Biomass developers are pushing for state policy changes that would allow their plants to emit more air pollution, underreport their climate impacts, and take families’ and businesses’ money while harming the health of our communities. CLF is joining Springfield residents and other local groups in fighting back.
Springfield, alongside community and environmental organizations like CLF, has been fighting this proposed biomass plant for years. We set the fight aside in 2017 when Palmer Renewable Energy, the company behind the proposal, paused its plans for construction. But now the company is back, hoping that its efforts to weaken state policy will bring its proposal back to life.
Massachusetts’ commitment to a new clean energy economy has been welcome news both economically and environmentally. There’s an awful lot to like about reversing the export of billions of dollars sent outside Massachusetts and the country each year to buy dirty fossil fuel energy that harms our health, increases our health care expenses and has substantial impacts on our environment, economy, jobs and national security. No question, there’s tremendous potential for investing in clean homegrown energy right here in Massachusetts, in a win for the economy and the environment. But if we’re truly going to be successful in building a new clean energy economy, we need to pay attention to the “clean” element of that equation. And if our burgeoning clean energy revolution is to be successful, it absolutely cannot leave behind the Massachusetts communities that long have borne the brunt of our dependence on dirty energy.
CLF Applauds Springfield Zoning Board of Appeals Decision to Rescind Building Permits for Biomass-burning Plant in EJ Community
Late on Wednesday night residents of Springfield celebrated an important victory in their longstanding fight against a biomass-burning plant that Palmer Renewable Energy (PRE) proposes to construct in their community. Acting on the petition of local residents Michaelann Bewsee and Toni and William Keefe, the Springfield Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) overturned the two building permits that were issued to PRE last November. Media coverage of the ZBA decision is available here and here.