Hydropower and Transmission: Updated Position Statement

As Acadia Center has examined the path to a rapid transition away from fossil fuels, it has considered the potential for hydroelectric energy from existing impoundments to replace some of the fossil fuels used in the Northeast’s energy mix. The Northeast is currently heavily reliant on fossil fuels, especially natural gas, for electricity generation. According to multiple studies, when electricity comes from excess generation at existing hydro impoundments, it results in dramatically lower carbon emissions than electricity generated by fossil fuels.[1],[2] Beyond the question of whether carbon emissions from hydro are lower, Acadia Center has been open to hydropower imports
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A regional plan to improve transportation and reduce pollution

When RGGI was being developed, opponents said that it would raise electricity costs and hurt the economy. As it turns out, they were wrong on both counts. Since RGGI was put in place, electricity prices in RGGI states have declined 5.7% while they have risen 8.6% in the rest of the country, and the economies of the participating states have grown 31% faster than the rest of the country, according to the non-partisan Acadia Center. What happened? One part of the story is that the price of natural gas declined. But perhaps even more importantly, RGGI helped the Massachusetts energy
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Cities Look to Natural Gas Bans to Curb Carbon Emissions

In Massachusetts, residential buildings account for roughly 15% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Commercial buildings represent another 9.5%. Power plants, by contrast, are responsible for almost 20% of Massachusetts’ greenhouse gases. “If we are going to decarbonize the economy, we have to stop putting gas in new buildings now,” said Deborah Donovan, Massachusetts director at the Acadia Center, an environmental group. “Building stock built now will be us in 2050 when we need to be decarbonized.” Read the full article from Scientific American here.

CT debates emissions, cars

“We’re not going to meet these goals with the way we’re going right now,” said Amy McLean Salls, a senior policy advocate at the Acadia Center, a member organization of the Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition. She said that overall, the Acadia Center was “pretty happy” with the draft road map. Read the full article from Yale Daily News here.

Marks joins Acadia Center as senior policy advocate

Jeff Marks joined Acadia Center as senior policy advocate and Maine director. Marks previously served as executive director of E2Tech, a business trade association of Maine’s energy and environmental companies. Prior to that role, he was deputy director of the Maine Energy Office where he advised state officials and agencies on energy, environmental and economic policy. Read the full article from Portland Press Herald here.

Deep State: Conservation — The Forgotten Alternative

The Acadia Center, a regional environmental group based in Rockport, recommends 500 new inter- and intracity electric buses for Maine at a cost of $750,000 each. The center’s Jordan Stutt told me that this very large expense ($375 million, plus the cost of electricity-charging stations) could be financed by a “cap-and-invest” (a.k.a. cap-and-trade) agreement with oil companies similar to the existing emissions-trading agreements between power plants and 11 Northeastern states, including Maine, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Read the full article from The Free Press here.

How much credit does RGGI deserve for the Northeast’s progress on emissions?

A report released last month by nonprofit environmental group Acadia Center found that the RGGI states — Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont — reduced carbon dioxide emissions in the power sector by nearly half, exceeding the national rate by 90%. At the same time, the economies in the partner states grew by 47%, much faster than the rest of the country, the report concludes. And it’s clear that RGGI drove at least some of this movement, said Jordan Stutt, carbon programs director at Acadia Center. “The RGGI states took a bold step when they
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As Connecticut releases electric vehicle roadmap, some question its direction

Member organizations of the Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition were glad to see the draft’s release, but at the same time, “we were surprised at the contradiction in the reduction of the rebates,” said Amy McLean Salls, state director and senior policy advocate at the Acadia Center, a coalition member. “How do you achieve your goals if you’re actually reducing the incentives you’re offering to consumers?” Read the full article from Energy News Network here.

If Pa. puts a cap on carbon emissions, what happens to electricity prices?

The nine northeastern states that participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative have seen average retail electricity prices drop 5.7% from 2008 to 2017, according to a separate study by the Acadia Center, a clean energy advocacy group. Read the full article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here.