This Week on – September 22-26

Sep 26, 2014 at 3:54pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

September 23 – The Face of Failure – “It seems quite clear that what many of us have feared finally has occurred—a collapse or near-collapse of the [Gulf of Maine] cod stock…” September 26 – Fish Talk in the News – Friday, September 26 – In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, NMFS announced the closure of the George’s Bank Atlantic herring fishery; NEFMC invested $800,000 in collaborative research projects; a UMass Dartmouth professor received $205,000 for bycatch-reducing technology development; NEFSC began a new campaign to protect North Atlantic Right Whales; NEFMC is seeking SSC nominees; local organizations disapprove of the new Gloucester Harbor Plan; Maine lobster supply returns to average levels; Maine lobster processors receive government loan; a Globe article describes the effects of climate change on Maine read more…

Holyoke’s Coal-Fired Mt. Tom Power Plant Announces Formal Shutdown Date

Sep 24, 2014 at 1:48pm by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

Mt. Tom’s owners announced this summer that they would retire the 54-year-old coal plant, and yesterday, GDF Suez filed the official request with the electric system operator to retire this last Massachusetts coal-fired power plant by June 2018. This is great news for the residents who have breathed the pollution from Mt. Tom since it first began operation in 1960. This follows the recent announcement by Somerset’s Brayton Point, the largest coal-fired power plant in New England, that it will retire by June 2017, and the final shutdown of Salem Harbor Station earlier this year. This request to retire, if approved, will obligate Mt. Tom’s owners to retire the facility permanently, and marks the formal finish for coal in Massachusetts. Conservation Law Foundation has been fighting for decades to reveal the dismal economics of coal read more…

In Rhode Island, the Answer is Yes on Bond Issue #6

Sep 24, 2014 at 1:25pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

On election day, Rhode Islanders will have an opportunity to address climate change by voting in favor of Transportation Bond Issue #6. The “Transit Infrastructure Bond Referendum,” will help provide much-needed funding for enhancements and renovations to mass transit infrastructure throughout Rhode Island. This, in turn, will improve the public’s mobility and access to jobs, schools, and health care – and reduce carbon emissions. Today Rhode Island has one of the most extensive and comprehensive suites of renewable energy legislation in the country. These renewable energy laws are effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector – and nationwide, the electricity sector is the largest contributor to carbon pollution. But here in Rhode Island (as in the rest of New England), it is the transportation sector that is both read more…

Climate Change March 2014

Sep 23, 2014 at 4:33pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Most of my climate change advocacy has me working behind a desk or in front of a judge or other public official. It was a different experience for me to join over 300,000 people in New York City for the Climate Change March last Sunday. To begin with, over 300,000 people equals half the population of Vermont. That’s a lot of people. All of them calling for action on climate change.  That’s huge and inspiring. A great reminder of why I do what I do. Collectively the crowd showed a wide and worthy display of solutions and will. A huge banner read: “Vermont Says ‘No!’ to Nuclear Power.” I beamed when I saw it, proud that CLF had a hand in that result. Another read “Burn Calories not Gas” — read more…

The Holidays Come Early? FDA Revises Draft Food Safety Rules

Sep 22, 2014 at 4:18pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

CLF, sustainable agriculture organizations, and farmers and food businesses across the country can finally open the gift FDA presented just before the holidays last year. As explained, thanks to tens of thousands of comments, FDA announced last December that it would revise the most onerous provisions of two Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules — the Produce Safety Rule and the Preventive Controls Rule. The Produce Safety Rule sets standards for how farms grow produce. The Preventive Controls Rule regulates facilities that process raw produce. As originally drafted, these rules threatened thousands of small and medium-size farms that supply New England with fresh, locally and sustainably grown produce. Last Friday, FDA released the revised proposed rules. So, did we get what we wanted? We still need to review the revisions in read more…

Dive Deep with NOAA Okeanos Explorer

Sep 19, 2014 at 5:01pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

You can dive deep with the NOAA Okeanos Explorer science team as they explore the U.S. Atlantic coast deep-sea ecosystem. From September 4 to October 7, the team will be collecting data on Atlantic submarine canyons and the New England Seamount Chain. Check out the live feed here.

This Week on – September 15-19

Sep 19, 2014 at 3:59pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

September 16 – “Manhattan’s Marine Mammals Make a Meal of Menhaden” – New York might not be the first place you’d think of for a nature experience, but wildlife lovers there are thrilling to the sight of whales and dolphins within view of the city’s skyline. And the resurgence of these magnificent animals is partly due to the humble fish called menhaden. September 19 – Fish Talk in the News – Friday, September 19 – In this week’s Fish Talk in the New, NEFMC proposed emergency recommendations for the Gulf of Maine cod stock; John Waldman comments on the thriving Norwegian and Russian cod fishery; regional fishing groups for the Fishing Community Coalition; the Newfoundland cod fishery is undergoing a major transformation; the Maine Department of Marine Resources makes a temporary exception read more…

Working with the ISO to Integrate Renewable Energy in New England

Sep 15, 2014 at 12:33pm by  | Bio |  2 Comments »

The ISO is the organization that operates the New England-wide electricity grid and runs New England’s wholesale electricity markets. You can read more about what the ISO is, and why CLF works on ISO committees and working groups. I have written before about CLF’s work with the ISO. You can read those prior blog posts here, here, and here. As I have said before, CLF is one of the very few environmental organizations to work with the ISO, and no other environmental organization is as heavily engaged in the ISO as CLF is. A few days ago, I wrote about one of the major criticisms of renewable energy – that it is too expensive – and how changes that CLF is seeing at the ISO are, even now, making that read more…

This Week on – September 8-12

Sep 12, 2014 at 3:22pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

September 8 – “Known is a drop. Unknown is an ocean.” – That still-true ancient line, penned by Tamil poet Avvaiyar some two thousand years ago, reminds us all that while it is worth paying attention to what we see, it is often critical not to be seduced by our convictions about what it means. And so it is that recent reports from the Portland waterfront of bountiful cod can neither be ignored nor fully credited. September 12 – Fish Talk in the News – Friday, September 12 – In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, saltwater recreational fishermen ask Congress for greater representation under the Magnuson-Stevens Act; oyster beds on Martha’s Vineyard are temporarily closed; the Maine lobster industry pursues sustainable certification assessment; state fish trawl survey reports read more…

You are a Movie Star

Sep 11, 2014 at 4:06pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Really. You are. Your big break awaits. This is a contest for you. Take out your cell phone. Create a very short video. Inspire viewers to take action to “Button Up” and lower their heating costs and help tackle climate change. The competition runs September 2 to October 19. There is no entry fee. Prizes of up to $300 will be awarded in several categories. For more details go to  When you button up your coat, you keep the cold air out and the warmth in. We need to do the same for our homes and other buildings—making them cozier, saving energy dollars, and reducing pollution. Go ahead. Make a splash. Make a movie. Your Oscar awaits.  

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