In the growing nation-wide war on solar power, one insidious argument made by the utilities is that people with solar panels on their roofs are somehow ‘free riders’ taking advantage of their fellow ratepayers. This is a psychological ploy to pit ratepayers against each other, while the utilities reap the benefits of continued climate stalemate. The reality is that solar power provides benefits to the grid that the utilities don’t want you to think about. We think about them anyway and conclude that Massachusetts should encourage a vibrant, flourishing solar power industry.
The President’s Clean Power Plan is on a steady path to the Supreme Court. By June of 2017, the constitutionality of the Plan will be determined. The court making that determination may have only eight members, or it might have a new ninth member who will have a big impact on the final ruling. We discuss the climate implications of who that ninth justice might be, and how it all might play out. (Emphasis on the word might.) Listen in!Read more
Boom. The passing of Justice Scalia quickly went from a sad event for his family to a political street fight. The transition happened really quickly - like in about 60 minutes. By last Saturday evening, the Senate leadership warned your President from exercising his Constitutional responsibility and forbade him from even making a nomination. Wow. So much for ‘reverence for the Constitution.’
There are many important questions before the Court- from abortion to immigration to affirmative action- that will be impacted for good or ill by the decisions made over the next year. From a Climate Hawk’s perspective the crucial question is the fate of the President’s Clean Power Plan. For background on the Court’s damaging recent decision to issue a “stay” of the CPP, listen to our podcast from last Friday. In today’s show we discuss the implications of Scalia’s passing on the likelihood that the President’s plan will survive.Read more
In a surprise move, the Supreme Court granted a ‘stay’ thus halting the implementation of the President’s Clean Power Plan. The request came from the AG’s of 27 states who oppose the new clean energy regulations. The Court intervened in the normal legal process for cases like this, perhaps signaling a desire to rebuke the President’s exercise of executive power. What does this all mean? What can Climate Hawks do to keep the clean energy revolution on track? We discuss.
Jane Kleeb of BoldNebraska was instrumental in the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline. Now, at a time when pipelines are proposed all around the state, she will be the keynote speak at the Local Environmental Action 2016 Conference on March 13 at Northeastern University. If you want to fight a pipeline, here is your chance to learn from the best.
This week the Baker Administration release $15M for solar upgrades which is a step in the right direction for the Governor. However, folks across the state are rising up to oppose the new pipelines he seems to prefer- like the North East Direct, the Algonquin Pipeline, the Q-1 Loop, the Medway Peaker Project and the liquefied gas storage facility in Acushnet. We discuss.Read more
Whether you are a veteran Climate Hawk or a climate newbie, you can learn something you didn’t know at MCAN's annual conference on Sunday March 13. Listen in for details. On top of that, it turns out that the President’s the new federal budget will include a carbon price, Ted Cruz calls for a policy a Climate Hawk can agree with, and we consider the hard politics of energy and poisoned water.Read more
Governor Baker couldn’t quite bring himself to mention Massachusetts’ two gas pipeline projects (proposed by Spectra Energy and from Kinder Morgan.) They were the proverbial un-acknowledged elephant in the energy section of his State of the State address. His silence may have been due to the possibility that under public scrutiny the pipelines would be unpopular. On the other hand, the State Senate passed a bill setting intermediate targets for the GWSA. On a different topic, we wonder if the civil disobedience of the Delta Five is a model for the rest of us? Maybe, but DR worries about the legal ramifications of a successful necessity defense. Finally, we discuss the global record temperatures and recent blizzards. Listen in!Read more
The scales of the US legal system tilted in favor of Climate Hawks this week. In a ruling on an arcane aspect of the electricity market, the Supreme Court has made it possible for homes and businesses to be paid to reduce their power usage- especially during peak demand hours. In the long term, this will shape electricity markets for the better. In another piece of good news, an appeals court in Washington allowed the President’s Clean Power Plan to proceed. Specifically, it refused to issue an ‘injunction’ that would have halted the program immediately. Instead, the CPP will continue to be developed during the long period (probably a year or more) before the case makes its way to the SCOTUS. That is good for the CPP! Finally, the Obama administration issued new rules that would prevent, on Federal lands, the practice of simply burning the methane that leaks from wells. The iconic image of the ‘flaring’ well-head will be gone from public land. Listen in for this and more!Read more
Water seems to be coursing through this week’s climate news. The Governor made his State of the State address, and and made a strong call to use Canadian Hydropower to reduce our GHG emissions. The spread of the Zika virus may depend on standing water in Brazil, and of course, there is the sad crisis of poisoned wafer in Flint Michigan. What does that tell us about climate? Listen in.Read more
Last year was the hottest on record. Surprise! But on the cool side of things, the Obama administration has halted leasing on Federal lands to consider imposing what amounts to a ‘price on carbon.’ On top of that good news, the Paris Agreement allows a new interpretation of the Clean Air Act that Climate Hawks will love. Finally, the Delta Five are convicted of minor crimes, but in a way that is a victory for activists. Listen in!Read more