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BEACON HILL HAPPENINGS
-Solar Hearing Expected Next Week: A hearing addressing everything from changes to the RPS to expanding access to low-income solar is expected before the Joint Energy Committeeon Tuesday, June 25th at 1:00pm. Details have not yet been released.
– “Critics say Massachusetts’ $1 billion clean energy bill not bold enough” (Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network): “A bill in the Massachusetts House that promises $1 billion in grants to promote clean energy and climate adaptation is getting a lot of attention in the state. Some environmental activists, however, worry that the initiative would do little to reduce carbon emissions and could even slow progress on climate change mitigation. “It was touted as something that would deal with climate change, help local communities, and create jobs,” said Tim Cronin, policy manager for the Climate Action Business Association, a nonprofit that advocates for carbon pricing. “But if you are trying to deal with climate change, this is not the bill.””
– “Column: Green energy plan should protect, support our communities” (Rep. Frank A. Moran and the Rev. Joel Almono, the Eagle Tribune): “With the start of the new Massachusetts legislative sessions last January, legislators are considering several different proposals to tackle climate change. We are writing today as a political leader and a faith leader to urge everyone to take time to learn about these issues, and when you do, we ask you to support H2810, “An Act to Promote Green Infrastructure and Reduce Carbon Emissions.””
– “Statewide group pushing ‘Save the Bees’ legislation” (Grace Symes, Gloucester Times): “Environment Massachusetts is conducting a statewide Save the Bees campaign this summer, canvasing to encourage people to take action to prevent bees from dying off. The campaign is specifically geared to passage of an act to protect Massachusetts pollinators, which would restrict the use of neonicotonoid pesticides, or neonics, a type of insecticide that is toxic to bees.”
ALL POLICY IS LOCAL
– “Boston Built a New Waterfront Just in Time for the Apocalypse” (Prashant Gopal & Brian K Sullivan, Bloomberg): “Boston’s new Seaport District may become a testing ground for climate change adaptation, as city officials work with developers to safeguard billions of dollars in new investment.”
– “Rep. Lynch urges state to hit reset on compressor project” (Jessica Trufant, The Patriot Ledger): “U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch is urging a state Department of Environmental Protection adjudicator to revoke approval for a controversial natural gas compressor station in Weymouth and restart the permitting process, calling the department’s handling of new data from the site “egregious.””
– “Farley-Bouvier, Hinds to address energy, environment at town hall-style meeting” (Dick Lindsay, The Berkshire Eagle): “Large solar arrays, state park staffing and climate change. Those are among the topics likely to surface Monday night, during a town hall-style meeting with state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier and state Sen. Adam Hinds, who will answer questions and address concerns regarding energy and the environment.”
– “Climate, housing activists find common ground on tax” by Craid Altemose & Karen Chen, via Commonwealth Magazine.
– “No longer an issue of climate change — it’s a climate emergency” by Mary Ann Ashton, Launa Zimmaro, Cindy Luppi, & Laura Spark, via the Boston Globe.
– “Dear Legislators, Why we need H2810, An Act to Promote Green Infrastructure and Reduce Carbon Emissions” by Ellie Goldberg, via Medium.
THE GREEN ECONOMY, STUPID
– “As Massachusetts looks to boost electric vehicle adoption, Norway offers a model” (Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network): “As Massachusetts looks to put more drivers in electric vehicles, Norway’s transition from fossil fuels in transportation offers potential lessons for the state. First and foremost: Create incentives that pay.”
– “Powerful business group adds climate change to its priorities” (Jon Chesto, Boston Globe): “The Massachusetts Competitive Partnership helped sink the state’s first offshore wind energy project, the ill-fated Cape Wind. So what’s this low-profile but powerful business group doing now, taking on climate change as a priority? It may sound surprising — or ironic. But these chief executives now view the issue as a major potential threat to the state’s economic competitiveness, one that needs to be tackled head on.”
– “Democrats want companies to disclose their climate risks — and fossil fuel industry is worried” (Ben Lefebvre and Anthony Adragna, Politico): “Democratic presidential candidates have a sweeping array of proposals to fight climate change, but virtually all the leading hopefuls agree on one relatively simple proposal: forcing companies to disclose the risks they face from a warming atmosphere.”
– “Beto O’Rourke Calls For A ‘Moonshot’ To Combat Climate Change” (Steve Inskeep & Josh Axelrod, NPR): “With climate activists cheering on the Green New Deal, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke is borrowing a different allusion from American history…. O’Rourke continued to evoke the 20th century with a callback to the “greatest generation.” He wants America to rise to the challenge of protecting the climate just as it did in resisting Nazism during World War II.”
PRICE THAT CARBON
– “GOP pollster pitches Republicans on carbon pricing” (Nick Sobczyk, E&E News): “Republicans risk losing young voters if they don’t wake up to the reality that is climate change, Frank Luntz warned yesterday. Luntz Global Partners — the firm led by the prominent GOP consultant — distributed a memo to every Republican on Capitol Hill arguing that public climate opinion has reached a “tipping point.”… The memo, which makes the case for the CLC’s proposal, comes during a changing landscape for the Capitol Hill climate debate. Republicans are increasingly acknowledging climate science and voicing support for limited solutions.”
OUR LOCAL ENVIRONMENT
– “Charles River Report Card Drops From A- To B. What Happened To Water Quality In 2018?” (Miriam Wasser, WBUR’s Earthwhile): “It’s report card time! The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gives the Charles River a letter grade for overall cleanliness every year. This year’s grade: B. It’s a dip from last year’s A-, but not too different from other recent years. (Grades from the last 24 years are listed at the bottom of this Q&A.) What happened this past year?”
– “’We’re In A Very Severe Crisis’: Mass. Trash Processors Face Garbage Overflow” (Lynn Jolicoeur & Jack Lepiarz, WBUR’s Earthwhile): “In Massachusetts, the people who process our trash are facing what they call a crisis. Waste disposal capacity is down since two landfills in the state were phased out last year. On top of that, three of the state’s waste-to-energy facilities are currently shut down for maintenance. That’s left waste and recycling processors like E.L. Harvey & Sons in Westborough struggling to process trash.”
– “Pollen is getting worse, and climate change is the culprit” (Gal Tziperman Lotan & Lauren Fox, Boston Globe): “For millions of people, high pollen counts are a perennial woe, and one that has kicked into high gear in the Boston area recently. But pollen seasons are getting longer and more intense, as allergy sufferers will surely attest, a trend specialists have linked to global warming.”
BEYOND THE BAY STATE
– “Readers respond: Clean energy jobs bill is good for Oregon’s economy” (Michael Green, Oregonian): “Oregon lawmakers are considering Clean Energy Jobs, House Bill 2020, a cap-and-invest bill that will limit greenhouse gas emissions and invest millions of dollars in clean energy and vulnerable communities. The bill will help generate tens of thousands of green jobs and countless opportunities for businesses to push innovation and lead the transition to a low-carbon economy.”
– “Pennsylvania Carbon Pricing Bills Slated for Introduction” (Noa Dalzell, Climate XChange): “After a petition to study cap-and-invest was accepted by Pennsylvania’s Environmental Quality Board (EQB) in mid-April, advocates wondered if legislators would capitalize on the state’s newfound momentum for carbon pricing and introduce bills of their own.It now looks like that’s exactly what will happen. Last week, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D) and Representative Christopher Rabb (D) each issued co-sponsorship memos regarding their proposed carbon pricing legislation, indicating that bills will soon be released.”
– “New York State Reaches Landmark Deal On Green New Deal-Style Climate Bill” (Alexander C. Kaufman, HuffPost): “New York lawmakers reached a deal late Sunday night to pass one of the most ambitious climate bills in the nation, setting the Empire State on a course to shape what the Green New Deal could look like at a state level. The agreement to pass the so-called Climate & Communities Protection Act calls for New York to eliminate 85% of its overall planet-warming emissions by 2050, while offsetting or capturing the other 15%. The deal mandates 35% of state energy funding go to low-income, polluted communities, but sets a goal of investing 40%. The final legislation requires all state-financed energy projects to pay union wages.”
INSIDE THE BELTWAY
– “The Trump Climate Record 875 Days Later” (Tim Cronin, Climate XChange): “It’s been 875 days since Donald Trump was inaugurated President of the United States. Below we’ve categorized and documented the 29 major actions the Trump administration has taken against climate action and environmental protection in the past 875 days.”
– “Climate Change Poses Major Risks to Financial Markets, Regulator Warns” (Coral Davenport, NY Times): “A top financial regulator is opening a public effort to highlight the risk that climate change poses to the nation’s financial markets, setting up a clash with a president who has mocked global warming and whose administration has sought to suppress climate science.”
– “Congresswoman Trahan discusses environment, Trump impeachment in Acton” (Matt Mallio, Wicked Local Boxborough): “US Congresswoman Lori Trahan, D-Massachusetts, spoke at a town hall event Saturday morning where she answered questions from local constituents ranging from the environment to possible presidential impeachment. Read her full remarks, including those on climate change, here.
GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE
– “Is it time to retire ‘climate change’ for ‘climate crisis’?” (Kate Yoder, Grist): “The phrase “climate change” doesn’t cut it anymore, according to a growing group of media organizations. The reasoning? Climate change and global warming are too neutral, too worn-out, and too nice-sounding to describe the crisis facing the planet. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have careened to 415 parts per million, higher than ever before in human history. We’re already living out the consequences — super-charged hurricanes, blazing wildfires, heavy downpours, and rising seas, and, oh yeah, an extinction crisis.”