AMHERST — Two dozen people urged energy officials Thursday to stick with rules they believe made Massachusetts an environmental leader early this decade, after controversy over proposed biomass plants led to a groundbreaking study on the impact of burning wood to generate electricity.
Changing rules now, they told a hearing called by the state Department of Energy Resources, would accelerate the climate crisis, reward dirty energy generators and advance a proposed biomass plant that would threaten public health in Western Massachusetts.
"I did not think we'd be back here," said Mary S. Booth, director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity in Pelham, who testified against the new rules in the second of four planned hearings.
The DOER is taking comment on draft regulations that would change the circumstances under which biomass would be eligible for subsidies under what's known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard. The move followed a state law change last year that said use of renewable fuels covered by the standard must increase 2 percent annually from 2020 to 2029, instead of by 1 percent. (read more)
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