This post is by John Rogers who is a senior energy analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists and a director on the RENEW Northeast board.
The Massachusetts state legislature is considering a forward–looking bill to further reduce carbon emissions and clean up our air—something all residents deserve. A bi-partisan committee of three representatives and three senators has begun working on a compromise energy bill to send to Gov. Charlie Baker.
The bill as amended by the state senate will benefit consumers by creating greater competition between electricity sources and allowing all forms of renewable energy to meet more of the state’s clean energy needs. Throughout New England, large-scale renewable energy projects are the most cost-competitive way to generate clean electricity, and larger wind farms deliver the lowest prices.
The Massachusetts House of Representatives enacted H.4377, which will require the state’s utilities to solicit long-term energy contracts for 1,200 megawatts of offshore wind power in multiple procurements through the year 2027.
State Rep. Antonio Cabral, D-New Bedford, cited his city’s history as an energy powerhouse for more than a century at the time when whale oil was a primary source of energy. After the energy industry shifted to oil, coal and natural gas, he said, Massachusetts became “the end of the pipeline.”
Penalizes lowest-cost generation options like land-based wind
Boston, May 23, 2016 — Proposed legislation released by the Massachusetts House of Representatives today would reduce competition and severely limit greater access to low-cost, renewable energy resources, including solar and wind energy. If passed, this legislation would keep less money in the pockets of New England consumers.
“Diversifying New England’s energy mix by adding clean, renewable energy resources is important but we can’t do so at the expense of New England consumers,” said Francis Pullaro, Executive Director of RENEW Northeast. “House Bill 2881 would deprive New England homeowners and businesses of the potential for significant savings.”