SAFE has been collaborating with 350MA and is happy to express support for this year’s legislative agenda. This year’s priorities are renewable energy, improving infrastructure to stop methane gas leaks, and stopping the expansion of gas pipelines that will carry fracked gas to coastal communities for export:
Stop the Pipeline Tax ✧ Oppose any legislative effort to restore the pipeline tax and pursue other legislative avenues to resist fossil fuel infrastructure
Make Utilities Buy More Renewables ✧ Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) so that electric utilities must more rapidly increase the percentage of electricity sourced from renewables to get us on a faster track to 100% renewable electricity.
Put a Price on Carbon ✧ Levy a price on carbon pollution and redistribute the revenue back to taxpayers.
Expand Solar Energy ✧ Raise or eliminate net metering caps, restore the net metering retail rate for all project types including community and large-scale solar, and provide funding for community and low-income solar initiatives.
Fix Gas Leaks ✧ Require that consumers not pay for leaked gas, incentivizing companies to fix leaks faster.
To learn more, and see the bill names and numbers of 350 Mass priority legislation, visit 350 Massachusetts 2017-2018 Legislative Agenda (PDF).
Installation is now complete at the new Block Island wind power facility. On August 8, one member of the team tweeted, “I think it now qualifies as a ‘farm’ -2nd turbine completed last night #BlockIslandWindFarm@DeepwaterWind ”
From the blog of Greg Alvarez, on the American Wind Energy Association’s website (awea.org) —
American offshore wind power is one step closer to becoming a reality, with installation of the first turbines at Deepwater Wind’s Block Island project now complete.
Construction on the country’s first offshore wind farm began last spring, off the coast of Rhode Island, and the project is expected to be fully operational later this fall.
With an installed capacity of 30 megawatts, the five-turbine Deepwater Wind wind farm will generate enough electricity to supply all of Block Island’s needs, while also sending some to mainland Rhode Island. This will be a clean, affordable and welcome development for Block Island’s residents, who have long had to rely on imported, expensive and polluting diesel fuel for energy.
The Deepwater Wind offshore project is expected to be fully operational later this fall.
Ratepayers will not have not pay a special tax so that new natural gas pipelines can be built in Massachusetts.
From Bruce Mohl (Editor, CommonWealth Magazine) —
THE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT ruled on Wednesday that the Baker administration can not authorize the state’s electric utilities to tap their ratepayers for the money to finance a new natural gas pipeline into the region…
A new pipeline was expected to bring more cheap gas into the region and reduce electric prices, but opponents said a new pipeline would only increase the region’s over-reliance on a fossil fuel that is contributing to global warming…
The ruling means efforts to build a new natural gas pipeline into the region are effectively dead, although pipeline backers have said they will find another way to get the job done…
Attorney General Maura Healey joined the plaintiffs in opposing the DPU order. In a statement, she said “we know from our 2015 electric reliability study that there are cleaner and more affordable options for meeting our energy needs. The court’s decision makes clear that if pipeline developers want to build new projects in this state, they will need to find a source of financing other than electric ratepayers’ wallets.”
One of the ads against the pipeline tax. From www.NoCompressor.com
Energy, Efficiency and The Environment
5:00 PM, Wednesday, 7/20/16
Salem Five Community Room, 210 Essex St, Salem, MA
Created by: Endless Energy
From Endless Energy:
Come find out how you can make your home more energy efficient through the use of green technologies and renewable energy. Make your home more efficient, valuable and better for the environment. Be green and make some green too!
Endless Energy and our partners, Coastal Windows & Exteriors and Healthy Home Healthy Planet, will show you how you can take advantage of incentives to implement affordable programs that could potentially result in a positive net energy home.
In addition to making our homes more sustainable, we can work together to save our planet, which will be better for today and future generations. There will be presentations/information by Jeff Elie (Salem’s Energy & Sustainability Manager), Citizen’s Climate Lobby, Salem Sound Coastwatch, SalemRecycles and SAFE (Salem Alliance for the Environment) and other community leaders.
Salem Five Community Room, 210 Essex St, Salem, MA
Go to SAFE’s YouTube channel to watch the recording of the June 28th event.
Video published on Jul 9, 2016
Avoiding Flint – Protecting the Climate
Sponsored by SAFE
Part I (0 to 32 minute marker)
Introductions by Jeff Barz-Snell, Co-Chair of SAFE
“The Voice of the River,” by Wayne Castonguay (Executive Director of the Ipswich River Watershed Association)
Part II (32 minute marker to 1 hour and 44 minute marker)
“Glyphosate 101: What is this stuff & how does it behave in the environment?” by Erin Bennett, PhD, (Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor)
“Update on Gas Pipelines,” by Cathy Kristofferson (Liaison for Stop Northeast Energy Direct: StopNED) and Paula Terrasi (also with StopNED)
Ends with a question-and-answer period.
Go directly to “Gas Pipelines and Salem’s Water Supply,” Parts I and II.
The Flint, Michigan water crisis
[Below are detailed ideas on what to ask for in the bill, and a link to find out who your Mass. elected officials are.]
Massachusetts has been a national leader on clean energy, but now are at a crossroads: we are poised to invest billions of dollars to replace retiring power plants and make energy choices that will shape our future.
Comprehensive energy policy is now advancing through the state legislature. Please urge your elected officials to invest in clean energy like wind and solar, and to ban any public financing of fracked gas pipelines!
Will you contact your respresentative and senator today?
When you call, meet with, or email your Representative and Senator, here is what you can say:
“I want to urge you to strengthen clean energy provisions in the House energy bill, H4336 – an Act Relative to Energy Diversity. Please work to pass an energy bill that reduces our reliance on imported gas and harnesses our state’s abundant renewable energy resources like wind and solar. The energy bill should:
- Stop the “pipeline tax.” Ratepayers should not foot the bill for new fracked gas pipelines. The cost and risk to consumers and the environment are too great and the legislature has a role to play in protecting the public by banning this practice. Please amend this legislation to head off the DPU’s plan to charge electric ratepayers for gas pipelines.
- Be bold with offshore wind: Legislation should establish long-term contracts for at least 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy. The current bill calls for 1200 megawatts – a good start, but increasing this will allow our state to grow wind jobs and capture a cost-saving economy of scale.
- Accelerate the Renewable Portfolio Standard to increase 2% per year: Maryland, California and Hawaii have all set ambitious RPS targets. To meet cuts the scientists say we must make in our climate change causing pollution, we can and should do the same. Please increase the RPS and accelerate the growth of local renewable power and the growth of clean energy jobs.
- Restore low-income and community solar: To ensure all communities can access solar power, the legislature should restore compensation for low-income and community solar projects.
Thank you for your support of clean energy, and please urge your colleagues to support these provisions.”
If you don’t know who your elected official is, you can find out here. Once you are ready to call, you can call them directly or you can call the state house switchboard at (617) 722-2000. And once you call, please let me know what your Representative and Senator says. It is super helpful to helping us strategize!
Carol Oldham, Executive Director [email@example.com]
Massachusetts Climate Action Network
Conservation Law Foundation released a statement this afternoon regarding a historic decision by the state’s highest court enforcing the Global Warming Solutions Act.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court released its decision today in Kain et al. v. Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), affirming the State’s obligations under the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) and ordering the Commonwealth to create and implement regulations to meet its carbon emission reduction mandates. In the opinion by Justice Cordy, the Court sided with Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), Massachusetts Energy Consumer Alliance, and four teenage plaintiffs in asserting that DEP failed its legal obligation to enforce the GWSA.
“This is a historic day,” said Jenny Rushlow, CLF’s lead attorney on the case. “Today our highest court declared clearly and unequivocally that our leaders can no longer sit on their hands while Massachusetts communities are put at risk from the effects of climate change. Thanks to this landmark decision, our role as a national leader in battling climate change has only been stalled but not sacrificed. Now, with action from DEP, we can get back on track and ensure that the health of our families and future generations is always a top priority.” Read more.