother Felix G. Arroyo’s legal team in his sexual harassment civil case that is heading to trial. (Boston Herald