Game Over for the Climate

 May 9, 2012

GLOBAL warming isn’t a prediction. It is happening. That is why I was so troubled to read a recent interview with President Obama in Rolling Stone in which he said that Canada would exploit the oil in its vast tar sands reserves “regardless of what we do.”

If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate.


Many questions remain on future of Salem Harbor Station site

May 1, 2012

Brian T. Watson

Salem Evening News

As two energy companies — Footprint Power and Dominion Energy — negotiate in relative secrecy over the possible sale of Salem Harbor Station, the rest of us can only wait with great interest for the result.

Barring some unanticipated event, Dominion is expected to close the power plant permanently sometime during 2014. The 60-year-old facility is currently running only two of its four generating units and is relied on only part-time by the regional power grid. Read more…..

National Grid Delays Downtown Project

April 27, 2012

By Tom Dalton

SALEM — National Grid is delaying its plan to replace several miles of underground electricity transmission lines through the downtown.

The project will be postponed one year due to uncertainty over the future of the Salem Harbor Station power plant, the company said.

Virginia energy giant Dominion, which plans to close the fossil fuel plant in 2014, is in talks with a possible buyer who wants to build a natural gas facility. Read more…..

Report: Ozone pollution still a problem in MA

April 25, 2012

Boston Globe Staff

More than a third of Massachusetts residents live in a county with failing air quality.

That’s one of the findings of a new report on ozone levels by the American Lung Association.

The report released Wednesday found that of the 12 Massachusetts’ counties with air quality monitors, five have improved their grades for ozone pollution while six received an F.

Those counties that improved the ozone grade include Berkshire, Barnstable, Middlesex, Norfolk and Suffolk,

Those counties receiving an “F’’ for ozone pollution include Hampden, Hampshire, Worcester, Essex, Dukes and Bristol.


Enlarged natural gas pipeline proposed for N.E.

April 25, 2012

By Erin Ailworth

Boston Articles

A Houston pipeline company has begun exploring the expansion of a major regional pipeline to bring abundant supplies of natural gas to New England from nearby shale formations, a move that could help lower heating and electricity costs here.

Spectra Energy Corp. estimates that increasing pipeline capacity in Southern New England by about 15 percent would save gas and electric customers – including roughly 3 million in Massachusetts – up to $651 million a year. It would allow the area to further benefit from the boom in natural gas production inPennsylvania and New York, although there are no estimates yet on the potential effect on individual bills.


Ipswich River hits record low

April 11, 2012

By Ethan Forman     Staff writer

DANVERS — The Ipswich River’s flow is at a historic low, but officials say it’s too soon to institute watering restrictions.

For this time of year, the river is at its lowest flow rate in 80 years as measured at the Willowdale Dam on the border of Ipswich and Hamilton. The river is also at its lowest flow in 71 years at the South Middleton gauge.

Read more……


Salem continues bike-sharing program

April 11, 2012

By Bethany Bray    Staff Writer

Salem will take its bike-sharing program for another spin after a successful pilot season.

Salem Spins, a program that offers bicycles, free of charge, for use around the city, launched for the summer season last week.

The city’s fleet of 20 bicycles is split between two hubs, at Salem State University and downtown, near the Hawthorne Hotel. Participants are free to use a bicycle for the day after leaving a credit card with an attendant as collateral and signing a waiver to absolve the city of any responsibility.


EDITORIAL: Don’t shoot the watchdog

By Staff reports
Posted Apr 05, 2012
Marblehead —

Last week, Marblehead-and-Swampscott-based HealthLink joined two other organizations in sending out a press release announcing their opposition to the tentative plans of Footprint Power to redevelop the site of the Salem power plant. The company proposes a natural-gas plant, which may also use diesel fuel, according to filings with New England ISO, which oversees the local power grid.

Read more……

The Mindless Criticize. The Wise Question

Posted on April 1, 2012

Kathy Karch

Kathy Karch is a member of the Educational Committee of the Salem Alliance for the Environment

I suppose that I can’t be surprised that HealthLink immediately came under fire for expressing their significant concerns on their listserv regarding the current proposal to build a large natural gas and diesel burning power plant on the site of the current Salem Harbor Station.  Some people don’t care what an environmental group is saying, or who the environmental group is trying to protect.  If it’s an environmental group that’s expressing concern, some folks criticize seemingly on principle.

On March 27, Nelson Benton went on the attack against HealthLink in an editorial for the Salem News.  Let’s sum up his gripes, shall we?  HealthLink is flip flopping–10 years ago the group stated that a natural gas facility at the Salem Harbor Station site would be better and now they’re not supporting Footprint’s plan to build one.  Sarcastically, he suggests that maybe they’d prefer a nuclear power plant instead (quite a leap from not endorsing a natural gas proposal to endorsing nuclear power).  Oh, and let’s not forget his ire in the fact that HealthLink hasn’t given “one red cent” to the redevelopment of the Salem Harbor Station site (a privately owned property, I might add).  Then, just to confuse the issue and continue the gripe-fest, Mr. Benton drags in the sewage treatment plant.  How that is relevant to HealthLink or the title of his editorial “Healthlink pans Footprint plan” he doesn’t make clear.

read more….