BEACON HILL HAPPENINGS
– Salem & Holyoke Mayors Endorse Rep Benson’s Carbon Pricing Proposal: In an op-ed for Commonwealth Magazine, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse outlined why they support an ambitious carbon pricing proposal from State Representative Jen Benson. The bill (H.2810) puts a carbon price on transportation and heating fuels, rebates 70% of revenue back to homeowners & businesses, and invests the rest in green infrastructure & local jobs. In their article, Morse and Driscoll emphasized the need for action is rooted in their ability to make change happen in their respective cities, because “climate change is disrupting city operations and straining budgets.”
They also acknowledge that in the near future federal climate action is not likely, which is why “it is up to our state leaders to show bold leadership, for our state and region, and for the country.” Both Mayors are considered rising stars in the state, with Morse currently challenging incumbent Richard Neal for a western Massachusetts congressional seat.
– “How Will GreenWorks Fare in the Senate?” (Professor Rob DeLeo, WGBH’s MassPoliticsProfs): “Roughly two months after its introduction, GreenWorks (H. 3987) passed the Massachusetts House with a unanimous vote on Wednesday…How will GreenWorks fare in the Senate? Senate leaders have been mum on the subject.”
– “HEALEY PLANS SUIT OVER ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT CHANGES” (Katie Lannan, State House News Service): “As the Trump administration on Monday rolled out plans to change the implementation of the Endangered Species Act, Attorney General Maura Healey announced plans to sue over the move she said would dismantle important protections for at-risk wildlife and their habitats.”
– “State Rep. Mathew Muratore supports climate change bond bill” (Wicked Local Plymouth): “State Rep. Mathew Muratore, R-Plymouth, announced his support of legislation authorizing $1.295 billion in state grants for cities and towns to invest in climate change adaptation and infrastructure improvements.”
ALL POLICY IS LOCAL
– “On Dorchester Waterfront, Climate Resilience Is A Sticking Point For Neighbors And Developer” (Simón Rios, WBUR’s Earthwhile): “To some longtime residents of Dorchester’s Port Norfolk neighborhood, all they see is more traffic, the arrival of five- and six-story buildings and, on top of it all, the absence of a plan to protect the entire neighborhood from flooding.”
– “Politicians paddle to help save the Merrimack River” (Meghan Ottolini, Boston Herald): “An intrepid crew of bipartisan lawmakers and environmentalists spent the last four days kayaking the 117-mile length of the Merrimack River to raise awareness about consistent sewage water pollution in the waterway.”
– “State Democrats pass resolution for presidential debate on climate” (Michael Connors, Daily Hampshire Gazette): “With more than 100 climate activists looking on, the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee voted unanimously Saturday morning in favor of a resolution encouraging national party leaders to support presidential primary debate centered on climate change and green job creation.”
– “Letter: Putting a price on carbon benefits all” by Representative Paul Tucker, via the Salem News.
– “To save our climate, start with our buildings” by Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley, via the Boston Globe.
– “Time to put an end to whack-a-mole electricity sellers” by Attorney General Maura Healey, via the Commonwealth Magazine.
– “Ethiopia shows us the way on climate action” by Lauren Kirk, via the Boston Globe.
– “Massachusetts residents can take part in Transportation, Climate Initiative” by Representative Lori Ehrlich and Senator Eric Lesser, via MassLive.
– “A pristine Merrimack benefits all” by the Lowell Sun Editorial Board.
OUR LOCAL ENVIRONMENT
– “Environmental groups accuse state of ‘deeply flawed’ review of biomass changes; call for more input” (Peter Goonan, MassLive): “Six environmental groups say that when it comes to proposed changes to ease subsidies for wood-burning plants — four public hearings in recent months, hundreds of written comments, and a future state study are simply not enough.”
– “5 Takeaways For New England From U.N. Report On Climate Change And Land Use” (Miriam Wasser, WBUR’s Earthwhile): “While this new report is global in scope… there are some important recommendations that can be applied in New England to help mitigate climate change.”
– “Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey sues Environmental Protection Agency over continued use of pesticide, says residue can be a danger to children” (Tim Jones, MassLive): “The multi-state lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday, claims the EPA allowed continued use of chlorpyrifos on food crops despite evidence of risks.”
PRICE THAT CARBON
– “Four winners and two losers from the 2019 US carbon pricing movement” (Noa Dalzell, Climate XChange): “I’ve selected several winners and losers from the 2018-2019 legislative session in an attempt to highlight the peaks and valleys the carbon pricing movement has experienced this year.”
– * Programming Note *: We’re happy to unveil a new section of the CXC Roundup dedicated to covering the continuing efforts to implement the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI). Led by Massachusetts, and including other northeastern states, TCI is the first regional attempt to establish a cap-and-trade program covering the transportation sector in the northeast. ‘Talking TCI’ will feature original analysis from Climate XChange Researcher Jonah Kurman Faber, and incorporated guest viewpoints on the topic.
– First Wave of Modeling Results Released for TCI – Here’s what you need to Know (by Jonah Kurman Faber, Climate XChange): The Transportation Climate Initiative is one step closer to becoming a reality. This past Thursday, modeling experts released their prediction of what GHG emissions from transportation will look like in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, absent a cap-and-invest program. [Find out what this means for how the program will be designed in Jonah’s full write-up]
– “Vineyard Wind CEO says company remains committed to project” (Associated Press): “Vineyard Wind is committed to building the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind farm off the Massachusetts coast despite a decision by federal regulators to delay issuing a key environmental impact statement…But the company will have to push back its deadline for the 800-megawatt project.”
– “Feds call for more study on Vineyard Wind” (Bruce Mohl, Commonwealth Magazine): “In a decision that could derail Vineyard Wind, federal regulators on Friday put their review of the project on hold temporarily while they seek to better understand the cumulative impact of the many wind farm projects being proposed along the eastern seaboard.”
– “It’s Electri-Flying: Cape Air Pioneers Flights Without Fossil Fuels” (Bruce Gellerman, WBUR’s Earthwhile): “It’s the first airline in the world to order commercial airplanes that run on electric batteries. The electric planes could be flying above New England and beyond by 2023.”
– “Living a low-waste life offers a business opportunity” (Janelle Nanos, the Boston Globe): “Recent changes in the Chinese recycling industry have upended the way America deals with waste…In so doing, it’s also forced more consumers to reconsider the amount of waste they create.”
– “Booker floats ‘nature-based’ climate strategy” (Anthony Adrahna, POLITICO): “Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) on Thursday unveiled draft legislation to encourage tree-planting, sustainable agriculture and other “nature-based” strategies to address climate change.”