Maine’s roads, highways, and bridges are vital to the state’s well-being and prosperity, and persistent budget shortfalls—$68 million annually—have real economic consequences. Our outdated transportation system is also responsible for the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions, and presents dangerous threats to our climate and public health. Proposals to reform transportation funding at the state level have failed every year since 2009, but regional collaboration offers Maine a path to meet these challenges and achieve a clean, modern transportation system that meets community needs, reduces air pollution, and enhances economic opportunity.
This joint letter supports Amendment 10 to S.2545 (An Act to promote a clean energy future). Adoption and promotion of optional on-peak/off-peak rates, as required by the amendment, is an important way of providing improved incentives for ratepayers to manage peak demand through a wide variety of methods. These include management of energy usage, advanced energy storage, smarter energy efficiency investment, local clean energy generation such as solar, and electric vehicle charging at off-peak times.
In the 2018 legislative session, the CT General Assembly enacted a mandate for the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 45% by 2030 – aligned with Acadia Center’s EnergyVision 2030 analysis. The Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3) is now considering policy mechanisms to reach this target. In advance of their June meeting, Acadia Center sent a letter to the GC3 highlighting the enormous benefits a regional transportation climate policy would have for Connecticut.
In February 2018, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) issued a request for proposals (RFP) for offshore wind projects up to 3% of the state's electricity generation. All the offshore wind bids submitted to DEEP have proposed this maximum amount, about 200 MW. This letter from clean energy advocates, environmental organizations, labor unions, and faith groups urges Connecticut to select the maximum permitted share of offshore wind by the RFP deadline this June, as well as setting an offshore wind procurement mandate that aligns with neighboring states.
Some entities and stakeholders have raised concerns about the environmental performance of the regional electricity system during a particularly cold multi-week period in December 2017 and January 2018. To better inform recent public discussions around these regional energy and climate issues, as well as potential policy solutions, Acadia Center has compiled and analyzed available data on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, electricity generation, and fuel consumption in the New England region, with conclusions presented in this fact sheet.
In January 2017, Eversource filed its first complete rate case in many years. After a lengthy proceeding, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) approved four major proposals from Eversource that are bad for ratepayers and move us away from a future with consumer control and widespread local clean energy. The endorsers of this letter support efforts to undo these counterproductive decisions in 2018 and urge the Massachusetts Legislature to ensure that similar steps are not taken in the future.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) has now been in effect for nine years in New Hampshire and the numbers tell a clear story: RGGI has produced substantial benefits—not just for the environment—but for the economy, the workforce, and public health. This fact sheet details the benefits New Hampshire has secured from RGGI since the program began.
Acadia Center submitted this proposal in response to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's announcement as part of his State of the State address to develop a comprehensive and far reaching energy efficiency strategy by April 22, 2018, including a new 2025 energy efficiency savings target.
Policymakers in Massachusetts have directed a study of transportation funding from electric vehicles and whether additional contributions are necessary to offset a loss of revenue from the gasoline tax. Acadia Center’s analysis demonstrates that additional fees are not necessary or fair in the short run, but in the longer term, an energy-equivalent surcharge per kWh of electricity consumed would be a fair way to ensure equitable contributions from all alternative fuels.
Massachusetts has fallen behind its neighbors in exploring and enacting policies that will help the Commonwealth keep pace with clean energy technologies that offer enormous promise to make the electricity grid more responsive to consumers, improve economic competitiveness, and produce substantial reductions in climate pollution. Acadia Center comments on this trend in a three-part opinion series for CommonWealth Magazine. Part One of the series reviews the recent history of grid modernization and utility reform in Massachusetts, its uncertain future, and the need for legislative reforms and oversight. Part Two describes how the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) decision on revenue, return on equity, and utility business model reform fails to benefit consumers and ultimately approves approximately $460 million in additional ratepayer costs. Part Three discusses the DPU decision issued on January 5, 2018, covering rate design.