The Energy Consumer's Bulletin- a New England energy news blog

The Violence of Pollution: The Injustice of Rolling Back Clean Air Protections

Posted by Paola Massoli on Thursday, July 02, 2020 @ 02:11 PM

It is mid-June 2020 and another day of unrest in America. As I scan the news, I learn that the environment has been under attack. Again. President Trump recently signed an executive order to dismantle the process requiring environmental reviews of large infrastructure projects, including oil and gas pipelines. I also learn that the administration is proposing restrictions that would further weaken air pollution controls. As I dig more, I find out that it could get a lot worse for clean water too.

Sadly, I am not surprised. It has been 4 years of chipping away at environmental protections; it’s a long list covering everything under the sun, from vehicle efficiency standards to wildlife protection. I shut down my laptop and step outside. I need fresh air.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Climate change

Massachusetts Expands MOR-EV Program

Posted by Anna Vanderspek on Saturday, June 27, 2020 @ 09:15 AM

At yesterday's Massachusetts Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Commission's quarterly meeting, the state announced a change to the MOR-EV rebate program. This important electric vehicle incentive will now be available to commercial fleet owners, as well as individual residents of the Commonwealth. We applaud the state for taking this step and are encouraged by conversation that further program changes may follow. In fact, we have a couple of ideas...

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electric vehicles/Transportation

Q&A with Rhode Island energy leaders: Highlights from our May 18th Spring Meeting

Posted by Priscilla De La Cruz on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 @ 03:35 PM

This is the first blog of a three-part series focused on renewable energy development and climate progress in Rhode Island. 

Keep reading for highlights from our virtual Spring Meeting on May 18.

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Green municipal aggregation, Rhode Island

Where's the peak in the era of COVID?

Posted by Kai Salem & Yaima Braga on Thursday, May 21, 2020 @ 09:28 AM

Over the past two months, the world’s daily patterns have changed drastically. As we know from Shave the Peak, even small changes to routines, especially during peak hours, can have an outsize impact on the emissions, costs, and fuel mix of our electricity system. So it’s no surprise to see that the pandemic and the subsequent stay-at-home orders have shifted many aspects of the electricity mix, here in New England and beyond. In fact, the average cost of electricity during March was the lowest in market history, in large part because of the pandemic.

So what’s going on in our electricity mix, and why? And perhaps most importantly, what lessons from the pandemic’s impact on the electric system should we be taking into the future?

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Electricity and the grid

Hey Congress – please fix the federal tax credit for electric cars

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 @ 12:10 PM

By all accounts, the recession caused by COVID-19 is hammering the auto industry in the United States and worldwide. Many factories are closed and dealerships have laid off most of their employees. Not surprisingly, members of Congress from some states most affected – Michigan, Ohio, and Alabama – are working on ideas to stimulate demand for new cars. Details are scant but as reported in the Washington Post on May 6, it appears to be along the lines of a “Cash for Clunkers” program.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electric vehicles/Transportation

Massachusetts Formalizes Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050...What's the Plan for 2030?

Posted by Eugenia T. Gibbons on Tuesday, May 05, 2020 @ 10:49 AM

The Baker Administration recently issued its much-anticipated letter of determination formalizing Massachusetts’ commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, a requirement first referenced in Baker’s 2020 state of the state address. Adjusting the GWSA to reflect scientific consensus and mandating pursuit of an ambitious long-term target is welcome news. But what does it mean for state-led clean energy and climate action in the immediate term?


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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts

Our Energy World in the COVID-19 Era

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 @ 12:54 PM

All of our minds are on the virus itself and its impacts on the health of ourselves, our loves ones, and the economy. We are grieving for those who have passed on and worrying for those who are losing work. So it’s understandable if you’re not interested in thinking about energy at this time. But, if you are, please join this discussion of how the pandemic could change the ways we produce and consume energy.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy

2020 Could be a Good Year for Climate Policy in Massachusetts

Posted by Eugenia T. Gibbons on Friday, January 24, 2020 @ 05:47 PM

In his State of the Commonwealth address, Governor Baker committed Massachusetts to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Then three bills touted by Senate leadership as a “next generation climate package” were released from Senate Ways and Means to be debated and voted on before month’s end. From carbon reduction goals to transit electrification and robust energy efficiency, efforts to address climate change in Massachusetts took a couple of steps forward this week. Now comes the work of turning these commitments into climate action!

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Climate change

Turning Governor Raimondo's executive order on 100% renewable energy into action in 2020

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 @ 05:26 PM

Last week, Governor Raimondo signed Executive Order 20-01, Advancing 100% Renewable Energy Future for Rhode Island by 2030. The order came on the heels of particularly disconcerting assertions made in the same week by Speaker Mattiello about the limited impact that action taken in Rhode Island can have on the climate crisis overall.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Rhode Island

Massachusetts Reinstates Consumer Funding for Electric Vehicles

Posted by Eugenia Gibbons & Anna Vanderspek on Monday, January 06, 2020 @ 11:15 AM

In November, we wrote about efforts to replenish Massachusetts’ state rebate for electric vehicles, which was then stalled in the legislature. Late the following month, lawmakers reached agreement on a proposed Supplemental Budget that included an infusion of much-needed dollars to bring back Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOR-EV), the only direct incentive offered by the state to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. Now MOR-EV will benefit from an infusion of at least $27 million dollars per year for the next two years!

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Electric vehicles/Transportation