Exciting News on Renewables in New England

Dec 19, 2014 at 10:27am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

The ISO’s on-going effort to integrate renewable energy into the New England power grid is not only on track but is accelerating. ISO-New England is the FERC-licensed entity that runs the New England power grid. Specifically, two distinct but related changes are under way right now. First, on December 3, the ISO – for the first time in history – introduced negative price offers into New England’s wholesale electricity markets. You can read about what that means, and why it is so important for renewable energy, in my previous blog post, here. The second change is that the ISO is on a trajectory to make variable output renewable sources (like wind and solar) fully dispatchable in New England’s real time wholesale electricity market. You can read about what this means read more…

Federal Carbon Tax Bill Introduced Into Senate

Dec 17, 2014 at 2:23pm by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

Earlier this month, Rhode Island’s U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who has made climate change his signature issue, introduced into the Senate the American Opportunity Carbon Fee Act (S-2940). The bill imposes a direct, simply-applied, economy-wide tax on carbon emissions. While the bill is not perfect, it is quite excellent (and has a number of very interesting features). The centerpiece of the bill is that it immediately imposes an economy-wide tax on carbon at the rate of $42 a ton. This figure ratchets up at a rate of 2% annually plus inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index).  At that annual rate of increase, carbon would be priced at $85.68 a ton in 2050, a bit more than the $82/ton rate widely recommended by scientists for properly pricing carbon so read more…

Peirce Island’s Plume of Pollution Closes Great Bay Estuary Shellfish Beds

Dec 16, 2014 at 4:52pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

What do you get when you have an antiquated sewage treatment plant near clams, mussels, and oysters? The answer: shellfish that may not be safe to eat. Responding to the results of a joint dye study with the Food and Drug Administration, the NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) has immediately closed and/or restricted the taking of shellfish from new areas of the Great Bay-Piscataqua River estuary that were previously open to recreational harvesting. In the past, the Peirce Island sewage plant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, has occasionally failed to adequately chlorinate the discharge into the Piscataqua River. Out of abundant caution, the NHDES has established safety zones where shellfish harvesting is forbidden in order to protect public health. Substituting a dye for bacteria, the study showed that the travel read more…

White House Names City of Boston Climate Action Champion

Dec 16, 2014 at 4:30pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Last week, the White House recognized the City of Boston as a national leader in the fight against climate change when it selected the City as one of 16 winners of its fall Climate Action Champions competition. The competition recognizes communities throughout the country that have taken decisive action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, build climate resilience, and serve as a model for other cities. The award comes on the heels of Boston’s recognition by the Rockefeller Foundation as one of the world’s “100 Resilient Cities.” The White House commended Boston on its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. It also highlighted the city’s Climate Action Plan, which lays out a two-fold path for the City: first, to identify the read more…

This Week on TalkingFish.org – December 8-12

Dec 12, 2014 at 3:54pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

December 10—Miles Grant: Democrats’ “Us Too” Fishing Failure – Following up on Charlie Baker’s “fish tale,” a new blog post on Blue Mass Group from “Green Miles” Miles Grant focuses on New England fisheries and the poor political decisions that democrats have made in addressing the current issues. December 11 – A Shallow Question on Deep Corals – Our previous post on deep sea corals prompted a question from a reader, asking for evidence of bottom trawl damage to coral and canyon ecosystems. The one-day expedition featured in the October post did not find any damage to deep corals, but other expeditions throughout the Atlantic coast have provided ample evidence. December 12 – Fish Talk in the News, Friday December 12 – In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, read more…

Study Commission Nears Final Recommendations to Counter Ocean Acidification

Dec 11, 2014 at 3:55pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

The sixteen member commission empowered by the Maine legislature to conduct a brief, six month investigation into the effects of coastal and ocean acidification on fish and shellfish commercially harvested in Maine nears the end of its term and recommends further study and other measures to immediately begin to address the impacts of ocean acidification. As noted in prior blogs here and here, offshore ocean acidification occurs when carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels, gets deposited in the ocean, and mixes with water to form carbonic acid. Near shore coastal acidification occurs when runoff from storms carries nitrogen, acidic fresh water, and other pollutants to the ocean. The nitrogen and other nutrient rich pollutants cause algal blooms, which die and release carbon dioxide into the read more…

This Week on TalkingFish.org – December 1-5

Dec 5, 2014 at 3:37pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

December 5 – Scientists Speak Up For New England’s Ocean Habitat – In a letter to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, prominent researchers such as Sylvia Earle and Carl Safina urged fisheries officials to protect the places that fish need to find food and shelter, grow, and reproduce. December 5 – Fish Talk in the News – Friday, December 5 – In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, EDF suggests electronic monitoring for all New England fishing boats; 2014 is the hottest year on record; NEFMC updated the OHA public hearing schedule; Maine’s Dept of Marine Resources is holding public meetings to provide information on the Draft Omnibus Habitat Amendment; recreational fishermen express concern over cod restrictions; recreational fishermen also express concern over the possible Stellwagen Bank closure; RI read more…

Take Action to Protect Ocean Habitat

Dec 5, 2014 at 2:33pm by  | Bio |  5 Comments »

New England’s ocean is a unique and breathtakingly beautiful marine environment. One of the extraordinary places that CLF has featured as part of its ocean conservation efforts is the highly productive, diverse, and dramatically beautiful Cashes Ledge. Tragically, despite these valuable and irreplaceable characteristics, Cashes Ledge is in danger of being opened to trawls, dredges, and other destructive fishing practices pursuant to a fisheries management proposal that would eliminate its currents protections—and ultimately do more harm than good to Cashes and numerous other fragile ocean habitat in our region. For more than ten years Cashes Ledge has been protected against the most damaging forms of fishing, such as bottom trawling and dredging. But the New England Fishery Management Council is now considering a proposal that would remove these protections. The proposal, known as the read more…

Coming Clean: Strengthening EPA’s Clean Power Plan

Dec 4, 2014 at 11:00am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Even if it’s hard for our brains to accept, we all know the impacts to come from climate change if we don’t significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions now and throughout the century: food insecurity, species extinction, and dramatically severe weather events. If that news isn’t sobering enough, we’ll also face a rapidly decreasing ability to adapt to these impacts by the year 2100. In spite of these dire predictions, the fact remains that there are actions that we can and must take to have a chance of slowing the effects of climate change and avoiding the most devastating impacts. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently proposing one of these necessary actions with the Clean Power Plan, a rule intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants that read more…

Do You Love Locally Grown Food? The Food Safety Modernization Act Still Spells Trouble for Family Farms

Dec 4, 2014 at 9:15am by  | Bio |  3 Comments »

If you eat fresh, local food and support the farms that grow it, then tell the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to protect local farms and sustainable agriculture in New England. We only have until December 15 to comment on FDA’s revised food safety rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act. Last year, CLF members told FDA not to crush our local farms and food. And guess what? FDA listened! Thanks to you and many other allies, FDA fixed some of the problems with its proposed food safety rules. But the fight is not over yet. FDA’s revised rules still threaten local farms – and some groups are even fighting to get FDA to undo the positive changes it did make. Now more than ever, we need you to read more…

Page 1 of 13412345...102030...Last »