BOSTON — A few short weeks ago, the deceptively named Mass Coalition for Sustainable Energy — a group backed by pipeline proponents Eversource, National Grid, and Enbridge — announced that the Cape Cod, Neponset Valley and Sandwich Chambers of Commerce had joined its ranks. They are joining numerous corporate groups in the Baystate (the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, the Associated Industries of Massachusetts) that invest in and are in favor of drilling for fracked gas and pushing to build new pipelines to carry it through the state. This is despite the widespread knowledge that expanding our use of fossil fuels will deepen the climate change spiral we are currently facing. Burning fracked gas will prevent us from lowering our emissions as necessary to avert the climate catastrophe that is causing stronger storms, longer droughts, and rising sea levels.
What is astonishing is that they say fracked "natural" gas is a common sense, climate-friendly alternative to burning oil and coal during winter cold snaps. But, in fact, like coal and oil, fracked gas is a serious threat to our climate. The methane in fracked gas is 87 times worse for climate change than carbon dioxide. (read more)
The Fight Against A Gas Line Project In Weymouth Is Fought Every Day In Charlie Baker's Lobby (WGBH 2/4/19)
There is a 47-year-old mother of two who spends her lunch breaks sitting in the elegant reception area outside the governor's office, waiting. Waiting for Gov. Charlie Baker.
"I'm waiting for him to follow the law. I'm waiting for him to do his sworn duty to protect the people of Massachusetts," said Andrea Honore, a Weymouth resident dead set against the building of a gas compressor by the new Fore River Bridge.
At the urging of U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, federal regulators will hold a listening session in Weymouth to hear from residents opposed to a plan to build a natural gas compressor station by the Fore River. It'll be the biggest and loudest display of opposition to the project. Meanwhile, Honore is conducting a quiet and persistent demonstration nearly every day right outside Baker's door.
"I'm waiting for him to tell the [Department of Environmental Protection] to tell them to do their jobs, follow the law, follow the policies. It's exhausting trying to convince people of the obvious," said Honore, who fears that the facility will pollute the surrounding area. She disagrees with reports saying the plant won't pose much harm to the air and water of the neighboring communities. Since Honore began her sit-ins in 2017, gas safety has become even more of a touch point for those concerned about the impact of natural gas. (read more)
New Massachusetts energy efficiency plan to push storage, heat pumps and 'demand response' (MassLive 2/4/19)
BOSTON -- Massachusetts utilities have won approval for a "nation-leading" plan to cut electricity and natural gas sales over the next three years.
The 2019-2021 energy efficiency plan, approved by the Department of Public Utilities on Jan. 29, would cut aggregate retail electricity sales by 2.7 percent and cut natural gas sales by 1.25 percent within the three-year period.
The plan provides new tools for Mass Save, the energy efficiency program run by the state's utilities. Homeowners will see incentives to switch from oil and propane furnaces to electric heat pumps. Commercial and industrial energy storage will be encouraged; "strategic electrification" will get a boost; and "demand response" -- where customers save money by curtailing or shifting consumption during periods of heavy power demand -- will gain greater footing.
The Baker administration said the new energy efficiency initiatives will deliver $8.6 billion in customer benefits by investing $2.8 billion in ratepayer money, "more than three dollars in benefits for every dollar invested." (read more)
As climate change progresses and the Gulf of Maine warms up, more Kemp’s ridley turtles will head to that region in the summer — and get caught in cold water off Massachusetts as they try to return to their winter haunts in the Gulf of Mexico, researchers warn.
“With much warmer waters in the Gulf of Maine every year, migrating turtles get caught by geography — the long arm of Cape Cod — which cuts off their route to the south,” UMass Amherst conservation biologist Lucas Griffin, the first author of the study, said in a statement.
Researchers said that, with the Gulf of Maine expected to continue warming at a rapid rate in coming decades, the findings were “particularly alarming.”
The study, which also involved researchers from Mass Audubon and the University of Rhode Island, was published Tuesday in the journal PLOS One. (read more)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.