New Era of Natural Gas Exports Raises Concerns for Northeast

President Trump’s “Energy Week” address today is expected to express strong support for U.S. exports of natural gas, currently on the rise. For the Northeast, these exports exacerbate the risks of the region’s already-dangerous overreliance on a fossil fuel that has a history of volatile prices and will not allow the region to reach its commitments to reduce greenhouse gases. With the arrival two weeks ago in Taiwan of a liquified natural gas (LNG) tanker ship loaded with American natural gas, June has been a month marked with milestones for the nascent export industry in the United States. Preceding this
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A second attack on the energy efficiency program at the General Assembly poised to pass

When the bill was heard in the House Committee on Corporations back in March, only Douglas Gablinske, representing TEC-RI, a fossil fuel company lobbying organization, spoke in favor. National Grid’s vice president Michael Ryan spoke against the bill, as did Kat Burnham from People’s Power & Light and Carol Grant, who heads up Rhode Island’s Office of Energy Resources (OER). Abigail Anthony from the Acadia Centeralso spoke against the bill. Read the full article from here.

States Bring Economic Clout to Fighting Climate Change

Nine states, including New York, participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a mandatory, market-based program to reduce carbon emissions. According to a new analysis by the Acadia Center, since 2005 the RGGI states have reduced carbon emissions by 40 percent while their economies have grown by 25 percent, outpacing the rest of the country. Acadia analyst Jordan Stutt said these states bring real economic clout to the effort to combat climate change. “Together, they represent the sixth-largest economy in the entire world,” he said. “This is no longer about symbolic statements; it’s about real action to reduce harmful emissions.” Following
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Why raiding Connecticut’s Energy Efficiency Fund is a bad idea

Op-ed by Bill Dornbos and Taren O’Connor in the CT Mirror. As we try to address our state budget crisis, one option proposed by the Senate Republicans should be off the table: sweeping $136 million over the next two fiscal years from the utility ratepayer-funded Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund to the state’s General Fund. The Energy Efficiency Fund generates immense economic value for Connecticut. It brings billions of dollars in electricity and natural gas bill savings to residents and businesses, drives our growing clean energy economy, helps families reduce the difficult burden of high energy costs, and supplies significant state
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One Month In – Advocating for Clean Energy Policies in Connecticut

In this blog post, Acadia Center’s new Policy Advocate in Connecticut, Kerry Schlichting, shares her experience one month into her tenure at the organization. I recently joined the Hartford team in late May, after eight years in Washington, D.C., working on energy policy issues with a national perspective, and was eager to apply my experience to challenges at both the federal and state level. As a new staff member, my experience over the past month in Connecticut’s exciting and fast-paced environment has shown me the depth and breadth of Acadia Center’s work and how much is possible in the state
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NH Regulators Order DER Study; Cut Net Metering Credits

One settlement proposal came from a coalition of utilities and consumer parties (UCC), including Eversource Energy, Liberty Utilities, Unitil Energy Systems, the state Office of Consumer Advocate, the New England Ratepayers Association, Consumer Energy Alliance and Standard Power of America. The other proposal was filed the same day by a coalition of distributed generation industry advocates and environmental organizations known as the Energy Future Coalition (EFC), which included the Acadia Center, The Alliance for Solar Choice, the Conservation Law Foundation and eight other organizations and companies (docket DE 16-576).  

Energy efficiency fund raided to balance budget: $12.5 million of public trust eroded

“Rhode Island’s energy efficiency programs generate immense economic value for the state,” so says folks from People’s Power and Light, Acadia Center, Burrillville Land Trust, the Conservation Law Foundation, the Environment Council of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Association of Conservation Commissions, the Blackstone River Watershed Council/Friends of the Blackstone and many more who signed a letter asking that the state budget be amended to delete the raid on the energy efficiency fund. The use of these funds bring millions of dollars in electricity and natural gas bill savings to the State’s residents and businesses, drive our growing clean energy
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$12.5 Million Raid to Energy Efficiency Fund Threatens to Hurt Rhode Island Consumers and Economy

Joint release with People’s Power & Light Providence, RI – Since the House Finance Committee released its proposed state budget, energy and environmental organizations have expressed serious concerns about the dangerous precedent that the House will set if their budget is enacted. The proposed plan would raid $12.5 million from ratepayer funded, cost-effective energy efficiency programs. Groups emphasize that these are not state funds, they are rate-payer funds collected specifically to bring much-needed energy savings to all Rhode Islanders. Diverting the funds from the efficiency programs will cost Rhode Island ratepayers more money. Nonprofit organizations Acadia Center and People’s Power
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$12.5 million plunder of Energy Efficiency Fund threatens to hurt consumers and economy says environmental groups

The proposed 2018 RI State Budget will “raid $12.5 million from ratepayer-funded, cost-effective energy efficiency programs” says nonprofit organizations Acadia Center and People’s Power & Light (PP&L) setting a “dangerous precedent.” In a press release the two groups “emphasize that these are not state funds, they are rate-payer funds collected specifically to bring much-needed energy savings to all Rhode Islanders. Diverting the funds from the efficiency programs will cost Rhode Island ratepayers more money.” […] “Rhode Island’s ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs have provided $2.3 billion in economic benefits to residents and businesses since 2008, a fourfold return on investment,” said Erika Niedowski, Policy Advocate at Acadia Center.
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Environmental Advocates Regroup After House Diverts Energy Efficiency Funds

Dozens of environmental groups, including the Acadia Center, signed a letter that was sent to state lawmakers Wednesday expressing their concerns about the scoop of energy efficiency funding, which is about 10 percent of the total funds collected for the programs. Niedowski said the funds for Rhode Island’s energy efficiency programs are collected from electricity ratepayers. She said the state needs to keep using that money for its intended purpose. “If you divert those ratepayers’ funds to another purpose, that essentially amounts to an energy tax because this money is collected from ratepayers and then would be transferred and used
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