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

Powering Municipal Aggregation with Offshore Wind

Posted by Kai Salem & Larry Chretien on Tuesday, March 08, 2022 @ 09:35 AM

Last week, with a resounding vote of 144-12, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the Offshore Wind and Clean Energy bill. It will now go to the State Senate. We are especially thrilled because we worked hard to get provisions introduced that would help municipal aggregations access offshore wind. With the championship of Rep. Tommy Vitolo and Rep. Dylan Fernandes, and the support of Speaker Ron Mariano and Energy Committee Chair Jeffrey Roy, our provisions were adopted!  

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Green municipal aggregation, Climate change, Phasing out fossil fuels

And so it goes – the relationship between fossil fuel dependence and war continues

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 @ 05:24 PM

I’m old enough to have been in junior high school when Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) imposed an embargo against the United States in retaliation for U.S. support of Israel in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. That was the first of two serious “oil shocks” to the economy in that decade. 

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Climate change, Phasing out fossil fuels

What the Sale of Narragansett Electric Means for RI's Clean Energy Future

Posted by Kai Salem on Thursday, February 17, 2022 @ 12:03 PM

Update (March 9, 2022): Green Energy Consumers Alliance strongly supports the work of RI Attorney General Peter Neronha and MA Attorney General Maura Healey to make sure this sale is fully vetted before being going through. Last week, Attorney General Neronha appealed the Division's decision, which will bring it to the review of the Superior Court. And the Massachusetts Supreme Court granted Attorney General Healey's motion for a stay on a permit for the sale, which means that the transition to PPL is currently on hold. The RI Superior Court's review begins this month.

Update (February 23, 2022): The Division of Public Utilities and Carriers issued an order today to approve the sale with no additional conditions. Although we think this was the wrong decision for Rhode Islanders, we will work with PPL, regulators, and the General Assembly to ensure that PPL can help the state meet its Act on Climate goals. 

One of the biggest questions in Rhode Island’s clean energy future is on the verge of conclusion: will Pennsylvania-based utility PPL succeed in buying National Grid’s Rhode Island electric and gas utilities? If the sale goes through, PPL will become the new utility company for almost all Rhode Islanders.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Rhode Island, Phasing out fossil fuels

RI Needs to Assess the Climate Impacts of Transportation Spending

Posted by Mal Skowron on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 @ 03:20 PM

Transportation is the largest source of climate-warming emissions in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts, so Green Energy Consumers Alliance is focused on finding policy solutions to advance low-carbon alternatives to gasoline. How the states structure their transportation budgets will be a key factor for how they expect to meet 2030 climate mandates. 

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electric vehicles/Transportation, Rhode Island, Phasing out fossil fuels

Cracking the Code on Building Sector Emissions

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, February 14, 2022 @ 03:00 PM

On February 8, Massachusetts energy officials proposed regulations that would require new residential and commercial buildings to be significantly more energy efficient. The proposal would establish a new energy code statewide, in addition to a more rigorous “stretch code” that cities and towns can adopt.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Energy efficiency, Climate change, Phasing out fossil fuels

What’s Plan B for active mobility?  

Posted by Anna Vanderspek & Mal Skowron on Friday, February 11, 2022 @ 10:30 AM

The Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) is a multi-state effort to phase down our dependence on gasoline and diesel fuels and to kickstart investments for cleaner, more affordable transportation options. In November 2021, the governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island withdrew support for the program. We're disappointed because without TCI, it's unclear how the states will achieve the emissions reductions needed to meet their climate goals. 

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electric vehicles/Transportation, Phasing out fossil fuels

This Winter Adds to the Evidence: We’re Slow Walking on Climate Action

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, February 01, 2022 @ 02:29 PM

For those of us in the climate action movement, it’s tiring to ask the question, “What will it take to get policymakers to see the climate crisis as something deserving big, rapid changes in how we produce and consume energy?” Evidently, it’s not forest fires, melting glaciers, heat waves, or hurricanes. This winter, the climate crisis, and our fossil fuel addiction are leading to other consequences: expensive electricity and lots of oil burning. And yes, we’re still not seeing nearly enough action.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electricity and the grid, Climate change, Phasing out fossil fuels

Is the RI budget good for climate action?

Posted by Kai Salem & Mal Skowron on Thursday, January 27, 2022 @ 12:22 PM

RI’s administration needs to get real on climate funding, because the Governor’s budget doesn’t.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Rhode Island, Phasing out fossil fuels

An open letter to the Massachusetts Clean Heat Commission

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, January 20, 2022 @ 09:15 AM


As the Boston Globe recently reported, the Baker administration has appointed a “Clean Heat Commission” (CHC) charged with making recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the building sector. To the appointees, we humbly ask that you consider this open letter. 

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Phasing out fossil fuels

Stand up for Clean Trucks!

Posted by Ryan Corvese on Monday, January 10, 2022 @ 09:49 AM

Updated March 2022 - If you’re a Massachusetts or Rhode Island resident, you may have taken action in February in support of heavy-duty vehicle electrification. Medium- and heavy-duty trucks not only contribute to climate change but also release nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) which are hazardous to human health. Massachusetts is considering adopting two important regulations coming out of California that will help bring down these emissions – the Advanced Clean Trucks rule (ACT) and the Heavy-Duty Omnibus rule (HDO). (Rhode Islanders, we need you to push for the adoption of these rules too!) Here’s everything you need to know to make your voice heard in either state.

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Tags: Electric vehicles/Transportation, Climate change, Phasing out fossil fuels