Gas Pipeline – A Poor Choice

Oct 29, 2014 at 4:42pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

A healthy sign of maturity is making decisions that recognize longer term benefits and impacts. This holds particularly true for our energy decisions. In a field as rapidly transforming as our energy sector, it is important to avoid making long term decisions that burden future generations with higher costs and pollution. The steady march of proposals to build expensive new natural gas pipelines is one example. These are pipelines that will be in place for fifty to one hundred years – long past the time that climate change demands we move away from fossil fuels. Customers will be paying for these new pipelines for at least fifty years. That is a long time. Kicking the can down the road and burdening future generations masks the real costs of these new read more…

CLEC Is Looking For (Not After) Your Wallet

Oct 28, 2014 at 10:40am by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

The recently announced formation of the Coalition to Lower Energy Costs (CLEC) represents the latest tactic employed by Kinder Morgan and its Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) subsidiary in their effort to build a gas pipeline on the backs of electric customers. The acronym’s distinct resemblance to the Koch brothers’ ALEC front group is just a coincidence, but this move is straight out of the same playbook. The group’s press release suggests that it represents the interests of “citizens” and “consumers” to lower energy costs, but this thin veil cloaks a group of lawyers and gas executives set on doing quite the opposite. The fact is, CLEC is led by a former natural gas company executive and an attorney with the law firm that represents TGP. The entirety of CLEC’s officers read more…

Starting a Business Just Got Easier

Oct 28, 2014 at 9:54am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Sooner or later, if you’re thinking of starting a business, you’ll need to decide what form it should take. Do you want to start a for-profit? A nonprofit? A cooperative? Wonder if an S Corp might be a better choice than a C Corp? Is a B Corp right for you? What’s the difference between an LLC and an L3C, anyway? Understanding the myriad business structures available and choosing the best one for you can be a daunting task. To help make it easier, CLF Ventures and CLF, in partnership with Wholesome Wave, have published “How To Choose a Business Structure: A Decision Guide.” Written for the prospective or established business owner, this how-to guide will help farmers and entrepreneurs of food- and non-food ventures alike quickly get a handle read more…

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…

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