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In March, Acadia Center released an analysis demonstrating that outdated financial incentives are driving expenditures on expensive and unnecessary utility infrastructure and inhibiting clean energy in the Northeast.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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Environmental groups push to shorten offshore wind timeline

Peter Shattuck, state director of the environmental advocacy group the Acadia Center, said his group recognizes ELM’s frustrations but added, “We wouldn’t go quite that far.” But he did acknowledge the problems environmentalists face in trying to shape the policies for the wind farm developments. “It’s a potential conflict, but there is no way around it,” he said of the companies’ prominent roles developing the RFPs. “But someone has to negotiate on behalf of Massachusetts. They have to go out and negotiate the best deals. But if they are developing projects also, that is when you need very strong oversight.”
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Federal Appeals Court Affirms Legality of State Clean Energy Programs

NRDC, along with EDF, Sierra Club, Conservation Law Foundation, and Acadia Center, filed an amicus brief in this case supporting Connecticut. Notably, the court’s rulings on both the Federal Power Act and dormant Commerce Clause claims were consistent with our positions. Read the full blog from Natural Resources Defense Council posted on Microgrid Knowledge here.

Here’s what some are saying about Trump’s decision to pull out of Paris Climate Agreement

Daniel Sosland, president of Acadia Center, a nonprofit: “The Northeast region has successfully proven the benefits of pursuing a clean energy, low polluting economy: states have reduced climate pollution while enjoying greater economic growth, job creation and public health benefits. This significant progress on clean energy under both Republican and Democratic leadership at the state and federal level serves as a prime example of what is possible across the nation.” Read the full article from Mainebiz here.