CLIMATE XCHANGE Policy Roundup: BAKER advisor accused of influence peddling—CLEAN ENERGY bills advance—VINEYARD WIND selected

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WELCOME BACK! I hope you had a relaxing long weekend and a chance to attend a Memorial Day celebration. After a hiatus, the CXC Policy Roundup is back. I look forward to sharing the latest news and analysis on clean energy and climate change policy, both in the Bay State and beyond. As always if you have a news story, suggestion, some feedback, or any other info for the Roundup email me at

Beacon Hill Happenings--

-“Baker adviser helped energy firms land big Mass. contracts” via the Boston Globe: A Globe investigation found that a top campaign adviser to Governor Charlie Baker was also a paid consultant to the two companies recently awarded massive renewable energy contracts by the state. The administration denies any connection between the advisor and its selection of the companies. The story broke late last night and is still developing.

#Mapoli Bill Watch--

Four clean energy bills moved out of the TUE committee late last week, setting the stage for modest advances in renewable energy. The four bills are highlighted below:
-(1.) Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Increase… with Clean Peak: The bill (H.1747) increases the RPS by 2%, but does so slowly with incremental increases until 2020. Advocates argue that Massachusetts needs at least a 3% RPS increase and that any change must be made effective immediately.
The bill also includes the administration’s clean peak standard, originally placed in the environmental bond bill. Critics argue clean peak needs to be studied more to avoid any potential pitfalls in the policy.
-(2.) Electric Vehicle Expansion: (H.3742) Establishes grants to electrify the UMASS vehicle fleet, offers incentives for private dealer to sell EV’s, and directs utilities to better prepare for wide-spread charging of electric trucks.
-(3.) Net Metering Caps Increased by 2%: (H.2712) Modestly increases the net metering caps from 7% to 9% of a utility’s peak load for non-municipal load, with a similar 2% increases to the cap municipal peak load.
-(4). Grid Resilience and Energy Storage: (H.2600) Requires utilities to file annual resiliency reports with the state to show load and congestion on the distribution system. Also directs state research to study benefits of mobile battery storage systems, establishes a Center for Clean Transportation on a UMass campus, and establishes an Energy Storage Innovation Research Institute and an Energy Storage Testing Facility
-“Efficiency Bill Burns Bright In House Committee” via Jonah Kurman-Faber of CABA: Massachusetts residents and business owners may soon find another way to cut back their utility bills. A bill filed by Representative Smizik of Brookline promotes increased energy and water efficiency standards and saves both residents and businesses serious money. Here’s the quick bill breakdown.

All News Is Local--

-‘“Poll shows 84% of Massachusetts residents want freedom to choose clean energy” via Solar Power World: A new poll in Massachusetts shows overwhelmingly support among residents who prefer to choose their energy supplier, choose clean energy, and want more renewable energy throughout the Massachusetts power system.
-“Boston hosting mayors’ summit on climate change” via AP: Boston is hosting a climate change gathering of mayors from across the world on June 7th at Boston University. The goal: to create a space for the city executives to share strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the impacts of global climate change.

Offshore Wind--

-“Massachusetts Selects Winning Offshore Wind Procurement” via Tim Cronin of CABA: History was made on Wednesday, when Massachusetts officials announced the selection of Vineyard Wind as the winning bid for its sizeable offshore wind procurement. Questions remain, however, over the remaining 800 KW of procurement potential, and viability of the bidding model for similar clean energy projects. Find out more here.

Beyond The Bay State--

-“New Jersey Commits To 3.5 Gigawatts Of Offshore Wind By 2030” via CleanTechnica: Late last week New Jersey Governor Murphy announced an ambitious new goal of securing 3,500 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind energy generation by 2030.


-“Former EPA head Gina McCarthy knows why climate change activists aren’t getting their message across” via the Boston Globe Magazine.
-”Here’s who to blame for rising gasoline prices” via Axios’ Amy Harder.
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Are You Listening To Cooler Earth?--

The Cooler Earth team here at Climate xChange have a new podcast, this week looking at the impact of changing weather patterns on agriculture. They sat down with Laura Kuhl, an expert in agriculture adaptation strategies, to discuss ways to rethink development in order to become more resilient.
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