ISO Corrects Its Big Mistake — And Will Count Renewable Energy

Jan 26, 2015 at 10:42am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

At the January 21, 2015 meeting of the ISO’s Planning Advisory Committee (PAC), the ISO made clear that – for the first time in its history – the ISO is going to count renewable energy Distributed Generation (DG) in calculating how much electricity capacity it buys in its annual “Forward Capacity Auction” (FCA). Although many details remain to be worked out, this is a big win for renewable energy – and one that CLF has been fighting for literally for years. ISO-New England is the entity that runs the New England electricity grid and wholesale electricity markets; those markets, in turn, determine how much ratepayers will pay for every kilowatt hour of electricity they use. You can read about CLF’s long-standing work with the ISO, here. Once a year, the read more…

This Week on – January 19-23

Jan 23, 2015 at 3:23pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

January 21 – What’s Happened to All the Striped Bass? – For the past six years I’ve fished for striped bass a few days each fall off Montauk, Long Island, with charter boat Capt. John McMurray, a fellow Coast Guard veteran who is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, which sets fishing policies in federal waters from New York to North Carolina. In the past, McMurray and I caught so many big bass on light tackle—a lightweight rod, reel, and line—that we lost count and returned to the dock exhausted. But in the last couple of years, unfortunately, it’s gotten harder to spot the fish. And on our most recent trip, we could hardly find any. I caught only one. January 23 – Bargaining with Cod – Comments submitted in read more…

Springfield, MA Info Session: New Legal Services Food Hub for Farmers, Food Entrepreneurs, and Lawyers

Jan 23, 2015 at 10:18am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Please join us on January 28th from 6–8PM for a Legal Services Food Hub Info Session in Springfield, Massachusetts. You’ll learn how this new project is connecting farmers and food entrepreneurs with pro bono legal assistance – and how local lawyers can get involved. Click on the flyer below for details about this free event, and don’t forget to RSVP to For further info, please visit  

This Week on – January 12-16

Jan 16, 2015 at 4:57pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

January 15 – With Menhaden Making a Comeback, Managers are at a Crossroads – It appears that we may soon get some promising news about the fish that’s sometimes called the most important one in the sea—the Atlantic menhaden. These small forage fish constitute a key part of the marine food web, and now the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is nearing completion of a new assessment of the stock. January 16 – The Question Not Asked – On January 5th, Senators Markey and Warren sent a set of questions to Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration concerning Atlantic cod. Paraphrasing the Senators’ questions for purposes of space and simplification, here’s how I would answer them January 16 – Fish Talk in the News – Friday, January 16 – In this read more…

“Good Fishing” at Cashes Ledge

Jan 15, 2015 at 12:53pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Maps offer us a unique window into history. We can see how landscapes and coastlines have changed and which locations had particularly noteworthy attributes. The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center has a collection of 200,000 maps and atlases from around the world, but on display in the lobby of the Boston Harbor Hotel (on loan from the Boston Pubic Library) is one map that caught our eye. The map is a detailed chart of the New England coast authored by Captain Nathaniel Holland in 1794, and in the center of the Gulf of Maine you can find Cashes Ledge. Not only did Holland include Cashes Ledge on the map, but he added a small, but largely telling annotation: “Good Fishing.” Nathaniel Holland’s map is historical evidence that Cashes Ledge has read more…

CLF’s 5 for 2015: Resolutions for a Healthy, Thriving New England

Jan 15, 2015 at 12:16pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

2014 was a banner year for CLF and for conservation in New England – a year of landmark breakthroughs (getting gas right in Salem); hard-won victories (shutting down dirty coal in Massachusetts); deep dives (defending New England’s ocean habitat); legal wrangles (clamping down on Cape Cod coastal pollution); and good eats (helping local farmers and food startups thrive). Most of all, it was a year on which to build. The progress we made towards cleaner energy and cleaner water, healthier oceans and healthier communities sets the stage for even bigger victories in the year ahead. As we look ahead, then, I want to share with you CLF’s 5 for 2015: our resolutions for building a healthy, thriving New England in 2015 – and for generations to come. 1. Map out read more…

Protect Cashes Ledge and Other Essential Fish Habitat: CLF and Thousands of Supporters Weigh in with Fishery Council

Jan 15, 2015 at 9:52am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

In comments submitted Friday in response to the long-awaited Omnibus Habitat Amendment 2 and its underlying analysis, CLF strongly criticized the draft Amendment proposed by the New England Fishery Management Council, stating that it does not comply with the law and puts the region’s goal of producing valuable, diverse, and sustainable fisheries even further from reach. Thousands of CLF members and supporters joined us to urge John Bullard, the regional administrator for NOAA, to reject the Council’s risky, ill-conceived and scientifically unsound proposals. The Council’s proposed Amendment would reduce protected habitat, in some scenarios by as much as 70%, and allow destructive bottom trawling in areas that have served for nearly 20 years as refuges for commercial fish and other protected marine species. Our experts’ analysis of the Draft Environmental read more…

Renewable Energy Bill Introduced Into Rhode Island General Assembly

Jan 15, 2015 at 8:58am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

On January 14, 2015, H-5079 was introduced into the Rhode Island House of Representatives. Representative Deborah Ruggiero (D-Jamestown) was the lead sponsor; House Environment Committee Chairman Arthur Handy (D-Cranston) was a co-sponsor. You can see a copy of the bill on the General Assembly’s website. The bill would extend the life of Rhode Island’s 2004 Renewable Energy Standard, Rhode Island’s first, very successful renewable energy law. CLF strongly supports H-5079, and worked with Rep. Ruggiero to craft its language. In June 2004, Rhode Island became one of the first states to enact a so-called “Renewable Portfolio Standard” (or RPS). In Rhode Island, our RPS law is called the Renewable Energy Standard (RES). RPS laws are among the most successful renewable energy laws ever enacted in the United States, because they read more…

As Cold Sets In, the New England Winter Energy “Crisis” Fizzles

Jan 14, 2015 at 5:29pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

We’re reaching the end of our first major cold snap here in New England, so let’s take stock of how New England’s electric system and market are faring. In short, we are doing much better than expected, to the great surprise of the many “experts” who have said we are in a “crisis.” Despite months of talk about energy shortages and ever-higher prices, wholesale prices for electricity and natural gas are running well below last year, and power plants are getting the fuel they need to run, even in very cold weather. After big power plant retirements, the system is working well, and the forward prices that will set future retail electric rates are also down. Unfortunately, many customers’ bills remain extremely high thanks to poorly timed energy buys by electric read more…

A Price on Carbon Pollution

Jan 12, 2015 at 12:02pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

The recent storms and pervasive power outages provide a stark reminder of the challenges we face with global warming. The images of Governor Shumlin inspecting by helicopter the broad areas without power were reminiscent of Tropical Storm Irene, one of the most devastating climate disasters to hit Vermont. Utilities and road crews across the state are working harder and spending more money to clean up after storms and prepare for the next one. And the next one seems to be coming on fiercer and sooner than it did in the past. Vermonters are resilient and independent by nature. The conversations when the power was out focused on how each of us managed by melting snow on our woodstove, and using our collection of candles and stored bottles of water. When read more…

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