SJC nixes ‘pipeline tax’/Says Baker administration order violated intent of earlier laws

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.”

Read more.

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One of the ads against the pipeline tax. From www.NoCompressor.com

Utilities under pressure to fix small gas leaks

Gas leaks that are a distance from buildings didn’t used to have to be repaired. That’s all hopefully changing.

From Christian Wade, who covers the Massachusetts Statehouse for The Salem News:

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A recent Boston University study of 100 gas leaks in Greater Boston found that about 15 percent of those categorized as nonhazardous, “Grade 3” leaks are actually more serious Grade 1 leaks, [Audrey Schulman] said…

…Rep. Lori Ehrlich, D-Marblehead, primary sponsor of the gas-leak measure, said utilities are focused on replacing old pipes rather than fixing leaks, which is slowing the process.

Consumers are unfairly saddled with the cost, she said.

“For the ratepayers, replacement is far more expensive than repair,” said Ehrlich. “This bill puts the focus back on repairs.”

Read more.

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Rep. Lori Ehrlich, D-Marblehead, was the primary sponsor of the gas leak measure. “For the ratepayers, replacement is far more expensive than repair,” she said. “This bill puts the focus back on repairs.”

Message to SAFE from Greenpeace: “We need solutions that are fast and affordable and that rules out new nuclear power.”

This is from Jim Riccio, Greenpeace’s Nuclear Policy Analyst since 2001. He starts by commenting on the 2013 movie about “new nuclear power,” Pandora’s Promise:

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…I do have this article from FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting), which calls the film pure propaganda.

and this from Eco watch:

http://www.ecowatch.com/3-myths-from-pro-nuclear-film-pandoras-promise-1881814544.html

I also mentioned the articles by Joe Romm, a MIT physicist and climate advocate who has had an ongoing battle with the utter garbage produced by the BreakThrough
Institute & the PP [Pandora’s Promise] crowd. Here are a few of my favorites:

On Pandora’s Promise:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/06/17/2158951/pandoras-promise-nuclear-powers-trek-from-too-cheap-to-meter-to-too-costly-to-matter-much/

On BTI [Breakthrough Institute] :

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2009/05/22/204144/waxman-markey-offsets-breakthrough-institute-shellenberger-nordhaus-media/

And while I respect & supported James Hansen and his whistleblowing on the Bush administration’s climate change denial he doesn’t know nukes!

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/01/07/3736243/nuclear-power-climate-change/

If we want to abate climate change we need solutions that are fast and affordable, and that rules out new nuclear power.

NoNewNukes!

Jim

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Jim Riccio, Greenpeace’s Nuclear Policy Analyst since 2001

Movie Review by Edwin Lyman of UCS: Put “Pandora’s Promise” Back in the Box

[tomorrow: commentary on “new” nuclear power by Jim Riccio from Greenpeace]

Salem Alliance for the Environment has been getting a lot of questions from people about the safety and cost of new designs for nuclear reactors. We got in touch with Edwin Lyman at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a senior scientist in the UCS Global Security Program. He is an expert on nuclear weapons policy, nuclear materials, and nuclear terrorism. His comment on the 2013 film: “Put ‘Pandora’s Promise’ back in the box!”

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“…The film also puts forth the Integral Fast Reactor, a metal-fueled fast breeder reactor, as a visionary nuclear reactor design that could solve all of nuclear power’s problems by being meltdown-proof and consuming its own waste as fuel. However, it glosses over the myriad safety and security problems associated with fast-breeder reactors. The film makes much of an experiment conducted at the EBR-II, a fast reactor prototype that purported to demonstrate the safety of the reactor. However, again engaging in cherry-picking, it did not discuss the fact that the tests only simulated some kinds of accidents, and that such reactors are inherently unstable under other conditions. It also does not bother to explain the very real proliferation concern that led the Clinton administration to terminate development of the reactor: the fact that spent fuel reprocessing, needed for the fast reactor fuel cycle, produces large quantities of nuclear weapon-usable materials in forms that are vulnerable to theft. Contrary to its portrayal in the film, reprocessing increases, rather than decreases, the volume of nuclear waste requiring disposal…”

Read the blog post by Edwin Lyman.

 

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Edwin Lyman of Union of Concerned Scientists

Tomorrow, July 20: ENERGY, EFFICIENCY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

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.

energy efficiency and the environment
Salem Five Community Room, 210 Essex St, Salem, MA

SAFE’s video of “Gas Pipelines and Salem’s Water Supply” now on YouTube and SATV

The June 28th presentations by Wayne Castonguay, Erin Bennett, PhD, and Cathy Kristofferson can now be seen on YouTube here.

In Salem, the video will air on channel 3 on these dates and times:
Friday, July 15, 2016: 9:30 PM
Monday, July 18, 2016: 6:00 AM
(go to SATV’s online schedule for future airings)

“Avoiding Flint – Protecting the Climate”
For more info, email salemsafe@gmail.com
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 (Liasion for Stop Northeast Energy Direct: StopNED) and Paula Terrasi (also with StopNED)

SAFE’s YouTube channel

wayne castonguay

“Gas Pipelines and Salem’s Water Supply,” Parts I and II, are now on YouTube

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.

for facebook gas pipelines and Salem's water supply
The Flint, Michigan water crisis