EPA finalizes tough new rules on emissions by power plants

In the Washington Post (12-16-2011), Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson report: 

 The Obama administration finished crafting tough new rules Friday curbing mercury and other poisons emitted by coal-fired utilities, according to several people briefed on the decision, culminating more than two decades of work to clean up the nation’s dirtiest power plants. Read more…..


Updated Bottle Bill – Keenan MIA?

The 200th municipality has come out in support of the Updated Bottle Bill. Salem is among the 200,but our representative John Keenan will not come out in support. He says it’s because he is chair of the Energy Committee.



Boston – In a tremendous testament to the statewide support for updating the Bottle Bill, the coalition pushing the bill announced today that over 200 cities and towns have passed resolutions in support of this pending legislation. “It’s rare to see this kind of overwhelming agreement between big cities, small towns, eastern and western Massachusetts, and cities and towns everywhere in between,” remarked Geoff Beckwith, Executive Director of the Mass Municipal Association. “The message from Massachusetts cities and towns is crystal clear: the Updated Bottle Bill is good for our communities.” Read more….

Two of Nation’s Largest Coal Plants to Close

Two large Midwestern coal-fired electric plants have announced they are closing. This is not only good for residents in the area, but for New England, which is the tailpipe for the country.

From Nation of Change:

Chicago has announced an agreement to close two of the nation’s oldest and dirtiest coal plants. For more than a decade, residents near the Fisk and Crawford coal-fired power plants have complained of the pollution, saying the mercury and carcinogenic particulate matter aggravates asthma and potentially other illnesses. “In my community, the people were afraid,” says Leila Mendez, who lives near the Fisk coal plant and first got involved in community activism after experiencing health ailments. Read more.

Bicycle Sharing Program Starts in Salem

by Matthew K. Roy, Salem News

The city and Salem State University are rolling out a new bike-sharing program — Salem Spins — and it offers residents and tourists another way to get around for free.

The city has two “hubs” where riders will be able to access a bike. One of them is downtown at the intersection of Essex Street and Hawthorne Boulevard. The nearby Hawthorne Hotel has volunteered to handle bike distribution. Those who want to use a bike will have to show a credit card and valid identification at the hotel’s front desk to receive a bike-lock key. Read more.