Ocean Planning: The Path Forward for Deepwater Wind

Apr 3, 2014 by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Thomas Edison, in his quest to produce a reliable, long-lasting source of light said, “Hell, there are no rules here, we’re trying to accomplish something.” As environmental advocates we are constantly battling against this idea that rules and process delay progress and chill innovation. As advocates for ocean planning, we have argued that just the opposite is true – using good data, understanding how people and species use the ocean will eliminate conflict and facilitate the appropriate siting and development of offshore wind projects.

This morning, at a hearing to decide the fate of Deepwater Wind’s proposed 30-megawatt wind project off the coast of Block Island, Coastal Resources Management Council member, David Abedon, used this Edison quote to suggest that Thomas was wrong about rules stifling innovation, at least in Rhode Island. The ocean planning process, he said, used by Rhode Island to minimize environmental impacts and user conflicts and to select the right location for the Deepwater Wind project did result in a new set of rules and criteria to be satisfied, but without that foundation he wouldn’t have been able to vote in favor of the project. So this morning, the fact that Rhode Island had those rules in place, and the developer Deepwater Wind knew exactly what it needed to do to satisfy the reviewers, meant a unanimous vote to recommend approval of the 30-megawatt project to the full council.

I felt a real sense of pride that the work CLF has been doing to advance ocean planning at a regional level was contributing to the successful development of offshore wind in Rhode Island.

For this project in this State, the rules aren’t obstructing the pathway forward; they have been the very light shining on the path forward. There is still another hearing left before this project can move forward, but there is no mystery in it. The developer knows what it needs to do and the agency responsible for protecting our ocean and coastal resources knows the criteria against which the project should be measured. That is an accomplishment.

Rhode Island is moving toward energy independence and emissions reductions in a thoughtful, deliberate and planned way. That is progress.

The meeting ended with Chairwoman Anne Livingston saying that “Block Island is an important part of Rhode Island and they will be very proud to be a leader in clean energy. And, this project might actually be a tourist attraction.”

When this project is built, I will be one of the first people on the ferry with my children in tow to see the wind turbines near Block Island. These five turbines will be beautiful examples that not only did the grown-ups care enough about the world to put up a fight in the face of climate change, but also that they had the vision and thoughtfulness to do it right.

CLF Files Freedom of Information Requests Seeking to Bring Transparency to the Regional Energy Strategy of the New England Governors

Mar 19, 2014 by  | Bio |  2 Comment »

Today (March 19, 2014) CLF filed Public Records requests with State Agencies across New England and with the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE) that is acting on behalf of the states.

The requests (PDFs) can be found here: Maine (Utility Commission, Governor’s Energy Office, Public Advocate), New HampshireVermont (attachment), Massachusetts (Utility Commission, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs), Rhode Island, Connecticut (Utility Commission, Department of Energy & Environmental Protection) and NESCOE, and are described fully in the press release below. Responses to these requests will be posted here as we receive them.

In an effort to bring transparency to the process through which the Governors of the six New England states are proposing billions of dollars in new publicly funded energy infrastructure, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) today filed public records requests in each of the states under their respective freedom of information laws, seeking records from state agencies as well as the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE) – a regional entity through which the states are advancing their plan.

Since the Governors of the New England states first proposed regional coordination of energy planning in December 2013, Conservation Law Foundation has supported the need to replace old, inefficient power plants—as long as the process is fully open and transparent to ensure that billions of dollars in electric utility customers’ money are committed wisely. To date, CLF’s and others’ requests for full disclosure from the Governors and NESCOE about their plans have gone unanswered.

“The Governors’ regional energy plan appears to be the product of backroom deal-making rather than sound public policy informed by open dialogue. Without vital public transparency, the resulting projects are sure to cost more than they should, in dollars as well as environmental impact,” said Seth Kaplan, Vice President of Policy and Climate Advocacy at CLF. “Conservation Law Foundation filed these records requests to shed light on the Governors’ actions and ensure that the public knows more about the projects they would be funding when they pay their gas and electric bills – in terms of types of energy resources, costs, siting, and other elements.”  

Governors and legislatures can and must play a role in establishing energy policy through publicly debated and adopted mechanisms, like the laws that have resulted in the launch of job-creating renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in the New England states. When Governors seek to commit public money to new energy resources, their actions must be consistent with the climate, environmental and customer protection laws and policies of the states—and the secretive planning process underway has not publicly demonstrated that it meets this test. Through NESCOE, the Governors have asked ISO New England to impose billions in costs on the public to pay for new gas pipelines and massive imports of Canadian hydropower, leading many to point out that the Governors’ focus on gas and Canadian hydro seems to be a “package deal” resulting from private negotiations between the Governors and energy industry representatives.

Freedom of information laws provide a critical check on the authority of Governors and their agencies by ensuring that backroom dealing can be exposed for public scrutiny. NESCOE, as an entity through which the Governors are acting to commit public resources – the money the public pays through utility bills – is likewise accountable to the public.

CLF intends to make the results of these records requests available on its website at www.clf.org/FOIA

Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) protects New England’s environment for the benefit of all people. Using the law, science and the market, CLF creates solutions that conserve our natural resources, build healthy communities, and sustain a vibrant economy region-wide. Founded in 1966, CLF is a nonprofit, member-supported organization with offices in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.


A Big Day for Offshore Wind: Federal Court Overwhelmingly Rejects Cape Wind Opponents’ Claims

Mar 14, 2014 by  | Bio |  3 Comment »

In a sweeping decision issued today, a federal court in the nation’s capitol ruled against Bill Koch’s Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound and other Cape Wind opponents on a series of claims they had brought against the nation’s first offshore wind project. The decision is a significant milestone for the 130-turbine Cape Wind project, which today took a huge leap forward after more than a decade of exhaustive reviews. It’s also a critical milestone for the United States, which lags many years behind other nations in tapping into abundant, clean, renewable offshore wind resources.

The decision was issued in connection with several cases that collectively embodied an “Everything-AND-the-Kitchen Sink” approach to challenging the project. The court rejected a variety of claims brought under the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2006, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act. The Court also rejected plaintiffs’ efforts to pursue a fishing expedition for additional documents and information outside the scope of the federal government’s lengthy and detailed review.


Will turbines similar to these soon be gracing New England waters?

While the court’s decision directs the federal government – specifically, US Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service – to take additional procedural steps with respect to two limited issues, we are confident that these steps can be swiftly completed based on extensive information and analysis already on hand. And CLF will continue to support Cape Wind, together with our partners NRDC and Mass Audubon, who joined us in submitting “friend of the court” briefs in the federal litigation.

So, why is Bill Koch’s Alliance claiming victory and crowing that Cape Wind supposedly will be “sent back to the proverbial drawing board”? Good question. The Court found that the federal government’s review was thorough. The judge overwhelmingly rejected opponents’ broad array of claims. Today’s decision also essentially provides a roadmap for completing two limited additional procedural steps. So, the Koch-funded Alliance’s rallying cry rings more than a little hollow.  Kind of like more wishful thinking from opponents driven by a strategy of “delay, delay, delay…”  Thankfully, today’s decision propels Cape Wind forward and is good news for the nation’s clean energy future.

First Distributed Generation Public Hearing in Rhode Island a Success

Mar 12, 2014 by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

The first public hearing on the new Distributed Generation Bill, S-2690, was held today in the Senate Committee on the Environment and Agriculture; the hearing was an unalloyed success. You can see background information on the DG Bill in my February 28 blog post.

The hearing was held in one of the largest rooms in the State House, and the room was filled to overflowing. Every person who testified during a long hearing spoke in favor of the bill; not one person spoke against it.

Committee Chairwoman Susan Sosnowski started the hearing with a panel of the three principal authors of the bill: Ron Gerwatowski, of National Grid; Janet Besser, of the New England Clean Energy Council (NECEC); and me. Chairwoman Sosnowski thanked us for our work on the bill.  In turn, each of us spoke about the broad support that the bill has received across sectors, including Rhode Island’s dominant electricity utility, National Grid; renewable energy developers; and the environmental community. That remarkable cooperation was further emphasized by the fact sheet that we gave to the committee, highlighting the major provisions of the bill. As you can see, that fact sheet includes the logos of Grid, NECEC, and CLF.

In my testimony, I highlighted the degree to which the current DG bill builds on the considerable success of the earlier DG statute enacted in Rhode Island in 2011. You can read the text of my prepared remarks.

For me, the highlight of the hearing was the parade of renewable energy developers who spoke in favor of the bill. One developer told committee members that he has five DG projects in Rhode Island under construction now (under Rhode Island’s existing DG statute); that those projects are in West Greenwich, Middletown, Quonset, and Johnston; and that he has invested $12 million in those projects to date.  This developer then said that he plans to commit an additional $10 million to these projects in 2014. Finally, he said, the new DG bill under consideration would ramp up renewable energy development at a rate that has not been possible in Rhode Island up until now.  It was apparent to all that this testimony made a big impression on the committee members.

Successful renewable energy developers from Massachusetts and even New Hampshire attended the hearing to say that they look forward to developing local projects in Rhode Island when this bill is enacted.

A representative of the City of East Providence spoke, saying that his city has developed a large solar DG project on the site of a closed landfill, and the city looks forward to developing additional projects of the new DG bill is enacted.

I expect that the hearing in the House Environment Committee will be held later this month. After that, I hope the bill will be quickly passed and signed into law.

Distributed Generation in Rhode Island: Moving from Contracts to Tariffs

Mar 3, 2014 by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

This post is the second in a series about a new distributed generation bill introduced in the Rhode Island General Assembly.

On Friday, February 28, a new renewable energy bill – H-7727 and S-2690 – was introduced into the Rhode Island General Assembly. The bill is designed to provide for a steep increase in the amount of so-called “Distributed Generation,” or DG, a particular kind of renewable energy, built in Rhode Island.

You can read general background about Rhode Island’s new DG Bill here. This blog post focuses on one specific, highly innovative aspect of the new DG Bill: the move from contracts to a tariff. A bit of background and explanation is in order. In order to build their projects, renewable energy developers usually need to get funding – a loan from a bank or other lender. Traditionally, developers have sought long-term contracts (LTCs) from utility companies to sell their renewable energy output. The developers then use these LTCs to collateralize a loan to get the money to build their project. Often developers will literally take their LTC to the bank and use it to obtain their financing. In 2009, Rhode Island passed a law requiring the state’s major electricity utility, National Grid, to enter into LTCs with renewable energy developers. (Some other states have similar laws; a Massachusetts statute regarding LTCs has been utilized by Cape Wind.) Then, in 2011, Rhode Island passed a separate statute designed to get Grid to sign up local DG projects for renewable energy in the state. Like the 2009 LTC Statute, the 2011 DG Statute required Grid to enter into contracts with renewable energy project developers or owners.

The Problem with Contracts
But a problem with these renewable energy contracts makes them undesirable for utilities. In fact, this problem has been one of the main reasons that utilities all over the country have been deeply reluctant to sign up renewable energy projects. The problem is this: when a utility has long-term contracts for renewable energy, the contract has adverse effects on the utility’s balance sheet, credit rating, and cost of borrowing. These adverse consequences are mandated by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The contracts show up on the utility’s balance sheet as a liability; the additional liability affects the utility’s credit rating, and can raise the cost of borrowing for the utility. This costs the utility (and its stockholders) money – and, of course, affects the utility’s openness to renewable energy.

The Solution to the Problem
The new DG Bill in Rhode Island addresses this problem in a way that we believe may prove to be a model for the rest of the country. It gives renewable energy developers a guaranteed 15- to 20-year tariff instead of a contract. Once a developer qualifies for the tariff, the bill stipulates that it cannot be rescinded or taken away. This new system for paying owners of renewable energy projects would (if enacted) be a classic win-win. The developer gets what she needs: a stream of payments, guaranteed by law, that can be used to collateralize a loan to build her project. The utility gets what it wants: no pesky contracts showing up on its books or hurting its credit rating. And, perhaps best of all, those of us who care about climate change and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels get something very important, too: a new model designed to remove one of the oldest, and longest-standing obstacles to building a robust renewable energy future.

Meeting Renewable Energy Goals in Innovative Ways
Rhode Island’s new DG Bill sets a very(!) ambitious goal: 160 MW of new DG renewable energy in five years. We believe that this ambitious goal is achievable thanks in part to this new model substituting tariffs for long-term contracts.

Salem Gas Plant Settlement: True Success Will Lie in Setting Required Emission Limits for Future Projects

Feb 24, 2014 by  | Bio |  2 Comment »

By unanimous vote, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board has adopted a groundbreaking settlement agreement between Footprint Power and CLF regarding the New Jersey–based developer’s proposed natural-gas-fired power plant in Salem. That agreement requires an approximately 80% reduction in allowable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the proposed natural gas-fired power plant by 2050, and the plant’s mandatory retirement by January 1, 2050. The agreement will be incorporated into the Siting Board’s final order and rendered enforceable.

The key to the agreement’s success in moving the needle toward the required sector-wide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, however, is not the legal proceedings that led to the agreement, or even its first-of-its-kind terms defining the size and endpoint of the natural gas “bridge.” The broader success of the agreement rests on what happens in the future relating to Footprint, any new gas infrastructure, and Massachusetts’ Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA).

Footprint and CLF are in agreement that, in order to meet the GWSA’s deep reduction requirements, the Siting Board and Commonwealth must faithfully apply the GWSA to future proposals for natural gas infrastructure. Ultimately, if the Siting Board approves proposals by future applicants with less stringent greenhouse gas limits than provided for in this landmark agreement, then that would potentially modify and weaken the agreement – unless CLF again successfully steps into the void created by the Commonwealth’s failure to fully implement the GWSA. And, even if a future power-plant project is permitted with conditions as stringent as those agreed between CLF and Footprint, the Commonwealth’s ability to meet the GWSA’s reduction targets could still be undermined if, for example, that new plant displaces low- or zero-emissions power sources – a challenge that will only increase as the region’s aging nuclear power fleet continues to edge toward retirement.

All developers of new power plants undertake “market simulation modeling.” The models seek to predict the commercial position of the proposed facility within the market in the future. The models project, on an annual basis, a facility’s energy production, fuel combusted, and capacity factor for at least 30 years, in effect predicting what the proposed facility’s GHG emissions will be in each year throughout its useful life. If the model predicts that a unit will remain a baseload facility through the 2030–2050 timeframe – meaning that it would continue to emit GHGs at or near the maximum allowable levels – then we know the applicant has a problem demonstrating conformity with the GWSA (and we have a problem because those levels of GHG emissions are far too high to meet the climate imperative).

And this is the critical point: unless and until the Siting Board establishes protocols that require applicants to provide this data from their modeling, and unless and until the Commonwealth adopts the declining annual emission limits for the power sector required under the GWSA, then these commercial models relied upon by applicants and their financiers will not internalize the GWSA limits and the costs associated with GHG emissions.

The bottom line is that in the absence of adopting limits for the power sector required by the GWSA to meet its emission reduction mandate, that mandate cannot be achieved. Simply put: without enforceable GHG reduction requirements, the commercial realities of the energy sector are not aligned with the climate change imperative to safeguard public welfare. No matter how hard CLF, our allies, and even power developers like Footprint may want to provide the means to achieve the required GHG reductions, they will not be met unless and until the state of Massachusetts acts to fully internalize the GHG emission limits into the market and the market is refined to reflect those limits and the actions necessary to get there.

At the regional level, the New England Governors have asked ISO-New England (the region’s electricity grid operator) to develop a construct for funding new natural gas pipelines and supplies to be paid for by electricity consumers – in other words, using public money. CLF’s settlement agreement with Footprint Power contains conditions and provides for actions to ensure that their gas fired–electric facility contributes to decarbonization and to the transformation of our energy system to one made up renewable resources, not carbon-based ones. CLF will now seek to ensure that the same sorts of conditions and actions accompany any proposals to expand pipelines and gas supplies into the region. Once again the question is framed: will the region’s policymakers ensure an energy market design that helps provide climate change solutions through new natural gas infrastructure, or will the clean energy and climate mandates they have worked so hard to create become empty laws – unimplemented and unenforced?

Dismantling the Latest Legal Delays in the Fight for Cape Wind

Jan 28, 2014 by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

WindThe new year has brought more of the same when it comes to the decade-long battle over the Cape Wind offshore wind energy project proposed to be built in federal waters off the coast of Massachusetts. While Europe continues to leap forward with deployment of offshore wind – tapping into this resource’s unparalleled capacity to deliver tremendous quantities of clean electricity – yet another dubious lawsuit has been filed in an effort to further delay America’s first offshore wind project. In a week that saw Cape Wind again successfully beat back its opponents’ legal claims, this time winning a favorable decision from a federal appellate court , longtime Bill Koch–backed Cape Wind opponents filed yet another new lawsuit in federal court in Boston.

The case is called Town of Barnstable v. Berwick; however, no one should be fooled as to who’s really driving this new case. As detailed in press reports and earlier posts, we have good reason to believe that it’s Mr. Koch’s Alliance, not the Town, that is continuing to pay the bills in the ongoing pursuit of a longstanding strategy of “delay, delay, delay.” This is expected to be the first of two posts that will focus on the new lawsuit’s fatal flaws.

Latest Legal Claims Fail to Stand Up to Scrutiny
We will set aside, for now, the new lawsuit’s fundamental errors of fact and instead focus on explaining why the new legal claims are wrong. Basically, this new lawsuit alleges that the Cape Wind project violates the United States Constitution in two ways: first, that Cape Wind allegedly violates the Supremacy Clause (because federal law governs interstate electricity markets); and, second, that Cape Wind supposedly violates the Commerce Clause (on the claimed basis that Massachusetts is impermissibly favoring an in-state developer over possible out-of-state developers, even though most of the Cape Wind project will be built in federal, not state, waters).

Two recently decided federal lawsuits in Maryland and New Jersey are instructive in understanding that both of the anti-Cape Wind arguments in this new lawsuit are without merit. In fact, these two legal arguments are so weak that they would reveal the real purpose of this newest anti-Cape Wind lawsuit – i.e., delay through endless, meritless litigation – even if Mr. Koch had not publicly confessed to such a strategy.

Let’s look at both of the new lawsuit’s central arguments separately.

The “Supremacy Clause” Does Not Apply
The “Supremacy Clause” of the U. S. Constitution says that federal law generally trumps state law; in areas where the federal government has pervasive, all-encompassing laws and regulations, states are not allowed to enact laws or policies that directly contradict the existing federal laws. Wholesale, interstate electricity markets are an area that the federal government regulates, through a federal agency called the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

In many parts of the country, FERC has created independent companies to manage and run the regional electricity grid. Here in New England, FERC has licensed the Independent System Operator-New England (ISO) to manage and run central aspects of New England’s electricity grid. For Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and several other states, FERC has licensed a company called PJM to play a similar role with respect to that region’s electricity grid. Because PJM and ISO are very similar to each other, these two recently decided cases I referred to above may have some legal bearing on the recently filed lawsuit against Cape Wind. (For those who are interested, the names of the two lawsuits I am discussing are: PPL Energyplus, LLC v. Nazarian, the Maryland case; and PPL Energyplus v. Hanna, the New Jersey case. I’ll refer to them here as Nazarian and Hanna.)

PJM and ISO are concerned with making sure that their respective geographic regions always have enough electricity to keep the lights on for electricity customers. One thing that they do to ensure this is to run a so-called “Forward Capacity Auction” three years ahead of time. Electricity generators bid into this auction, in effect offering to sell electricity in the geographical area three years in the future. These Forward Capacity Auctions are a principal means by which these operators of the electricity grid ensure that they will have enough electricity in the future. The procedures used to run these auctions are approved in advance by FERC; the auctions themselves are monitored by FERC; and FERC has to approve the results of the auctions. In short, federal law governs every aspect of the ways these auctions are run.

What happened in both the Nazarian and Hanna cases is that, after the capacity auction was run by PJM, Maryland and New Jersey were concerned that there would be a future shortage of electricity in their states. As a result, after the auction was run, and after the federal agency (FERC) approved the results of the auction, Maryland and New Jersey tried to do an impermissible end-run around the auction results by offering additional money – outside the auction – to anyone who would build a power plant in their states. In fact, in the Maryland case, the state actually said publicly that the reason for its action was specifically to do an end-run around federal law and regulations that were responsible for the PJM auction and its results! Not surprisingly, the courts in both cases ruled that state laws or policies could not directly contradict federal law in a specific area in which the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction. This violates the Supremacy Clause.

These two decisions simply have no applicability to Cape Wind. Neither the Commonwealth of Massachusetts nor the developers of Cape Wind nor the utilities that signed contracts with Cape Wind are trying to do an end run around the ISO’s Forward Capacity Auction – nor around any federal statute, regulation or rule. In fact, the Cape Wind project was well on its way to being permitted before the ISO ever held its first Forward Capacity Auction in February 2008.

State Interests Trump Commerce Clause Concerns
The second argument being advanced in the recently filed anti-Cape Wind lawsuit relates to the U. S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause. Basically, as a general rule, the Commerce Clause says that in the absence of a compelling justification no individual state can pass a law that benefits in-state residents and harms out-of-state residents. For example, Massachusetts cannot pass a law that says: “At all grocery stores in Massachusetts, in-state residents get a 10% discount on the prices shown, and all of-of-state residents must pay a 10% premium on the prices shown.” This (hypothetical) law would violate the Commerce Clause because it discriminates in favor of in-state residents and against out-of-state residents.

In both the Nazarian and Hanna cases, the plaintiffs claimed that the state laws that would encourage construction of in-state power plants violated the Commerce Clause because they were aimed at getting power plants built – but in state only. However, the courts in both cases ruled that this does not violate the Commerce Clause. That is, the holdings in both Nazarian and Hanna cut directly against the legal theory that the anti-Cape Wind lawyers are asserting in the newly filed case.

In both Nazarian and Hanna, the courts found that states have regulatory authority over many aspects of siting and permitting power plants. These include environmental concerns and legitimate concerns about getting enough electricity for their state’s electricity customers. In both Nazarian and Hanna, the courts found that these legitimate areas of state interest trump any Commerce Clause concerns.

In fact, the Judge in the Nazarian case wrote that individual states are allowed to facilitate the financing and construction of “certain types of power plants within its borders (such as environmental-related regulation)” without offending the commerce clause. Of course, that is what Massachusetts did when it established a requirement for electric utilities to enter long-term contracts to buy clean renewable energy – a requirement that ultimately resulted in two long-term contracts signed between utilities and Cape Wind, as well as a number of contracts with other projects. What’s more, most of the Cape Wind project isn’t even located within the borders of Massachusetts – it’s in federal waters. The judge in the Nazarian case also said that federal law specifically “preserve[s] states’ jurisdiction over certain direct regulation of physical generation facilities [including, specifically to] promote certain environmentally desired types of generation facilities.” Again, this holding shows why the new lawsuit against Cape Wind will fail.

New Day, Same Old Delays
We all know there is a climate-change emergency, and that it is crucial to develop non-carbon-emitting power plants to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. We all know that building Cape Wind is good public policy.

Based on a review of the latest weak, meritless claims advanced by opponents, we also know that their central strategy appears to be nothing more than the same old “delay, delay, delay.”

CLF’s Most Read Blog Posts for 2013

Jan 2, 2014 by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

A Quest for Clean Air

Dec 13, 2013 by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

I’d like to introduce you to two CLF members who are making a difference for people and communities in New England.

Tiffany Mellers is a working mom and Army reservist who lives in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in the shadow of Bridgeport Harbor Station, a coal- and oil-burning power plant that has been polluting that city for nearly 50 years. Tiffany’s young daughters, Jaysa and Crystal, both suffer from asthma – so severe on some days as to land Jaysa in the hospital. That makes Tiffany tireless in her quest to stop dangerous air pollution and secure a healthier future for her girls and her community.

Pauline Rodrigues lives in Somerset, Massachusetts, where, in October, she and her neighbors breathed a collective sigh of relief when Brayton Point announced it would shut down in 2017. Now, Pauline and her community are working with CLF to make sure that Somerset and Massachusetts seize on this opportunity to replace Brayton Point with a clean, no-carbon alternative that will bring good jobs and economic prosperity back to this working-class town.

In the past three years, CLF, with your support, has helped to shut down three New England coal plants, while fiercely advocating for clean, renewable alternatives and good policy to spur that investment and bring energy prices down. But Tiffany’s and Pauline’s stories remind us that, although coal’s dirty legacy is coming to an end in New England, we still have much to do for communities like Bridgeport, where old coal plants are digging in their heels, and for towns in transition like Somerset.

Getting off of coal and onto clean energy takes smart, passionate people working day and night over many years. We rely on the support of members and supporters like you to fund that work and the cutting-edge research, thoughtful analysis, and community outreach that make it successful.

As we head into the final weeks of our year-end campaign, I want to ask you to please make a gift to CLF, today. We need to raise $40,000 online this holiday season so that together we can continue to help people like Tiffany and Pauline realize a better future for their families and their communities – and for all of New England.

Together, we can make New England the first coal-free region in the country, foster life-changing innovation, and make sure that our region lives up to its mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. Thank you for joining this important cause and being part of the CLF community.

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