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…

This Week on TalkingFish.org – October 6 – 10

Oct 10, 2014 at 4:44pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

October 10 – Fish Talk in the News – Friday, October 10 – In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, the Omnibus Habitat Amendment public comment period is now open; the Northeast RPB is busy at work; ASMFC reduced the number of allowed Atlantic herring fishing days; great white sharks are covering a larger territory around Cape Cod; women are playing an increased role in commercial fisheries; the Maine elver fishery may face changes for the next fishing year; there is a growing need for a green crab market; a new Cape Anne Museum exhibit features the Gloucester maritime industry; NOAA released photos and videos from the most recent Okeanos Explorer expedition; CT DEEP begins fall Atlantic salmon stockings; volunteers excavate whale bones in Maine; Joe’s Lobster Mart fights read more…

“Snap the Shore, See the Future”

Oct 8, 2014 at 2:38pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Living in the Gulf of Maine area, climate change and sea level rise are bound to affect our lives. According to the EPA, we could see a 2-foot rise in global sea level by 2100. For almost 50 years Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has worked to restore and protect the Gulf of Maine and surrounding waters, New England’s largest public trust resource. Our work includes cleaning up our harbors, protecting ocean wildlife and critical ocean habitats like Cashes Ledge, and working to create a region-wide plan to help coastal communities adapt to rising sea levels caused by climate change. It can be difficult to imagine the effect climate change will have on our coastlines. That’s why CLF appreciates the work of the King Tides Project, a non-profit organization made up read more…

Federal Law Will Determine What You Eat

Oct 7, 2014 at 11:34am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Since the founding of the United States, law and policy (or sometimes the lack of either) have shaped what we eat. To most of us — food consumers — changes that law and policy bring to our food system are subtle. We may realize our favorite drinks now have high-fructose corn syrup but not connect that change to the influence of a particular law or policy. True, myriad factors determine what we eat, but law and policy have particularly powerful effects — sometimes beneficial, sometimes destructive — on our food system. The fingerprints of the law are all around us. How we drive to work, how many people fit into an auditorium, how we invest our money, what we discharge into the ocean — legal architecture sculpts the contours of how read more…

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This Week on TalkingFish.org – September 29 – October 3

Oct 3, 2014 at 4:50pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

September 30 – Risky Decisions and the Demise of New England’s Cod – People across the Northeast are rightly asking what is wrong with the management of New England’s fishing, and what needs to change.The Pew Charitable Trusts aimed to answer those questions with thorough research on and analysis of actions by the New England Fishery Management Council. The result is an issue brief we have titled “Risky Decisions.” October 2 – The New England (Patriots) Fishery Management Council – The Council broke from the huddle, the Committee proposal was snapped into play, and … everything fell apart, forcing another punt. October 3 – Fish Talk in the News – Friday October 3 – In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, NEFMC fails to create an emergency action plan read more…

3 Things No One is Telling You About Rising Energy Costs

Oct 3, 2014 at 2:51pm by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s first White House chief of staff, was once quoted as saying “You never want to let a serious crisis go to waste,” referring to the opportunities to pass sweeping bills in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown. Over the past weeks, we’ve seen that sentiment put into practice by some of New England’s major energy industry players. They’ve been fanning the flames of fear over expected winter price spikes to support their continued push for building massive new gas pipelines, even though new pipelines have no chance of helping to address the risk of price spikes for this winter. Here are 3 things you’re not being told about what’s really responsible for the increased rates and how to deal with rising energy costs now: New read more…

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