Massachusetts takes on leadership role with new greenhouse gas-cutting regulations

This new state program would set more aggressive emissions-reducing targets than RGGI uses. Since RGGI was created in 2009 to cut utility-sector carbon emissions, the states in the regional compact have cut their carbon emissions from electric generation by 37 percent and reduced electricity prices by 3.4 percent. At the same time, the state’s economies have grown 3.6 percent faster than states outside the compact, according to a study by the clean energy nonprofit Acadia Center. Read the full article from ThinkProgress here.

Sustainable Transportation Solutions for Maine

Maine’s climate and transportation policymaking is at a critical juncture. Last week, the Governor’s Energy Office convened an expert task force of private, public, and non-profit stakeholders to consider the challenges and opportunities ahead and to develop the Maine Energy Roadmap. The group faced complex and seemingly contradictory goals. Through one lens, maturing transportation technologies are transforming the marketplace. Most major automakers already offer electric vehicles, dozens of additional long-range, reasonably-priced models are in development, and Volvo will sell only hybrid or electric vehicles starting in 2019.  As options expand, battery ranges increase, and costs fall, Maine consumers will increasingly
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Clean Energy Group Says Connecticut Needs To Invest More In Solar

The Acadia Center said Thursday that while Connecticut’s greenhouse gas emissions have increased over the past five years the reforms proposed as part of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy “appear to raise significant new challenges to distributed solar deployment that put its crucial climate mitigation at real risk.” […] Renewable power is of particular concern to those who champion solar power, such as the Acadia Center. “While nationwide, forward-thinking states are looking towards smart, interconnected homes, often powered by rooftop solar, the draft CES recommendations for customer-sited solar are a major step away from that future,” Kerry Schlichting, policy
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Acadia: No ‘arbitrary’ cap on distributed solar

The nonprofit Acadia Center says it’s concerned about a possible decline in the growth of customer-sited solar installations. In a report, Acadia, which advocates for clean energy and consumers, said the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy, a draft of which was released last week, calls for an “arbitrary limit” on the growth of Connecticut’s in-state market for distributed solar. “Distributed” means the electricity is generated near where it’s used. The most common type of distributed solar is on rooftops. Although DEEP is pushing for an overall expansion of renewable energy in the state, Acadia said provisions laid out in
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A Change for All

As of now, RGGI reduces the carbon cap by 2.5% each year. However, RGGI can be made stronger by reducing the annual carbon cap to 5%. A study by the Acadia Center calculated that shifting the cap to a 5% annual carbon reduction will provide more than $2 billion in health benefits through 2030, which is more than double the benefits that would be achieved by continuing the 2.5% annual reduction. Read the full op-ed in the Manhattan Times here.

9 States Deciding Whether to Tighten Power Plant Emissions Rules in RGGI

Since creating the interstate compact to cut utility sector carbon emissions in 2009, the RGGI states have cut their carbon emissions from electric generation by 37 percent and reduced electricity prices by 3.4 percent, all while growing their economies 3.6 percent faster than states outside their club, according to a study by the clean energy nonprofit Acadia Center. […] “All of the program’s history suggests we can continue to go after these emissions reductions aggressively without causing a burden to ratepayers,” said Jordan Stutt, a policy analyst at the Acadia Center. Stutt pointed to modeling conducted for the RGGI states showing that the tighter
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New Reports Show Electric Vehicle Market Is Taking Hold

Confidence in electric vehicles (EVs) is growing. Several recent announcements demonstrate that many industries are convinced EVs will play a major role in the future of personal vehicles. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) recently forecasted that EVs will make up about 58% of vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2040. This month, Volvo committed to producing exclusively EVs and hybrids by 2019. And even OPEC, the representative body of oil producing nations, has begun to predict a significant impact from EVs—Bloomberg Technology just reported that the oil group quintupled its 2040 EV forecast from last year. These updated EV predictions are
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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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