Tomorrow, the Joint Committee on Telecommunication, Utilities, and Energy will hear from the public on legislation that could change over one-third of the electric supply in Massachusetts. It is critical that an energy bill of this magnitude be tailored to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the clean energy economy of the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, none of the legislation currently on the table would accomplish this vital goal. For this reason, the Global Warming Solutions Project (GWSP) will present its plan at the hearing for a comprehensive energy policy that will create a more diverse and stable electricity supply, maximize potential clean energy benefits, and minimize risks to ratepayers and our environment.
A copy of the complete testimony that will be offered by the GWSP in tomorrow’s hearing can be read here.
The GWSP’s legislative efforts are led by Acadia Center, Appalachian Mountain Club, Conservation Law Foundation, Clean Water Action, Environmental League of Massachusetts, Health Care Without Harm, and Mass Energy Consumers Alliance. The group works in collaboration with Mass Power Forward, a new grassroots network of over 100 clean energy businesses, economic justice organizations, faith communities and other allies from the Berkshires to Cape Cod. Together, this coalition is committed to ensuring the Massachusetts legislature advances a strong clean energy bill.
The GWSP Energy Resources Plan calls on the legislature to do the following:
- Immediately lift the cap on solar net metering and revise solar programs to value the full benefits that local, customer-owned projects provide to the energy grid.
- Ensure any large-scale procurement of hydropower electricity includes at least 30% Class I Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)-eligible resources of its electricity.
- Strengthen our energy efficiency programs and promote innovations in energy storage and energy resource planning.
- Maximize new renewable energy resources by bringing online 2,000 MW of offshore wind by 2025 and increasing our Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) target from 1 percent to 2 percent growth each year.
- Include safeguards to protect economic and environmental interests of the Commonwealth and ratepayers.
- Prevent subsidies for natural gas pipeline expansion.
The legislature has an opportunity to steer the Commonwealth toward significant improvements to our energy portfolio that will benefit Massachusetts customers and our environment, but this cannot happen without significant improvements to the currently proposed bills. The GWSP looks forward to working with legislators to craft the comprehensive energy package that the Commonwealth needs.
Amy Boyd & Peter Shattuck, Acadia Center
Heather Clish, Appalachian Mountain Club
Caitlin Peale Sloan & David Ismay, Conservation Law Foundation
Joel Wool, Clean Water Action
Josh Craft, Environmental League of Massachusetts
Bill Ravanesi, Health Care Without Harm
Eugenia Gibbons, Mass Energy Consumers Alliance