The Declining Role of Natural Gas Power in New England

By 2030, reliance on natural gas for electricity could decrease to only 10% of New England’s consumption Existing gas-fired electricity plants would be underused and any new gas infrastructure would be unnecessary, according to new study from Acadia Center A new report from Acadia Center entitled “The Declining Role of Natural Gas Power in New England” concludes that under current plans and laws, New England’s reliance on natural gas to fuel power plants could drop from 45% to approximately 10% of its electricity needs in 2030, making any investment in new gas pipelines or plants unnecessary and therefore costly. The
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Everett power plant does not have a place in a clean energy future

Letter to the Editor Exelon, the corporate owner of the Mystic Generating Station, wants to keep the fossil fuel-burning plant open beyond its scheduled 2024 retirement date, flying in the face of the future we must demand: a reliable energy grid centered on clean resources that benefit everyone (“Plan to keep using Everett power plant fuels climate, health fears,” Page A1, June 15). ISO New England, operator of the regional power grid, is already propping up the plant with hundreds of millions of ratepayer dollars, revealing a decision-making structure that perpetuates the status quo and ignores considerations of justice, equity,
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New England business groups make case to suspend energy efficiency surcharges

Clean energy advocates are pushing back against the proposal. Hank Webster, Rhode Island director at Acadia Center, said halting the programs would cause further harm to a sector that is already struggling as a result of a drop-off in home and business energy audits and efficiency improvements. Efficiency programs help drive down energy bills for all customers, regardless of whether they participate, by reducing demand and avoiding the costs of procuring additional supply, he said. … Webster said he suspects the business groups are appealing to lawmakers, rather than the state entities that oversee the programs and set the rates,
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Statement of Acadia Center

Acadia Center joins the millions of Americans outraged and saddened by the unending violence directed at people of color in this country. The brutal, callous murder of George Floyd – like so many others before him — must cause us all to meaningfully confront the endemic racism and inequalities that pervade our institutions and culture. Acadia Center is committed to fully participate and act with many partner groups and stakeholders. Our mission to build a clean energy future rises from a recognition that no solution is valid unless it contributes in a meaningful way to improving the lives of everyone,
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The Maine Climate Council: What You Need to Know Webinar

May 27, 2020, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Despite the public health crisis, the Maine Climate Council has continued its important work developing a climate action plan for Maine. The Climate Council’s six working groups have been meeting virtually over the last few months to develop their recommendations to reduce Maine’s greenhouse gas emissions at least 80% by 2050, a target set it Maine law. Please join Acadia Center and our partners for a Zoom webinar to hear from Maine Climate Council working group members about strategies they are developing to help Maine meet its climate goals and how you can
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Implications for a Downward Trend in Emissions

Numerous news stories have documented how the pandemic and resulting economic crisis have reduced air pollution around the world , bringing emissions down globally by 17%. As Americans have been forced to shelter in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, the air around us has become noticeably cleaner and climate pollution has fallen. While no one would seek to lower emissions in this way, a recent article in the Boston Globe explored the extent of the pandemic-induced pollution reduction while highlighting opportunities to rebuild a cleaner, more equitable economy. “[E]missions from cars, trucks, and airplanes have declined in metropolitan
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Shifting to An Online Work World

In an unprecedented time of change and uncertainty, the suspension of many functions of government and imposition of social distancing has resulted in a surprising amount of creative and effective interactions among stakeholders, government agencies, and coalitions. Moving to online, virtual meetings has presented opportunities to interact with new audiences and deepen relationships with stakeholders. Acadia Center’s experience with online collaboration across its offices has prepared the organization well for this transition to virtual public hearings and stakeholder processes. The crisis has reinforced our commitment to advance effective, equitable reform solutions across the region and has prompted our staff to
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Home Electric meter in plastic case showing watthours used

The Public Utilities Commission and Why it Must be Reformed

State Public Utility Commissions (PUCs) regulate the rates and services of public utilities that provide electricity, gas, sewage, or water. These governing bodies formed to provide oversight to utilities to whom they have granted monopoly markets. Generally, the mission of PUCs is to approximate the prices of a competitive market, which requires balancing the needs of consumers and the utility. Traditionally, PUCs are charged to keep rates low, ensure reliable supply, and allow utilities the opportunity to earn a profit on their business. To make swift progress on climate goals, we must change the way PUCs respond to clean energy
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Transportation & Climate Initiative would be a win for Vermont

TCI is a cap-and-invest program similar to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) that Vermont participates in to reduce carbon pollution from electricity generation. In 2005, Republican Gov. Jim Douglas signed on together with six other Northeast states. Vermont is still a part of it today, and it has been successful in multiple ways. Analysis from Acadia Center shows that since 2008: GDP of the RGGI states has grown by 47%, outpacing growth in the rest of the country by 31%; Electricity prices in RGGI states have fallen by 5.7%, while prices have increased in the rest of the country by 8.6%;
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Amid coronavirus pandemic, air pollution declines in Boston and elsewhere

“We were expecting action on TCI soon, but at this point, given that governors’ attention is elsewhere, I think we’re unlikely to have an announcement this spring,” said Jordan Stutt, carbon programs director for the Acadia Center, an environmental advocacy group in Boston. Stutt remained optimistic that states will ultimately look to TCI with a “renewed sense of urgency,” as the program could serve as a source of much-needed revenue and jobs to a region with surging unemployment claims and depleted financial reserves. “It’s a public health program and an economic stimulus program wrapped in one,” he said. “The billions
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