This Week on TalkingFish.org – October 20-24

Oct 24, 2014 at 4:33pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

October 22 – Exploring America’s Ocean Canyons – Officials in the mid-Atlantic region are considering important and much-needed protection for some 39,000 square miles of U.S. territory, an area larger than Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey combined. But it’s not a place that you or I have ever visited. It’s part of the country’s ocean realm stretching 200 miles from shore, beyond our shallow coastal waters. Fortunately, the deep-sea explorations of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration vessel Okeanos Explorer and its unmanned submersible are bringing parts of that vast, largely unknown area into spectacular, close-up view. October 24 – Fish Talk in the News – Friday, October 24 -In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, New England herring and bluefin tuna fishing worlds collide; Maine’s New England Cluster read more…

Redefining Open Space: The Case for Protecting Open Space in the Sea

Oct 24, 2014 at 4:27pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Nestled on Massachusetts’ North Shore, Ipswich is an historic New England community with a vibrant town center, friendly people, and working farms. What really strikes visitors to this small town, however, is its open space. A remarkable 47 percent of the town is protected. People here seem to share a common, almost innate understanding that their quality of life is intimately tied to their open space – and that they need green spaces to balance a landscape increasingly developed for housing and commerce. The people of Ipswich are not alone – New England boasts 500 land trusts working to protect the places that make living in this corner of the country so special. Across the country, the number of active land trusts tops out at more than 1,700, which, together, have read more…

CLF’s Pro Bono Legal Services Food Hub Helps Boston Food Entrepreneurs

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

Earlier this year, two young Boston entrepreneurs were in the thick of starting a food business. Their idea was to start a food truck in low-income Boston neighborhoods where they would cook and serve on-the-go meals made with ingredients sourced from local farms. Through this venture, the duo aimed to increase access to healthy, affordable, cooked foods for the people living in these neighborhoods. While they had investors lined up, the young business team had no knowledge of how to structure an equity finance agreement. With no extra money for professional services, what were they to do? Enter the Legal Services Food Hub, a pro bono legal services project that Conservation Law Foundation launched last June under its Farm and Food Initiative. The Legal Services Food Hub is aimed at read more…

Why Is Hydro-Québec So Intent on Overselling Its Hydropower?, Part II

Oct 24, 2014 at 12:33pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

CLF has been asking questions about the carbon footprint of large-scale Canadian hydropower since before the Northern Pass project’s inception. I recently raised our concerns in my list of three ugly numbers behind the regional push for more hydropower imports, pointing out that, in the first decade after flooding, greenhouse gas pollution from new hydropower reservoirs can produce 70% as much greenhouse gas pollution as natural gas power plants, according to Hydro-Québec’s own science. As with our number on new hydropower costs, Hydro-Québec took exception in a press release, asserting that CLF does not understand the science. We obviously disagree. In this post, the second in a series of three, I will break down what Hydro-Québec’s defense of its product gets wrong—on the climate benefits of its hydropower. This will read more…

The Future of Energy Efficiency

Oct 23, 2014 at 4:25pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Energy efficiency continues to be our cleanest and lowest cost energy resource. But efficiency doesn’t just happen. At five community forums in Vermont over the next two weeks, folks can come for dinner and conversation and help guide Vermont’s efficiency efforts. The forums are FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and will be from 6 – 7:30 p.m. What works? What could be better? What would you like to see to make energy efficiency play a bigger role in your life, the life of your community, and in helping Vermont reach its 90% renewable goal by 2050? Come join for dinner and conversation with your neighbors. You can learn more and sign up here. 10/27     St. Albans, 10/28     Barre 10/29     Lyndonville 11/5       Bennington 11/6       Brattleboro For every dollar we spend, read more…

This Week on TalkingFish.org – October 13-17

Oct 17, 2014 at 4:00pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

October 14 – Editorial: As cod dwindle, communities need to reboot – The Boston Globe ran a strong editorial on the cod crisis, yesterday, calling for new thinking and stronger conservation in the Gulf of Maine fishing industry. For a fishing community that has repeatedly relied on federal disaster relief money, it is time fishermen and fisheries managers to alter their crisis response and take the necessary action that will address the problem at the source rather than ameliorate the economic side-effects. October 17 – Fish Talk in the News – Friday, October 17 – In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, the Boston Globe calls for new way solutions to the cod crisis; Atlantic winter stake move up on Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch list; Pew Charitable Trusts read more…

Lessons from 4 Years of Northern Pass Failures

Oct 17, 2014 at 1:23pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

This month marks the four-year anniversary of the announcement of the Northern Pass transmission project in New Hampshire. It has been a long, tortured road that won’t get any easier for project developers Northeast Utilities, Public Service Company of New Hampshire, and Hydro-Québec. The project inspired a vigorous opposition, still active today, in the communities where it would be built and beyond, and Northern Pass is still years away from getting the permits it needs to begin construction. As CLF’s lead advocate scrutinizing Northern Pass, I thought the occasion was a good one to take stock of what has happened so far and why Northern Pass is so off track. I’ve posted an essay to Medium that recounts what went wrong and what lessons we (and Northern Pass itself) should read more…

It’s Raining Transit Improvements, Hallelujah

Oct 16, 2014 at 3:27pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Between the rain showers in Boston this morning, Governor Patrick made an important announcement about one of CLF’s long-term priorities, the Fairmount Line. Obviating the need for sunshine to put smiles on the assembled faces, he committed the Commonwealth to four improvements to the Fairmount Line that CLF, and its community partners, have been demanding for a long time. Starting in November there will be hourly weekend service along the Fairmount Line, extending the great benefits of this transit improvement to the whole week. The successful pilot fare program introduced last year to align fares on the Fairmount Line with fares on the MBTA’s rapid transit lines will be continued permanently. In December, the MBTA will issue a request for proposals to acquire thirty Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs), the majority read more…

The ISO’s Big Mistake: Not Counting Renewable Energy

Oct 15, 2014 at 11:04am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

On October 3, 2014, the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL) voted overwhelmingly not to support the ISO’s forecast of New England electricity load for an upcoming year.  CLF is a member of NEPOOL, and strongly supported the NEPOOL action.  NEPOOL’s action is both very important and very surprising, but the story is complicated and requires a bit of explanation. What is the ISO? “ISO” is the acronym for the Independent System Operator-New England.  For background, you can read more about why CLF works with ISO. In a nutshell, ISO is the entity that is responsible for keeping the lights on in New England.  ISO operates under the Federal Power Act, and is regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  ISO has an annual budget of around $40 million (raised read more…

Why Is Hydro-Québec So Intent on Overselling Its Hydropower?, Part I

Oct 14, 2014 at 1:26pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

For years, Hydro-Québec—the provincially-owned Canadian utility and financial sponsor of the Northern Pass transmission project—has oversold the benefits and downplayed the costs of its large-scale hydropower. This campaign to confuse is profoundly frustrating: new imports from the north will likely be a part of our region’s energy future, and we need honesty, clarity, and integrity from our northern neighbors before we expand New England’s reliance on Canadian hydropower. Hydro-Québec’s latest gambit: an egregiously misleading press release, directly responding to my post and op-eds on three ugly numbers that lead CLF to concerns about imported hydropower’s price, environmental benefits, and winter reliability. In its release, Hydro-Québec accuses CLF of disseminating “erroneous” information, yet can’t identify a single error in our numbers. In this post, the first in a series of three, I read more…

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