The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently filed the regulations needed to adopt the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII) regulations. As we’ve written before, these regulations are crucial for Massachusetts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030. Now, there’s a chance for YOU to support these key rules, either by testifying in person before DEP on January 30 or submitting written comments by February 9. Here’s all you need to know to act.
Way back in the summer of 2021, the electric utilities in Massachusetts – Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil – proposed bold new electric vehicle programs to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU). For the next year, the DPU engaged in a formal process to weigh the utilities’ proposals. Green Energy Consumers served as an official “intervenor” in this docket, which means we advocated for what we thought the DPU should approve. Now, finally, a year and a half later, the DPU has issued its order, unleashing hundreds of millions of dollars for electric vehicle charging infrastructure over the next four years via Make Ready programs and rebates for charging installation (those are two separate but complementary things, as we’ll talk about below!).
On December 15th, Rhode Island's Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4) approved the final draft of the 2022 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan. Green Energy Consumers, unfortunately, found the Plan lacking in several ways, which we will detail in this blog.
Rhode Island and Massachusetts both have mandates to reduce statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels: 50% for Massachusetts and 45% for Rhode Island. Let’s take a look at the approaches they’re taking in the building sector, specifically – what they have in common, what’s different, and what might work.
Rhode Island has led the nation in the electric sector, with the first offshore wind farm in the country off of Block Island and the groundbreaking law to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2033. Unfortunately, concerning the transportation sector, the state is lagging behind several states. This year, we are advocating for Rhode Island to adopt a key set of regulations coming out of California: the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII) standards.
On November 15, the Mass. Department of Energy Resources published a revised Municipal Aggregation Manual & Best Practices Guide and asked for public comments by December 7. For information, visit here.
The following are our comments.
On November 30, the Massachusetts Clean Heat Commission released its long-awaited report with recommendations for “strategies and policies to achieve deep emissions reductions from heating fuels in the state.” We’ve been waiting for this report for a long time (see our open letter to the Commission from January 2022 here), but it’s important to note that the report does not set policy itself. We expect the report to be well-read by Governor-Elect Maura Healey and the legislature – the ultimate deciders for what happens now.
A few weeks ago, we wrote a blog explaining why renewable natural gas (RNG) and hydrogen should not be mixed in with natural gas (methane) and sent through pipes to heat buildings. That blog focused on RNG – how there’s not enough to go around, that we don’t really know how much it will cost, and that getting to net-zero carbon emissions means phasing out combustion in all its forms. This blog will focus on the other fuel some stakeholders are pushing: hydrogen.
Rhode Island’s Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4)needs your input on their draft chapters of the 2022 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan: Priority Actions within the Electric, Transportation, and Thermal Sectors. Comments are due by December 2nd. You can access the draft chapters here.
Massachusetts and Rhode Island have both committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions economy-wide to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Achieving these required reductions means zeroing out emissions associated with heating our homes and businesses, which means phasing out the combustion of fossil fuels for heat.
Our two favorite states have had nation-leading energy efficiency programs for many years and those programs have saved an impressive amount of electricity, heating oil, propane, and natural gas. But are these programs up to the task of actually phasing out fossil fuels by 2050?