CLIMATE XCHANGE Policy Roundup: clean energy OMNIBUS BILL moves forward—climate activists protest MAYOR WALSH

FACTSHEET INCOMING: Be on the lookout for a comprehensive CABA fact sheet on the status of the major clean energy and climate change proposals before Beacon hill. We’re looking to keep the factsheet updated throughout the session. It’ll be published in the CABA newsletter this Friday, but you can find it first via twitter (@TimCroninMA) Thursday night.

Beacon Hill Happenings--

-Clean energy omnibus bill moves towards Senate vote: Last Thursday the powerful Senate Ways & Means committee released the clean energy omnibus bill. The original bill, proposed by Senator Pacheco, covered nearly every aspect of clean energy and included over 130 sections. The bill released by Ways & Means (S.2545) is significantly smaller, but if passed would establish a “market-based mechanism” for emission reduction, create an annual RPS increase of 3%, and remove net metering caps on solar. The Senate is likely to vote on the bill by Thursday at the earliest.
-Massachusetts lawmakers raise concerns over SMART solar program: Sixteen senators and 63 representatives signed a letter to DPU Chairwoman Angela O’Connor expressing their concern about a proposal to cap credits received by community solar customers receive on their bills. The proposal, backed by state utilities, has the potential to decrease access to solar in Massachusetts. This comes as Massachusetts regulators are in the early stages of implementing SMART, a new solar incentive program announced in late 2017 to replace the SREC program.

All Policy Is Local--

-“Activists criticize Boston mayor over energy policies” via the Boston Globe: Environmental activists were out in force this past week protesting the pace of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s climate policies. The protests coincided with the US Mayors Conference, hosted by Boston. During the conference, Walsh announced a plan to coordinate clean energy procurements with other cities. Activists argue this won’t get Boston to carbon neutral by 2050, and would rather see Walsh commit to policies like community choice aggregation.
-New Bedford, others receive additional climate change funding: New Bedford, Carver, Sandwich, Weymouth are among others to receive climate change grants. The grants represent the second round of the Municipal Vulnerability Plan (MVP) grant program established by the Baker administration in 2017. Towns and cities that create an initial MVP plan are eligible for future grants to repair climate infrastructure in the future. Program funds are limited, but provisions in the environmental bond bill before the legislature would commit millions more to MVP.

Beyond The Bay State--

-“Report: Maine poised to reap new jobs from offshore wind” via Portland Press Herald: A report by the American Jobs Project claims Maine is well-positioned to create 2,100 jobs from offshore wind thanks to advances in floating platforms developed by the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. This comes as multiple states, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Jersey compete to become east coast hubs for the US’ burgeoning offshore wind industry.

Washington D.C.--

Global Climate Change--

-“Pope to oil execs: Energy needs mustn’t destroy civilization” via the Associated Press: Speaking to oil and gas executives Pope Francis said there is “no time to lose” in transitioning the world to low-carbon energy sources. He went on to call climate change a challenge of “epochal proportions,” urging the executives to lead in “the global energy transition”.


“The real Scott Pruitt scandal is his coming crusade to help car companies pollute more” via Paul Cort at NBC
“Conservation Law Foundation — less steward and more bully” via Rachelle Cohen at the Boston Globe.
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