ISO Auction Shows That Invenergy’s Proposed Plant Is Not Needed

Feb 12, 2016 at 5:11pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Readers will recall that the two major arguments used by Invenergy in support of its plan to build a gigantic (900 MW to 1,000 MW) fossil-fuel power plant in Burrillville, Rhode Island, are that the plant is needed for the reliability of the electricity grid and in order to save ratepayers money. Both of these arguments are predicated on the supposed shortage of existing electricity generation capacity in the geographical part of New England’s electricity grid that includes Rhode Island. On Monday, February 8, 2016, ISO-NE, the entity that runs the New England electricity grid, conducted its tenth annual Forward Capacity Auction (called FCA-10) to procure electricity generation capacity for the zone that includes Rhode Island.  As a result of the auction, we learned something very important:  both of Invenergy’s primary read more…

This Week on TalkingFish.org – February 8-12

Feb 12, 2016 at 2:46pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

February 8 – Right Whales and Cashes Ledge: How to Make a Good Thing Last – In late January, North Atlantic right whales scored a big win when NOAA expanded the critical habitat for the endangered whale from 4,500 square nautical miles to 28,000 square nautical miles. The Gulf of Maine expansion includes Cashes Ledge – an area known for its rich biodiversity and abundance of fish and marine mammals and a place that CLF has been fighting to permanently protect for years. Protecting Ocean Ecosystems, by Tricia Jedele. February 9 – Fish Talk in the News – Tuesday, February 9 – In this edition of Fish Talk in the News, NEFMC publishes its latest Council Report; Moulton reports his letter spurs reforms to NOAA’s observer program; ASMFC approves Amendment 3 to the read more…

New England States Forge Ahead on Climate Action Despite Supreme Court’s Stay of Clean Power Plan

Feb 10, 2016 at 5:17pm by  | Bio |  2 Comments »

Yesterday, the Supreme Court sided with Big Coal and other climate polluters when it put a hold on President Obama’s historic Clean Power Plan. But this is just a temporary setback for meaningful federal action on climate change. The good news is that the Clean Power Plan has only been put on hold; it hasn’t been overturned altogether. We’re confident that the courts will ultimately uphold the Clean Power Plan in the face of the legal challenges currently being stacked up against it – and when they do, our country will be back on track to slash greenhouse gas emissions and prevent even more damage to our climate. The DC Circuit will expedite its evaluation of the Rule beginning this spring, and we can assure you that CLF won’t be read more…

Retail Net Metering Is Good for Us All

Feb 10, 2016 at 11:28am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Retail net metering is the single most important driver behind anyone’s decision – yours, mine, a local business’s, or town’s – as to whether it makes financial sense to install solar panels. And it’s pretty simple: with retail net metering, installing solar makes financial sense; without it . . . not so much. Here in Massachusetts, net metering has helped us grow the amount of energy generated by the sun by more than 500% in just the last five years alone – making us a leader in the nation. So why does a recent decision about net metering in Nevada have New Englanders worried about the future of solar power here? Nevada Turns Its Back on the Sun What happened in Nevada was a radical shift in policy: First, the read more…

No More Dirty Energy for Massachusetts!

Feb 10, 2016 at 9:35am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

As families across New England were preparing for this last holiday season, NRG Energy, a Texas dirty-energy giant (over 80% of its massive power holdings burn fossil fuels!), quietly filed its request with the Massachusetts Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB) for approval to construct its newest fossil-fuel power plant: a new, 350 megawatt gas- and oil-fired power plant on the south bank of the Cape Cod canal, in Sandwich, Massachusetts. NRG wants you to believe that it is doing us a favor by building this new plant, but it isn’t. I will have more to say on each of these points in future posts, but let’s be clear from the start: We don’t need more energy generation in Sandwich. Even including the imminent retirement of the nearby Pilgrim nuclear plant, that read more…

Renewable Energy Bill Heard in Rhode Island General Assembly

Feb 10, 2016 at 8:56am by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

A bill, H-7413, which would extend Rhode Island’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES), had a very successful hearing in the House Corporations Committee last night, Tuesday, February 9. (What Rhode Island calls the RES is referred to as a “Renewable Portfolio Standard,” or RPS, in most other states.)  The Senate-side companion bill, S-2181, will be heard later in the legislative session. H-7413 (and S-2181) are identical to bills that were introduced into the General Assembly last year but failed to pass. But the auguries for passage this year are excellent! A consortium of leading environmental organizations and renewable energy developers provided a background sheet on the bill for legislators.  As you can see, this bill would provide that the percentage of renewable energy in the state’s electricity mix would continue to read more…

Why Have Presidential Candidates Been Silent on Northern Pass?

Feb 9, 2016 at 9:30am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

The next president of the United States will decide only one issue that uniquely affects New Hampshire residents. Yet as candidates of both parties blanketed the state in the final weeks before today’s primary, that issue received scant attention. The next president will decide whether to authorize the cross-border connection to Canada’s Hydro-Québec needed for the Northern Pass electrical transmission line. The mega-utility Eversource is making a $1.4 billion bet on the line, which will ravage New Hampshire’s landscape and communities only to serve electricity customers in Massachusetts and south. The 190-mile line would snake poles and wires through 31 communities from the Canadian border to Concord and then East to Deerfield, destroying viewsheds along scenic byways and blighting more than 400 acres of lands permanently committed to conservation. The read more…

Faces of Ocean Planning: Rebecca Clark Uchenna of the Island Institute

Feb 8, 2016 at 12:05pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

“Island life” is pretty unique. For some islanders, day-to-day life means relying on ferries to the mainland to go to work or buy groceries and other household goods. For many others, livelihoods depend on occupations deeply rooted in the sea – from fishing, to owning marine-oriented businesses, to preserving local maritime history and culture. Each island community is different, but they all share one thing in common: the vitality and productivity of the surrounding ocean is essential to ensuring that their island community continues to thrive. In that regard, their stake in an ocean management plan is very high. Rebecca Clark Uchenna is part of the Marine Programs Team at the Island Institute, which helps sustain island and coastal communities in Maine. By understanding the complex challenges, needs, and priorities associated read more…

This Week on TalkingFish.org – February 1-5

Feb 5, 2016 at 5:01pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

February 1 – A Cartoon Crash Course – Thanks to the Pew Charitable Trusts and cartoonist Jim Toomey, the artist behind “Sherman’s Lagoon,” we now have ten animated, and even funny, videos that help explain some of the more complex concepts and actions that go into protecting our oceans. Protecting Ocean Ecosystems, by Talking Fish. February 2 – Fish Talk in the News – Tuesday, February 2 – In this edition of Fish Talk in the News, WBUR features Cashes Ledge; NE groundfishermen plan for at-sea monitoring costs; Maine shrimp hits the market thanks to spawning study; and FDA bans imports of GM AquAdvantage salmon. In the News, by Talking Fish. February 4 – NOAA Study: Climate Change Threatens Important Marine Fish and Invertebrate Species – Yesterday, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration released a major read more…

Right Whales and Cashes Ledge: How to Make a Good Thing Last

Feb 5, 2016 at 4:46pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

In late January, North Atlantic right whales scored a big win when the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expanded the critical habitat for the endangered whale from 4,500 square nautical miles to 28,000 square nautical miles. The original area included only a portion of Cape Cod Bay and an area east of Nantucket near the Great South Channel. This major expansion adds almost all of the Gulf of Maine, east to Georges Bank, and south all the way to Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Gulf of Maine expansion includes Cashes Ledge – an area known for its rich biodiversity and abundance of fish and marine mammals and a place that CLF has been fighting to permanently protect for years. This is great news for the North Atlantic right whale – the world’s most read more…