Viewpoints: How clean energy can help save Connecticut’s budget

As the state’s budget battle continues, debate over cutting costs and raising revenue has not focused on a promising strategy – ramping up clean energy efforts to grow our way out of the budget problem. Deploying solar and increasing building energy efficiency cuts air pollution, reduces energy costs, creates jobs, and stimulates the state’s economy – all while putting more tax revenue in state coffers. We can help plug the budget gap by strengthening our clean energy economy. The two work together. What we absolutely should not do is raid clean energy funds. An essential part of Connecticut’s clean energy
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EnergyVision 2030 for Massachusetts

Massachusetts has a strong record addressing climate-changing pollution. In the early 2000s, Massachusetts was a founding partner in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a multi-state, bipartisan cooperative that has contributed to a 50% drop in power plant emissions.  Passage of the Green Communities Act in 2008 led to nation-leading energy efficiency policies that reduce energy waste and save consumers billions of dollars. Last year, the Baker Administration and Legislature collaborated on landmark legislation to launch the U.S. offshore wind industry, enable further growth of onshore wind and solar power, import Canadian hydroelectricity, and place the Commonwealth at the forefront
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Massachusetts must fill void left by U.S. withdrawal from Paris Agreement (Guest viewpoint)

Op-ed by Daniel Sosland and Peter Rothstein in Mass Live. Since President Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, business leaders, environmental organizations and public officials across the nation have expressed concern for the impact on our climate and economy. The momentum we’ve achieved in building our nation’s renewable and clean energy sector must now be picked up by forward-looking states, cities and businesses around the country. Massachusetts is in a unique position to be a leader in this effort. Massachusetts has a long history of using policy to bolster renewable and advanced clean energy deployment and innovation.
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How Can We Replace Traditional Infrastructure with Clean Energy?

In March, Acadia Center released an analysis demonstrating that outdated financial incentives are driving expenditures on expensive and unnecessary utility infrastructure and inhibiting clean energy in the Northeast. The report, Incentives for Change: Why Utilities Continue to Build and How Regulators Can Motivate Them to Modernize, shows that under current rules, utilities can earn more money on infrastructure expenditures like natural gas pipelines and electric transmission lines than on cleaner, local energy resources like energy efficiency, rooftop solar, and highly efficient electric heat pumps. The key takeaway from the analysis is that without changes to the way they are regulated
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New State Home Heating Oil Fees Proposed

Claire Coleman, an attorney with the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, said the draft strategy plan involves “some significant missed opportunities, and … doesn’t get Connecticut where we need to be in terms of greenhouse gas reductions.” The Acadia Center’s Kerry Schlichting also said her organization “have some doubts” about the plan’s ability “to make real progress on carbon reductions.” Read the full article from the Hartford Courant here.

California Shows How States Can Lead on Climate Change

Attention now turns to the Northeast, where nine states, including New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts, are part of what is known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which, like California’s effort, is a market-based cap-and-trade program that goes beyond state boundaries. So far, R.G.G.I., as it is known for short, has helped reduce emissions from power plants in the region by 40 percent between 2008 and 2016, according to the Acadia Center, a research and public interest group. States are now negotiating the future of the program beyond 2020. Read the full editorial from The New York Times here.

Northeast States Talk Big On Climate. This Is Their First Serious Test.

“What we gain in return for that marginal additional cost is that we avoid 99 million [short] tons of CO2 emissions” from 2017 to 2031, Jordan Stutt, a policy analyst at the Boston-based Acadia Center, told HuffPost. “That’s more than a full year’s worth of emissions for this region. If the states are serious about acting on climate, they can’t ignore those kinds of emissions reductions at that low a cost.” Read the full article from the Huffington Post here.

Healey calls for Eversource rate cut

A group of local officials and environmental groups have also raised concerns about Eversource’s proposal, which they say would reduce the compensation paid to cities and towns for solar projects by about 40 percent. “The Eversource proposal that impacts these municipal solar projects is part of broader rate proposals to reduce customer control over bills and lower incentives for local clean energy,” Acadia Center staff attorney Mark LeBel said in a statement. “Eversource’s proposals would set back efforts to promote energy efficiency, electric vehicles, storage, and efficient electric heating too. The DPU should be looking for economically sensible ways to
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Greens fear momentum loss in 9-state climate pact

Peter Shattuck, director of the Acadia Center’s Clean Energy Initiative, said the decision has become increasingly important in the wake of President Trump’s announcement of the United States leaving the Paris Agreement. An Acadia Center study found that emissions in the RGGI region fell by 37 percent after 2008, the year the program was instituted, while electricity prices fell by more than 3 percent. “I think they need to follow through on the commitments they’ve made on climate change,” Shattuck said. “This is now an issue of global importance.” Read the full article from E&E News here (article may not
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As Feds Move Away From Climate Change, Maine and New England Consider Stronger CO2 Caps

  “All the evidence points to the fact that RGGI’s working well, it’s been a great success since its inception,” says Peter Shattuck, director of the Clean Energy Initiative at the Acadia Center, an an environmental policy group with offices in Maine and around the northeast. “[Since RGGI’s 2009 startup] carbon pollution is down 40 percent, electricity prices are down 3 percent, and at the same time [the participating] states’ economies have grown by 25 percent,” he says. … “This is an opportunity and a necessity to fill that void. And this is not uncharted territory for RGGI itself,” Shattuck
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