This week, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed what they called an Omnibus Energy Bill. At best it is a half-loaf, where many useful amendments were quietly withdrawn. The bill now goes to the Senate. A recent report shows that many methane leaks in MA we dropped from the utility tracking list. How can that be? Finally we discuss the latest #OilBomb train. Listen in!Read more
The Massachusetts State House of Representatives released a draft Omnibus Energy Bill that would call for 1.2 GW of offshore wind, and about half the Quebec-Hydro the Governor has requested. The bill also dodges the question of the ‘pipeline tax’- neither supporting or rejecting it. Plus, UMASS divests and Exxon continues denial as usual. What a week! Listen in.Read more
The ongoing resistance to a new pipeline in West Roxbury is a microcosm of the new global effort to fight global warming with peaceful, non-violent direct action. We chat with Chuck Collins, a co-founder of Resist the Pipeline West Roxbury, about the motivation and meaning of ‘direct action’ to stop the construction of new carbon pollution ‘infrastructure” such as the “West Roxbury Lateral.”Read more
The Supreme Judicial Court’s sweeping ‘Kain v DEP' ruling which “requires the department [of Environmental Protection] to promulgate regulations that address … sources of greenhouse gas emissions, impose a limit on emissions that may be released, limit the aggregate emissions …, set emission limits for each year, and set limits that decline on an annual basis” is destined to have a dramatic long-term impact on how Massachusetts builds a clean energy economy. On top of that, the court hearing on the President’s Clean Power Plan was delayed until September- but maybe that is a good thing. Listen in!Read more
In a landmark ruling, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (the SJC) clarified the definition of the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), and ordered the state to impose a limit on greenhouse gas emissions, not just attempt to do so! This is a big deal, with implications and ramifications that will take years to work out. It is a great start for Massachusetts to become a clean energy leader!
The important conclusion is from p38 of the ruling:
Although the department [of Environmental Protection]'s cited regulatory initiatives are important to the Commonwealth's overall scheme of reducing greenhouse gas emissions over time, they do not fulfil the specific requirements [of section] § 3 (d.) The purpose of [the GWSA] is to attain actual, measurable, and permanent emissions reductions in the Commonwealth, and the Legislature included [section] § 3 (d) in the statute to ensure that legally mandated reductions are realized by the 2020 deadline. Accordingly, we vacate the judgment of the Superior Court and remand the matter for entry of a judgment declaring that [the GWSA, section] § 3 (d), requires the department to promulgate regulations that address multiple sources or categories of sources of greenhouse gas emissions, impose a limit on emissions that may be released, limit the aggregate emissions released from each group of regulated sources or categories of sources, set emission limits for each year, and set limits that decline on an annual basis.
So ordered.Read more
This has been a busy week for under-the-radar news. Exxon is feeling the legal heat from Climate Hawks and is trying to strike back. We discuss the plans. In Ft McMurray Canada, the heat is on due to wildfires traceable to climate change. In Paris last December, the agreement essentially targeted a 1.5C temperature rise limit which has big implications that only now are becoming apparent. Finally, the Massachusetts Omnibus Energy bill is being written now- it is a good time to call your representative. You can see a backgrounder presentation here. Here is what to ask for:
- Two thousand megawatts of offshore wind
- Increase Renewable Portfolio Standard to 2% year
- Environmental standards for massive electricity transmission project and
- PLEASE ask them to vote against the bill altogether if it includes a pipeline tax!
- Don’t know your Representative or Senator?
The Paris Agreement took another step toward full implementation on Earth Day, when many countries actually signed the agreement. This is good news for the planet. In the state of Washington, a judge ordered the state to implement a climate plan. This opens another path to force change! The spawn of Mitt Romney’s old superPAC is launching an attack campaign against the likes of Bill McKibben, so be ready for some nasty messages. Down in Louisiana, the first American ‘climate refugees’ can begin moving to new homes. Is this the start of something big? Finally Jimmy Kimmel makes a great point about who to believe in the realm of climate science, but DR tries to decipher the meaning of the code words “human activity.” Listen in!Read more