Rhode Island Legislature Punts on Climate: Smart Siting Legislation Languishes

Several state legislatures in the Northeast have gone big on climate in recent weeks. New York passed a sweeping climate plan pledging to reach 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040 and net zero greenhouse gas emissions, across the whole economy, by 2050. Maine enacted legislation that doubles the amount of renewable electricity in its Renewable Portfolio Standard to 80% by 2030 and 100% by 2050. Connecticut authorized a massive boost to offshore wind—the construction of up to 2,000 megawatts. Not Rhode Island. Legislators in Rhode Island ended their six-month session late last month without passing any climate legislation at all. Several
Read More

Offshore Wind Makes Big Moves Across the Northeast Region

Two years ago, Acadia Center’s EnergyVision 2030 examined the energy mix needed to achieve the Northeast’s 2030 decarbonization goals and determined that at least 13% of the region’s electricity needs could be served by the development of 9.5 GW of offshore wind. In New England and New York, Acadia Center has advocated for ambitious state procurement goals and these states have recently made incredible progress. Over the last three years, Northeast states have raised their collective 2035 offshore wind goals from 1.6 GW to 14.6 GW, and they may exceed the EnergyVision 2030 target if several of the projects are
Read More

Governor Mills Signs Legislation to Advance Maine’s Clean Energy Economy and Climate Safety

Acadia Center Applauds Strong Suite of Climate and Clean Energy Actions AUGUSTA, Maine – Maine’s most ambitious bills to fight climate change in a decade are now law. Today, Governor Mills signed three bills that will put Maine on track to 100% renewable energy by 2050, create an innovative Climate Council that allows voices from around the state to have a say in fighting climate change, expand access to renewable energy and put communities on the path to become energy independent. These join a suite of complementary bills that Governor Mills has signed into law since taking office, which reverse years
Read More

Connecticut House of Representatives Passes Pivotal Bill to Build 2000 MW of New Offshore Wind by 2030

HARTFORD, Conn. – Today, Connecticut’s House of Representatives passed landmark legislation that would require the state to solicit 2000 MW of new offshore wind energy by 2030, building significantly on the first 300 MW of offshore wind the state procured last year. This legislation would initiate the first new procurement this summer and includes rigorous environmental requirements and robust labor provisions. The bill has been strongly supported by a broad group of clean energy, labor, industry, and environmental advocates, and it comes on the heels of a major announcement by the governor promising new port infrastructure for this industry. “This bill is
Read More

Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions Launches for Third Session, Announces Legislative Priorities for Massachusetts

Coalition to focus on establishing long-term net zero emissions targets, expanding clean energy procurement, modernizing regional energy infrastructure and taking action to address climate impacts of transportation. BOSTON, MA – The Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (ACES), a coalition composed of diverse organizations dedicated to advancing clean, affordable and reliable energy for Massachusetts, announced its legislative priorities today. The priorities build off of previous successes in the Commonwealth to advance clean energy but also take a longer term perspective and embark into new areas where action to address pollution is vital. They will facilitate clean energy development, reduce climate pollution and
Read More

OurTransportationFuture.org: New Broad-Based Advocacy Effort Boosts Regional Initiative to Reduce Vehicle Pollution

42 Groups Join Together to Help Lawmakers, City Officials and Business Leaders Develop 21st-Century Clean Transportation Network Offering More Options and Serving the Needs of All in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic WASHINGTON, D.C. AND BOSTON – Forty-two local, regional and national groups today launched a new coalition, Our Transportation Future, established to help Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states develop a regional clean transportation system that protects public health, curbs climate-changing pollution, expands economies and improves the flow of commerce. The coalition will support states’ efforts to address a transportation system that is unworkable, outmoded and is the leading source of carbon pollution driving climate
Read More

Herding cats: Controversy over the solar siting bill in Rhode Island

This approach appears to give a lot of leeway to towns and cities to make their own decisions about how to regulate the siting of solar, and would also steer developers to previously disturbed sites. As such it was endorsed by many of the main non-profits active in the environmental and energy space, including Conservation Law Foundation, Audubon Society, Acadia Center, Save the Bay and Green Energy Consumers Alliance. Read the full article from PV Magazine here.

Our View: Fewer cars, cleaner air should be goal for Maine transit

But lowering emissions will show that Maine is serious about contributing to a very important fight. It will make us healthier, too – according to the Rockport-based Acadia Center, passenger vehicle emissions were responsible for $500 million in health costs in Maine in 2015. The Acadia Center also figures that modernizing and making green Maine’s transportation system would be a boost to the economy. By prioritizing electric cars and buses – and by implementing a vehicle emissions cap-and-trade plan based on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – Maine can raise $1 billion in new wages, create 8,700 long-term jobs and reduce emissions by 45
Read More

Lawmakers want to amend 2018 energy bill

The bill was a major issue in the energy landscape that met Gov. Lamont when he took office with an agenda that was at odds parts of the 2018 law. “This was a big one coming into this year,” Arconti said just prior to the committee vote, two days before its deadline to act. “I think we have a really good framework going forward to a final product, and not having to address it for a while after the session.” “It’s way better than it was, and it’s going to save Connecticut jobs, but it won’t expand the solar industry,”
Read More

Rhode Island Must Prioritize Solar Siting in 2019

Solar energy is growing in the Northeast, but the urgency of climate change means that states need to accelerate the transition to clean energy sources. In Rhode Island, siting challenges that have arisen in the past few years show that the state can’t do this without a plan. In a landscape patchworked with forest, farmland, and open space, policies and incentives must prioritize solar projects in areas with compatible land uses. On March 14, the House held a hearing for H5789, a solar siting bill that aims to address these challenges. The bill represents months of collaboration between conservation groups,
Read More