CLIMATE XCHANGE Policy Roundup: Mass. Senate ok’s CARBON PRICE—narrow path forward for HOME ENERGY SCORECARDS—new UCS study on SEA-LEVEL RISE


-ICYMI: Carbon Pricing, Clean Energy bill passes State Senate (via Climate XChange’s Michael Green): The Massachusetts State Senate made history last week by passing landmark carbon pricing legislation. This is a major step towards establishing a carbon price in Massachusetts and setting the state up for a clean energy future.
-Tough Path Forward for Home Energy Scorecard legislation: Heated debate last week in the Senate revealed sharp divisions among pro-clean energy lawmakers over requiring home energy scorecards. First proposed by the Baker administration in April, the policy would require a home energy scorecard and energy rating be made available to all potential homebuyers when homes are publicly listed for sale. Trouble for the policy started almost immediately, with realtors criticizing it over fears it would increase costs to homeowners looking to sell.
During Thursday’s debate on the Senate clean energy bill, Senator Lesser (D-Longmeadow) filed an amendment that included the same scorecard language. The amendment at first passed the full Senate but was strangely removed later in the evening. The reason: in closed-door negotiations Senators were sharply divided over the policy, with some fearing that including the amendment would sink the larger bill they were working on (S.2545).
In the House H.4371, the bill filed by Governor Baker is languishing in committee and is unlikely to move forward this session. Requiring scorecards would face even greater opposition in the House than it had in the more progressive Senate.

All Policy Is Local--

“Sea Level Rise Could Threaten 90,000 Homes In Mass., Study Finds” (via 90.9 WBUR): By the end of the century, a new study from the Union of Concerned Scientists finds that sea level rise could cause half the homes in Hull to face flooding every other week. That goes for a third of the homes in Cambridge, Provincetown and Salisbury — and at least 10 percent of the homes in 21 other coastal communities in the state.

Beyond The Bay State--

-Connecticut secures offshore wind proposal (via Hartford Courant): The state’s newly announced partnership with Deepwater Wind will provide 200 megawatts of wind power. This project is just part of the state’s push for more clean energy programs.

Washington D.C.--

-“Trump orders ‘immediate steps’ to boost coal, nuclear plants” (via PennEnergy): On Friday Trump directed Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take “immediate steps” to bolster struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants to keep them open, calling it a matter of national and economic security. Environmental groups decried the support for coal over cleaner energy sources, while energy industry groups warned that it could raise prices.

Global Climate Change--

-“The Carbon-Free A.C.” (via Jackie Ryan at CABA): For urban communities where there can be large socioeconomic disparities, the need for cooling systems that are affordable and low carbon emitting are crucial, and one group of young adults may have a solution.
-“Merkel says climate change is a fact, laments US stance” (via ABC news): German Chancellor Angela Merkel took aim Tuesday at U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris accord. She called the move “very regrettable” at a time when the overwhelming majority of countries worldwide are trying to limit global warming.


– “[Boston] Harbor barrier study undermined by assumptions” from A. Vernon Woodworth (via Commonwealth).
-“Without Conservation Law Foundation fighting, developers would hold sway” from ELM’s George Bachrach & Elizabeth Henry (via the Boston Globe).
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