In a 1932 Supreme Court decision Judge Louis Brandeis famously wrote in a dissenting opinion, “It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”
There’s a bromance going on between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. It’s bizarre and has all kinds of serious implications for national security, foreign policy, human rights, and more. The focus of this blog is about how their shared agenda would have us relapse into a deeper addiction to petroleum.
For decades, the federal Clean Air Act has caused sulfur levels in electricity-generating gasoline and oil to fall dramatically. The results have been enormous. According to one study, the benefits of EPA regulations on sulfur (and nitrogen) have exceeded costs by 30 to 1. Most of these benefits have to do with public health.
2016 has been a tremendous year for Mass Energy and People’s Power & Light. Our organizations have done great work, have launched several new initiatives, and together with collaborative partners we will continue to rise to the challenges ahead. We take a moment here to look back at 2016.
For the past year, Elisa Grammer has been helping Mass Energy intervene in proceedings at the Department of Public Utilities (DPU). She has assisted our Clean Energy Program Director, Eugenia Gibbons, and Executive Director, Larry Chretien, in writing pleadings related to the Massachusetts three-year energy efficiency plan and electric grid modernization. We have also benefitted from Elisa’s expertise and time in opposing the proposed electricity ratepayer financing of new fracked gas pipeline construction. Even before the release of the reliability study by Analysis Group (commissioned by the AG’s office), Elisa helped Mass Energy argue that utilities should be investing more substantially in energy efficiency and demand response rather than looking to saddle ratepayers with the costs of new gas infrastructure. The Analysis Group report, further validated this point of view and determined that even in a stressed scenario, energy efficiency and demand response both ensure reliability in the cheapest way possible and while delivering environmental benefits, too.
The election results have many of us contemplating how we should respond, personally and professionally. I don’t have it all figured out, but here are some early thoughts.
November 8 notwithstanding, Americans strongly favor renewable energy and energy efficiency over fossil fuels and nuclear power. Opinion surveys demonstrate that quite clearly. Furthermore, surveys show that the more people know about things like wind power, solar, LEDs and electric cars, the more they prefer them over things that are hazardous to our planetary and bodily health. So whatever else it was, the election was not a referendum on energy issues.
Tags: environmental policy
The Resilient Rhode Island Act mandates that Rhode Island take active steps to mitigate and reduce the impacts of climate change. The Act passed in 2014 with widespread support from the environmental and clean energy communities, including People’s Power & Light.
More than a year ago Andy Zucker asked Larry Chretien whether it would be useful if he volunteered to help Mass Energy lobby the state legislature to increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard requiring more renewable energy in our electricity supply. Larry said ‘yes’ and since that time h has met with many legislators and legislative staff. We asked if he would write a Guest Blog, which follows:
Tags: environmental policy
Half-way through the first year of the 2016-2018 Efficiency Plan and utilities are on pace to be handsomely rewarded as they surpass the low goals set for themselves.
Readers of this blog know that I represent Massachusetts’ nonprofits on the state’s Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC). The EEAC is the body responsible for overseeing development and monitoring implementation of the state’s utility-run energy efficiency programs. Readers will recall that a year ago I voted against the Three-Year Plan proposed by the utilities administering energy efficiency programs.
Late Friday morning, Mass Energy joined policy makers and stakeholders at the Massachusetts State House to witness Governor Charlie Baker sign Executive Order 569: Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy. EO 569 directs members of the Baker administration to take steps to address climate mitigation and adaptation. Notably, the order sets August 11, 2017 as the date by which the Department of Environmental Protection must adopt regulations required to meet statewide GHG emissions reductions by 2020, in accordance with the mandates of the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) Section 3d. Regulations establishing “declining annual aggregate emissions” for sources of greenhouse gases are several years past due. This failure to pass regulations as required by law is what prompted Mass Energy to join Conservation Law Foundation in its case against the Mass DEP, Kain v. Mass DEP, that was heard before the Supreme Judicial Court last winter and unanimously decided upon in May.