CLIMATE XCHANGE Policy Roundup: House bills offer limited CLEAN ENERGY vision—REGIONAL EPA CHIEF visits Cape Cod—Maine TRANSMISSION LINE opposition grows

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Beacon Hill Happenings--

-House could vote as soon as tomorrow on its Clean Energy Bills: In the next week, House members will have a chance to weigh in on four clean energy proposals. Among other things, they would slightly raise the net metering cap (H.4577), modestly increase the RPS by only 1% (H.4575), institute a controversial clean peak standard (H.4575), create dealer rebates for EVs (H.4578), and study energy storage in the state (H.4576). The majority of these bills are currently before the House Ways & Means Committee.

The House’s proposals stand in stark contrast to the Senate’s bolder stance on the state’s clean energy future. Two weeks ago the Senate unanimously passed a sweeping clean energy bill (S.2564) which included a carbon price, significant increases in the RPS, removal of net metering caps, and many other proposals. The competing clean energy visions will need to be ironed out in conference committee, but with effectively three weeks left time is running short.

All Policy Is Local--

-“Regional environmental chief visits Cape Cod” (the Cape Cod Times): Alexandra Dunn, the EPA’s Administrator for New England, visited Cape Cod this past week. Dunn has roots in the Bay State, with a background as an environmental attorney. Check out this fascinating discussion the Cape Cod Times editorial team had with Dunn, where she strikes a different tone than that of the EPA head Scott Pruitt and President Trump.

Beyond The Bay State--

-Advocates Oppose Transmission Lines over Kennebec Gorge (the Portland Press Herald): Central Maine Power’s proposed transmission line, that would carry hydroelectricity from Canada to Massachusetts, is facing renewed controversy. Plans released late last week showed the proposed path taking part of the 145-mile line through the scenic Kennebec Gorge, leading to local outrage.

Washington D.C.--

-IRS Ruling Gives Boost to Struggling Solar (Bloomberg): An IRS regulatory ruling on a U.S. credit allows developers to claim a 30 percent tax credit for some solar projects. The ruling essentially extends Federal incentives for solar power and other clean energy sources by as long as four years.

-Trump Admin Working to Repeal Obama’s Clean Water Rules (the Hill): The Obama administration had expanded the definition of which waterways the EPA and Army Corps have jurisdiction over in enforcing the Clean Water Act. Scott Pruitt is now working to significantly shrink this scope.

Global Climate Change--

-“The Natural Gas Industry Has a Leak Problem” (New York Times): A new study published finds that the American fossil fuels industry is leaking more methane than the US government thinks.


-“Hydropower line would benefit Maine” via Richard Anderson (Central Maine).

-“A carbon tax could be the key to boosting innovation and growth” via Joe Kennedy (the Hill).

Upcoming Events--

-Climate Crisis Action Summit Hosted by US Senator Ed Markey: [June 28th at 7 pm at Belmont High School, Belmont MA.] Features: Gina McCarthy, Dr. John Holden, and Todd Stern.

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