We don’t need to reinvent the wheel or compare ourselves to some climate denying states like Florida.We need at least to match California in percentage of ev cars on the roads if not Norway.We can do that with carrots and sticks.Pass a carbon tax and green debit card rebate system of at least $20 per ton, increasing $10 each year.Make ev cars exempt from turnpike tolls while increasing them for ICEmobiles.Eliminate excise tax on ev cars while increasing excise tax on new ICEmobiles.Eliminate ferry fees for ev cars while increasing them for ICEmobiles.Regarding new residential solar copy Lancaster,Ca.Every new house either has to have a 5 kw array on it or contribute to a solar fund for municipal and low income solar.Every new house either has to use a air-source heat pump or geothermal or contribute to a fund.As part of the building code every garage has to have a 220 volt charging system, and a energy storage system .(See Vermont utility and PowerWalls.)Every time a house changes hands it should either put in solar or contribute to the fund.This is not rocket science.It’s just public policy and recognizing we need to do something.We can meekly beg the Trump regime not to drill offshore to make us independent of foreign oil and gas.Or we can act for ourselves and make our electricity, transportation, and residences independent from fossil fuels.
Is Massachusetts going to look at raising the gasoline tax as part of the clean energy plan? The gas tax in this state is currently below the state average. This move might encourage the purchase of more fuel efficient cars and also the use of mass transit and car pooling. Maybe it's time to revisit this.
I feel strongly that we should be good stewards of our planet and believe climate change poses a grave threat on many levels. You have the opportunity to address the cause of global warming by supporting two bills that seek to put a price on carbon: S.1821 and H.1726. The vast majority of economists believe that carbon pricing is the most efficient and least costly way to shift our state and country to the renewable energy base we desperately need. Please endorse these bills and report them out of committee.
Reduction of CO2 generation by shifting from use of fossil fuels to renewables is essential to reduce the serious impacts of global warming. The Carbon Polution Fee and Rebate legislation under consideration is a win-win measure to encourage this change. It will be of negligible cost to the Commonwealth and shift the burden away form low-income citizens.
I am concerned about climate change because I have seen its direct effects in MA on our economy and well-being through impacts on our growing season, coastline erosion, plus severity and variability of storms. And I am concerned about the continuing use of fossil fuels as our major energy source because of their immediate impact on health and longer-term impact on climate change. Therefore I support a carbon pollution fee and rebate as the preferred way to responsibly manage the risks associated with climate change. This approach is economically efficient, market-friendly, improves accountability, and protects lower income households. It is the favorite approach of most economists and policy analysts who have expertise on policies that can shift our reliance on fossil fuels towards clean energy. I am writing to ask you to take the next step in the history of bold, bipartisan environmental leadership in Massachusetts by supporting this market-based strategy to reduce global warming pollution. I urge you to Incorporate a plan to put a price on carbon emissions into your overall plan to achieve the state’s climate mandates and to publicly support a plan to put a price on carbon emissions.. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the Commonwealth and its citizens. Sincerely, Dave Roitman Florence, MA C: 413 535 7173
As you craft policy in the next half of your legislative session, an increase in the use of renewable energy, specifically land-based wind, will require more research. I agree with the report and support the concept that wind should be a major tenet of our energy landscape, but current siting strategies and implementation fail to deliver the most vital of the promised outcomes - ensuring land-based wind energy generation facilities are sited in appropriate locations based on scientifically clear, predictable and protective setback standards
I wanted to bring attention to a feature of the green energy revolution that is consistently under reported, but that is critical to achieve in order to defeat fossil fuels once and for all: electrifying everything. As readers are probably well aware emissions from power plants only make up a fraction of total energy use. In fact, in the state of MA the biggest source of co2 emissions comes from cars not natural gas burnt in peaking stations. Additionally, we also produce lots of co2 through industry, heating & cooling, cooking, gas powered machines, deforestation and tilling soil. While there is a very vocal and much needed push for electric transportation in the form of cars, trucks, buses there is less of a push to ensure that our farmers are using electric tractors, that landscapers are using electric mowers, and that policemen & fisherman are using batteries for their boats, not gas. Furthermore, there is little push in MA for electrifying our heating & cooling, industry and cooking needs. These too can all be achieved, for example, by requiring all new and existing buildings/homes etc. to utilize heat pumps instead of gas fired heaters. We can retrofit buildings to make them more energy efficient and we can substitute our gas fired stoves for induction cooktop stoves. There are others ways in which we can electrify industrial processes and doing so would drastically reduce emissions. So what's the big picture? -By electrifying everything we eliminate sources of not just co2, but air pollution in general. -Eliminating air pollution would not only save lives, prevent respiratory and health problems for residents of the state, but it would help wildlife as well. -Once everything is electrified overall power demand goes down because electricity is FAR more efficient than combustion! -It would create thousands of good jobs. If the state implemented such a massive transition in our energy infrastructure we would create a tremendous amount of employment opportunities for both the state and for private companies. -It is the moral thing to do. We all must do our part to solve climate change and it starts right here in MA, where per capita energy use is higher than many other states.
1. update what the public utility commission permits or prohibits, so we can get solar microgrids, community renewables, and a bunch more. 2. please send me a copy of the slide show. thanks, tim brainerd
Govt must get behind alt energy companies and stop subsidizing Big Oil. Pls support and protect our environment. Listen to science. The evidence is overwhelming. I have lived in rural Ma my entire life and even I can see the results.
My big personal issue is I have been unable to buy off-site solar for my house (which isn't good for it). I have looked for 2 years and very few people seem to cover the Maynard MA area. We need more solar and wind power options. Maynard is a very small, dense town with little open space for a community solar. We NEED our state supporting renewable energy and the interest is definitely there to buy it.
We need to increase solar energy options for Massachusetts or make it mandatory. And stand up to no drilling in the Arctic. Sea life is important.
• We thank the Baker Administration for continuing to support the state’s path towards a more sustainable energy future and for publicly recognizing climate change as a reality, especially as it is in sharp contrast to policy changes in Washington DC. • We thank our state delegation for continuing to pursue new policies, programs and technologies, particularly the pursuit of distributed clean energy generation and storage. • This area suffers from high energy costs, which has been cited by exiting businesses as one of the reasons they have moved out of Berkshire County. Therefore, reducing energy costs, both per kWh and per square foot, is a very real economic development issue. o The business sector (incl. commercial, industrial, municipal, institutional) is actually the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Berkshire County. o Small businesses are the backbone of the Berkshire County economy and this sector is underserved by the MassSave and utility-run energy efficiency programs. There is a variety of reasons for this, but we believe that DOER and the utility Program Administrators should identify and overcome the existing barriers to achieving a greater enrollment in energy efficiency programs. If the Berkshires is to stem the migration of our talented youth, it is critical that we help this sector reduce energy costs as part of larger effort to allow them to remain in the Berkshires, expand their business and increase their job offerings. o We applaud the DOER for its new focus help to low/moderate income residents access existing energy and cost savings through efficiency and renewable energy opportunities, and we would welcome a similar program to help small business owners access the same savings. o Moderate income homeowners are a vast, untapped resource for efficiency and renewable energy. Yet many homeowners are not enrolling in the MassSave Program for a variety of reasons, including the belief that energy efficiency and renewable measures have long return-on-investment times, that they cannot afford the upfront costs of the updates, or that their homes are already pretty efficient. They are not investigating solar technologies because of the upfront costs. A state-wide outreach campaign should be conducted to advertise how the MassSave Program works, particularly listing free services and the 75-90% utility cost share rate. Programs that offer reduced-rate renewable projects should also be heavily promoted. Although we acknowledge the high cost of television advertising, we believe that it is key to getting people’s attention and getting them talking about these programs to neighbors and friends. Please note that Berkshire County is in the Albany, NY cable area, so advertising will need to be done through Albany TV stations. • We want to publicly thank Attorney General Healy for keeping watch over utility rate proposals and standing up for Mass. residents and businesses. • The Green Communities Program has been a rousing success, providing municipalities with funding and technical assistance needed to identify clean energy opportunities. Success breed success, and the energy projects that municipalities conduct not only reduces their energy use and costs, but it also raises reminds town staff and residents that the energy reductions realized on a municipal level can be transferred and realized at their own homes. • The Commonwealth has established policies to protect the environment with the dual goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and removing dams to improve aquatic connectivity. Dam removal projects, particularly those using public funds, should include an investigation as to whether the dam in question could be suitable for hydroelectric power generation. This would require a coordinated effort between state agencies such as DCR Dam Safety, DER, DOER and DEP. We request that Commonwealth conduct a statewide dam assessment to determine which dams may offer the opportunity to generate hydroelectric power and aid the state in its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. • We agree with Ms. Tillinghast that transportation is the most significant Greenhouse Gas emission source that remains largely unaddressed. Increased use of rail between key metro areas such could reduce commuter travel and commercial truck hauling. Key areas for the Berkshires include efficient rail linkages to Boston, Albany, New York City and Hartford.
Advocate for and incentivize solar thermal and geothermal - made 100% in America, reduces grid dependence, does not take up our landscapes or habitats, does not pollute, does not harm people or kill wildlife. LOCAL JOBS and NO NEGATIVES. Massachusetts should be a leader in widely mobilizing these practical solutions. I am a scientist and an environmentalist - we need energy solutions that First Do No Harm and these are proven technologies.
Do not allow the building of gas pipelines. Support solar, wind, hydro, and digester gas initiatives of every kind. I heard of a place tapping the methane gas released by landfills for power use. Is that something we can do in MA. Thank you for the opportunity to send in a comment.
Lawnmowers: their carbon emissions are massive -- the same as jet air travel in the US. There are 63,000 square miles of lawn in the US and every inch gets mowed. This is something everyone can do: shrink your lawn. If you have parts you don't walk on, let them turn to meadow.
Boston Globe OpEd by Kate Walsh president and CEO of Boston Medical Center. Dr. David Torchiana, president and CEO of Partners HealthCare. They co-chair the Boston Green Ribbon Commission Health Care Working Group. The evidence is overwhelming: Climate change is the greatest health threat of the century, and health care is on its front line. That’s particularly true in Boston, which studies show is one of the nation’s most climate-vulnerable cities. As medical professionals, we and our colleagues witness daily the growing danger that climate change poses to the health of people here in Boston. We see its impacts in our emergency rooms during extended heat waves, in treating more patients with asthma and other respiratory ailments, and in investments to make our facilities resilient to effects such as sea level rise. For those of us in health care, climate change is a real and proximate threat. And so the Trump administration’s decision this month does not change the trajectory we and other Boston businesses have pursued steadily for years. While the president may be pulling out of the Paris agreement, we are pushing forward. A new report by Health Care Without Harm, in partnership with the Boston Green Ribbon Commission, details how combined energy-efficiency projects and 50 megawatts of new renewable-energy investments by our two institutions, Boston Medical Center and Partners HealthCare, are enabling metro Boston’s health care sector to deliver a 33 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (47 percent below business as usual). We are years ahead of meeting Boston’s and the Commonwealth’s goals of 25 percent reductions by 2020. Moreover, our financial case for action is strong. Green power is cost-competitive, and since, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, every dollar in energy cost savings is equal to securing $20 in new patient revenue, Boston Medical Center’s 20-year energy savings alone is equivalent to $2.6 billion in patient revenue. We can reinvest these savings in patient care and research, and in vulnerability analyses and capital projects that increase resiliency. Participation in the Green Ribbon Commission, a group of businesses, institutions, and civic leaders in Boston that is dedicated to this cause, has dramatically sharpened our understanding of the risks, responsibilities, and opportunities inherent in climate change. And we have taken action as a result. BMC is the largest safety net hospital with the busiest trauma center in New England, and with three-quarters of its patients coming from underserved populations, climate action is important to BMC’s mission of caring for the community while being fiscally responsible. The hospital has been nationally recognized for dramatically cutting energy use and neutralizing its electricity emissions and expects all its energy to be climate neutral by next year. Partners HealthCare has committed to practicing what the World Bank calls “climate-smart health care” — reducing energy consumption (by 21 percent through 2016) while increasing resiliency through renewable energy. We’re well on our way, but there is much more for us all to do. Boston is the fourth most climate-vulnerable city in the United States and the eighth most vulnerable worldwide in property risk. The region could take a $30 billion economic loss if a hurricane such as 2012’s Superstorm Sandy were to come ashore here, with infrastructure at risk ranging from food and water to the MBTA and utilities. With political will and vision, our region can continue to be a national leader. We can combat the climate threat with smart policies that support cost-competitive renewable energy markets and resilient, clean infrastructure and transportation, helping us all be carbon free by 2050. In the health care sector, we are forming an alliance of Massachusetts hospitals to communicate our climate success stories and needs to policy makers. Similar efforts in other business sectors would build on momentum already underway. Regardless of Washington’s actions, Boston has always stepped up to lead when it was most important to do so. Now is just such a time. We urge our fellow civic leaders to embrace the vision of Climate Ready Boston and set ambitious goals, such as BMC’s plans to be carbon neutral for all energy by 2018, with a campus that can operate in emergencies without grid power, and Partners’ plan to be carbon net positive system-wide by 2025, meaning that more green energy than needed is generated, with excess energy returned to the grid. Structures such as the Boston Green Ribbon Commission and A Better City’s aggregated renewable energy procurement initiatives support the goals of individual companies and amplify collective efforts. Together we can be smarter, to everyone’s benefit, following our governor’s lead and heeding Mayor Martin Walsh’s bold words: “The City of Boston will not back down.”
Wind power Create a statewide siting requirement that is applicable to all towns. Nobody can put in a wind turbine at present if the neighbor doesn’t want it. Issues like audible noise, harmonic noise, bird kills, deforesting for access roads, collapse zone, and the like need to be addressed. Biomass Energy • Eliminate wood burning biomass to electrical energy systems greater than 1MW from being considered as renewable energy or being available for any funding. • Promote arrangements for increased anaerobic digesters using greater than 30% manure to generate methane for electrical generation. Education Again, take this out of the hands of the utility. Climate change is the most important threat to our species, and should be treated as such. I suggest the following: • Amend state curriculum to include climate change in all subject areas. This has been done at Greenfield Community College, where all the writing classes assign reading or writing about climate change issues, and similarly other courses adopt climate change topics. • Add public service messages to remind the public of collective action problems • Increase the bottle bill to 25cents per bottle and add all glass and plastic containers. Add non drink items as well, such as a plastic bottle of laundry detergent. • Eliminate single use plastic bags across the state. • Eliminate polystyrene from any food container, cup, or serving tray. Besides the God awful environmental waste, when heat is added to the polystyrene, styrene monimers make their way into the food, and these are mutagens that may contribute to cancer and birth defects. • Better enforce and emphasize the prohibition of bottled water at state functions. It takes 90 times as much energy to consume a plastic bottle of water, than a glass of tap water. • Strictly enforce anti idling bans, especially at schools. • Mandate that each town have recycling facilities available for at least 4hrs each quarter of the year. These stations must take household hazardous waste, “disposable” batteries, recyclable batteries, CFL, paint, tire, aerosols, motor oil, antifreeze, etc. In General • Create a maximum requirement for GHG emissions per Btu or Whr generated, as well as particulate matter per unit of energy delivered. Anything above that figure gets severely fined. • How do we incentivize purchasing Energy Star or efficient appliances to replace older units, but not just reduce the cost of buying new load? o Create a list of eligible appliances. (Refrigerators, wash machine, air source heat pump water heaters, etc) o Create a quick lookup table to determine amount of cost rebated per each appliance, (if not part of HERS rating scope of work). To receive rebate you need to show proof of recycling of old unit, in same manner it is done at present. o If you are just adding new load without getting rid of another load, then it won’t get rebated. • Increase the fines associated with not achieving the RPS quotient for renewable energy generation.
New Solar Generation • Restore Full Net Metering Credits for Community solar and low income solar projects. This was slashed by 40% in April, 2016 by the MA State legislature. 100% full retail net metering will enable 75% of the Commonwealth's ratepayers who are not able to install solar PV due to rental, or lease agreements, shading, orientation or other issues. • Raise or Remove the Net Metering Caps that are maxed for at least 171 towns in National Grid territory. Eversource is close behind in filling its net metering cap. There is no reason to even have a net metering cap now. HI, CA and Germany all have far greater percentage of solar PV installed than MA with no consequence on the reliability of the grid. • Mandate the utilities conduct a study to determine actual max capacity of distributed generation backfeeding the grid. • No Min Monthly Reliability Charge or Fixed Demand Charges for owners of solar PV systems. Again in April 2016, this MMRC was given to the utilities with no Value of Solar Study to document the costs and benefits of solar PV on the grid. The fixed charges Eversource is asking for in the current rate case are based on no facts or real data. • We need a Value of Solar study conducted immediately, and tie the value to market metrics or conduct a new study every few years to inform many of the policy decisions to come. • Make the SMART incentive WORK for solar and adjust incentives to market forces. And Add residential sized storage, canopy, low income, community solar incentives to SMART program. • Increase funding for the very popular MA CEC Solar Loan program to help every homeowner own their solar PV system. Direct ownership provides the ratepayer with all the incentives and benefits of solar PV generation. This Solar loan program has enabled a large number of households to own solar with lower interest rates, loan support and simply access to financial institutions which previously were negative about loaning for solar projects. • Require Solar Ready Roofs for all new construction in the Commonwealth. This is a no brainer. • Raise the RPS to 3% from the current measly 1%. Again this is a no brainer. We need to move faster on reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to have any chance to slow down global warming. And Remember, the first 80% reduction will cost 20% and the last 20% of reduction will cost 80%. • We want 100% renewable energy by 2045 just like California! • Take a page out of NY’s playbook, and rework the Energy Vision. Copy the important aspects of the NY policy that is forming. For starters, restructure the incentives for utilities to receive payment based on the amount of DG they can support, and for maintaining the platform that ensures reliability. • Incentivize energy storage, but any project that gets incentives must enable the utility to access the storage for public good. So if I as a homeowner install 7kWh of battery storage, if I want incentives for the battery bank, I must provide access to the utility for use of my battery bank to increase or decrease grid load. • Create a fee for nuclear waste, so if the carbon fee comes in and makes nuclear look attractive, we can fairly value the cost of nuclear waste isolation. • Phase in time of use metering and adjust electricity costs to the spot market, thereby incentivizing people to stabilize grid demand, which could save up to 15% of our overall electric generation emissions.
Gas Tax – No Greenhouse Gas Tax Another major contributor to green house gasses comes from transportation. Specifically the tailpipe emissions. The state needs to create a value associated with greenhouse gas emissions and tax things according to how much greenhouse gasses the operation yields. Thus if we felt we could avoid $1.8 billion annually in health costs and property damage by reducing our greenhouse gasses 5%, then we can calculate a value on greenhouse gases. This is better laid out in the carbon fee program, and we should pass that. However, additional measures should be taken to further entice people to make the switch. My suggestions: • Create Family bus passes where all the members of your family under 22 can travel for free with an adult. • Link all the cities and towns in MA with rail and busses. I gave an exercise to my community college students in a “Clean Energy” class, where they were to take public transportation to school the next class day. One student trying to get from Pelham to Holyoke would have had to have travelled nearly 30hrs by bus and layover for what equates to less than a ½ hour drive. • Create a low interest bond for cities and large towns to convert their busses to electric. Subsidize the conversion, starting with the worst polluted areas. Use monies collected from the carbon fee to pay for this infrastructure. • Add a 25cent per gallon gas tax to pay for public transportation measures. Because we should have done it when Ross Perot brought it up in 1992. • Incentivize bike travel. (Bike groups are better able to present this point than myself)
Didn't realize my suggestions were size limited so they will come over a couple of emails. • These subsidies should prioritize higher return investments. But how do we overcome landlord / tenant difficulties and the proliferation of knob & Tube wiring. o Conduct a study or research to see if blown cellulose actually increases chance of fire in knob and tube homes. I have not met one person that can put their hands on a study like this. I understand the premise that trapping the heat can cause the knob and tube to run hotter, creating an electrical fire. But you can put a blow torch on cellulose and it won’t burn. Nonetheless, if you need to upgrade the electrical then the ROI will go down and your subsidy will also be a lower percentage. o The money should target low to moderate income families and create a mechanism for landlords to participate. The program could provide money to landlords based on the low to moderate home value adders if they can show proof that they are lowering their rents. (2yr prior rent amounts, and lower the rent based on expected avoided energy costs over 10yrs, evenly distributed each month. For example, if a landlord spends $20k on new boiler and insulation in a 3 family dwelling, and expects to save $1200 per year, then the 10 yr savings would be $12,000. The simple ROI based on a 20 yr life expectancy would be ($1200 * 20yr -$20,000)/$20,000 = 20%. Thus qualifying the project 50% subsidy. The landlord could get an additional 30% subsidy if they were willing to show a reduction in the rent for the next x years, equal to the amount of time the savings would equal the additional 30%. In this case an extra $6000, would be eligible if the landloard maintained the lower rent for $6000/$1200 = 5 years. Money is held until the end of term (5yrs), then paid out to landlord after proof of rental receipts. The rent would be reduced by ½ the annual savings. In this case $600/yr equating to a rental reduction of $50/month. Cash flow for landlord Revenues year 1 year 2 year 3 year 4 year 5 year 6 year 7 year 8 year 9 year 10 Subsidy $ 10,000 Low Income Subsidy $ 6,000 Loan $ 10,000 Avoided Energy Savings $ 1,200 $ 1,200 $ 1,200 $ 1,200 $ 1,200 $ 1,200 $ 1,200 $ 1,200 $ 1,200 $ 1,200 Expenses Project Cost $ 20,000 Annual Loan Payment $ 1,113 $ 1,113 $ 1,113 $ 1,113 $ 1,113 $ 1,113 $ 1,113 $ 1,113 $ 1,113 $ 1,113 Rent Loss $ 600 $ 600 $ 600 $ 600 $ 600 Cash Flow $ 87 $ 87 $ 87 $ 87 $ 6,087 $ 87 $ 87 $ 87 $ 87 $ 87 net cash flow $ 87 $ 173 $ 260 $ 347 $ 6,434 $ 6,520 $ 6,607 $ 6,694 $ 6,781 $ 6,867 20 yr net cash flow $ 18,867 Loan Period 10 Loan Interest 2% • Additionally, no new energy consumption can qualify for rebates in this conservation program. Such as new air source heat pump water heater, unless taking the place of a dehumidifier. • No new energy generation source can qualify, such as solar thermal, solar electric, wind, geothermal, or other source. They have energy generation compensation programs already. • Projects are randomly inspected, and subsidies are paid out according to what the inspection tests indicate savings would be. • Appliances are subsidized according to the ROI value in chart above. Granted one of your financial experts may need to review to make sure the incentive windows are appropriately spaced to prevent contractors from manipulating their pricing for better subsidies. Additional work is needed on this plan to iron out all the small details and keep it simple; for instance comparing existing incentive rates in comparison to the expected ROI.
I attended the listening session June 12th on climate change, and would like to submit the following ideas. Climate change is a collective action problem, however we cannot wait for others to take action, but rather Massachusetts needs to lead and demonstrate how to reduce our greenhouse gas footprint. Climate change is a health issue as much as anything else, and the effort we spend now on climate change mitigation, with be much more cost effective than reacting to the ill health effects caused by climate change. I offer the following suggestions to help MA lead the way. Conservation Start with an emphasis on conservation and overhaul the MASS Save program. Presently the program is run by the utilities, mired in administrative bureaucracy, and yields less than 10% implementation rate for customers seeking assistance. The program divides people according to which fuel they use to heat their home, and complicates things by offering different savings based on which utility if providing the monies, gas or electric utility. Additionally low income folks are pushed to the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), with a longer wait list and tons more red tape where you must prove income. Both programs should be merged, and programs should aspire for equity by giving better subsidies to those of low to moderate income. Another fault of the program is that the program sets a cap on the amount that installers can charge for weatherization measures; most often this cap is too low to allow for proper installation techniques. This leads to contractors underpaying their staff, which leads to high employee turnover, and moving too quickly on jobs leading to a constant struggle between quality and expedience that often results in insufficient installation work. My plan is as follows: • Set goals of the program to create the most energy savings, with emphasis on low to moderate income families. Tabulate the expected Btu savings from implementations in the last known year, and use it to benchmark further performance. • Create a separate agency to run the program and take it away from the utilities, who have no incentive to increase performance. • The new program should allocate a certain amount of money for each town or city based on the amount of money that town or city contributed to the program. With 5 percent taken for the administration and operation of the program. • The program should slightly resemble the NYSERDA SMART or Energy SMART program wherein anyone who wants an audit, gets entered into the pool for an audit. Any approved auditing contractor can then perform an audit. Cap the Audit at $600. Or perform a HERS rating capped at $1200, that stays with the house, and is updated at the end of work performed. (This then could go on any MLS listing). Presently realators veto HERS ratings at time of sale because its another impediment to the sale. Once the audit is done, the potential client is then forwarded to a pool of insulators, air sealers, boiler installers/ technicians, HVAC contractors, Handymen, Air Source Water Heaters, Solar PV contractors, Solar Thermal Contractors. Then contractors, registered with the program, can call the clients in the pool. Subsidies can be doled out on a first come first serve basis. • Participating contractors must demonstrate competency in each field. • Subsidies should be as follows: o Payback model o For 3yr or less ROIs, 75% o For 3yr to 5yr, 50% o For 5 yr to 10yr, 30% o For >10yr to 20yr 15% o ROI model o For 21% or greater, 75% o For 13 to 20%, 50% o For 9% to 12%, 30% o For 5% to 8%, 15% o Each dwelling can get up to $10k subsidy o For low income folks, Incentive increases 30% up to 100% o For moderate income folks, incentives increase 20% up to 100% o For those that don’t have the funds, create a Smart loan like the MassCEC solar loan, where there is a 10yr term where the agency pays down 3 percentage points. Additionally the state could adopt a statewide PACE loan. o Life expectancies for the calculation of ROI should be as follows: Air sealing – 5yrs Weatherization – 20 yrs Boiler upgrades – 10 yrs (low to accommodate maintenance costs) Window Upgrades – 30 yrs HVAC upgrades – 10 yrs Or could use a simple payback calculation instead of ROI, but that’s for the financially weak minded.
I wasn't able to be present for the discussion in Pittsfield on Monday, so I want to heartily thank you for initiating the Tour and taking the time to hear directly from concerned and - speaking for myself - frightened citizens. Though I have many ideas, I strongly support the legislative agenda and focus on 350 Mass: http://350mass.betterfutureproject.org/legislative. I live in Great Barrington, and I am learning that it isn't easy to make small town changes (even in a town that values such work) that are significant actions towards clean energy and environmental protections. Directly supporting the work of small towns in these areas from a state level would enable greater local resources to be allocated to this work. Lastly, environmental protection laws cannot be enforced without adequate staff to ensure compliance! Please ensure that the MA EPA is funded adequately to do this essential work, or protective legislation is meaningless.
Please please give us a carbon fee and rebate bill. Climate change is a problem and e have tackled the low hanging fruit. A carbon fee and rebate will bring every carbon producer under one umbrella and make it fair, create green jobs which can not be exported and will save money because once you put in solar power and pay for it, you get free electricity in perportuity.
Please pass the carbon fee and dividend bill. There are two one by Barrett and one by Benson. Either will do. We don't have time to delay. Mass must lead the way.
Sorry the meeting in Pittsfield was taken over by a negative group. Thank you for holding it. All forms of renewables and conservation should be explored as the Commonwealth moves forward. Our imaginations are the only limit. I'm proud to be from Massachusetts.
Support 100% Renewable Campaign, no solar caps, distributed/neighborhood grids as close to point of use as possible, no gas powered electric generation, strict siting for solar never on forested or ag land, more geothermal, neighborhood sites for battery charging, more water (?) pipe internal turbines like Pittsfield has, low/no emissions grounds maintenance for solar arrays (little mowing -- > animal grazing/ remeadowing), ban transport of fracked gas through MA, utilities run not as for=profit businesses, address/enforce industrial noise/light pollution on all levels (including mowers, leaf blowers, power line boxes, heating/cooling systems on buildings, compressor stations, motorcycles, back up beeping and wind turbines as we heard clearly at our meeting -- Noise Control Act of 1972, Quiet Communities Act of 1978. These issues interact.) Building codes make it difficult to renovate/build so as to affordably truly, innovatively minimize home resource usage so as to be able to run off quite small solar capacity. Could we address this? So sorry we couldn't stay until the end. Thank you for coming to Pittsfield. Our job isn't to say it's not realistic but rather to put our heads together to make it happen!
Pipelines are looking for a route from the Marcellus Shale to Nova Scotia where there are three LNG terminals planned, and some of these companies have already bought tankers for export. I am hoping the legislature are not dupes, or worse. ( Bill Powell's published work of 2013 on this: an eye opener.) This is about exports and abusing "Public necessity arguments" while foisting massive expense, destruction, and abuse on our health, our homes and our communities. This is all for private wealth, despite using already massive Federal subsidies, loan arrangements, exemptions and tax deferments, already granted through Federal Taxes: which we pay for. ISO New England has consistently reported declining energy use in this region. ISO NE only VERY recently began to include renewable energy in its statistics. Massachusetts customers have been bilked for DECADES for gas they paid for and never received. Fix the leaks. And hold the DPU accountable for this situation. This is supposed to be their job. That would more than take care of any future needs for gas pipelines. It would also provide employment. Gov. Patrick's law three years ago is entirely inadequate and negates the good faith efforts of citizens who are already addressing Climate Change. Fix the leaks. Provide tax incentives to businesses that implement solar power on their business buildings or properties, with concrete evidence of doing so. Make a focus of this with empty parking lots, sprawling roof tops and surrounding land, especially in industrial parks or vacated strip malls. Celebrate and recognize good citizen businesses for caring about people in this manner. In conjunction with this latter suggestion, set benchmarks for climate efforts like weaning off of gas in residential housing, in business, and municipal buildings. Provide incentives there too. If these policies are implemented and followed up on, we will exceed our goals and demonstrate real leadership: not astro-turfing. Thank you for your interest in citizen concerns and suggestions.
Raise solar NET cap; increase requirements on utilities to replace fossil fuel with renewables, especially wind; provide additional incentives for more residents to switch to geothermal and solar; restrict utilities' ability to advertise fossil fuel appliances as efficient to the detriment of geothermal and solar options (they do this to cross-market to sell natural gas although they claim it is to increase efficiency) Thank you for all your hard work in this area!! Sincerely, Liz Hatch
Dear Senator Pacheco, First I want to thank you for holding the MA Clean Energy Future Tour. I attended the Springfield event and was very gratified to know that the Climate Crisis has such a strong and knowledgeable advocate in the Senate as you. I spoke briefly about supporting community shared solar (CSS). I was part of a group in Franklin County that worked to establish a one megawatt CSS Cooperative. It would have been locally owned and controlled, a unique model. We were extremely close to pulling it off but because it became unclear what the State regulations were going to be in the future for CSS, we had to abandon the project. However, it was going to be a very hard sell for our residential members/customers when they found out that they would only get the commercial net metering rate when their neighbor who had solar on his roof received the 30% higher residential rate. This is a huge hurdle for CSS to overcome. I urge you to do all you can to make locally owned small Community Shared Solar a viable alternative in Massachusetts so the dollars and jobs stay local. AND on another subject: As a residence of Deerfield I wanted to report to you on the anaerobic digester that has ben built at Barway Farm. It went into production in November and Eversource STILL has not hooked it up. When you drive by it is like driving by a gas well in Wyoming or Pennsylvania. There are two large pipes coming out of the ground that have been burning off the methane for the last 7 months all day and all night. Not only is it adding huge amounts of methane to the atmosphere but they are wasting all that locally produced electricity. As you probably know it is capable of producing more electricity than a 6 Meg solar installation, plus heat for the farm and multiple green houses. It is criminal for Eversource to be allowed to do this.
As of 2016, Massachusetts residents spen about $22 billion a year on energy, but 80% of that money leaves the state. Investing in renewable infrastructure within the state would create more in-state jobs and keep more money in the state, making transitioning to renewable energy not only a great environmental choice, but an economically wise decision as well. I would also recommend supporting SD1632, An Act Relative to Solar Power and the Green Economy, and SD1372, An Act to Increase the RPS and Ensure Compliance with the Global Warming Solutions Act.
I attended a meeting with Barrett and Brownsberger. Subsequently, I support @BarrettSenate vision for #MACleanFuture with #CarbonPricing bill SD1821. ! Let's do it. Massachusetts can help lead the way .
The biggest land use challenges for rural hilltown communities revolve around energy issues. Wind projects, in particular. As they can't be hidden from noise and visual impacts that will last long after initial construction, they will create dead zones around them that will diminish future uses of adjacent properties, and thus their value. The state should not pass new legislation that further impairs the ability of communities to regulate high impact projects..
When I think about what I'd like to see for a Clean Energy Future there are many things that I would like to support including the new and growing technologies in wind, solar and other so called “alternative” or renewable energies. I also support Carbon Pricing. But first I would like to show what I DON'T want to see happen in this state EVER again. I do not want: -Governors from New England States (in this case that included Deval Patrick) meet and draft in secret an agreement to get more gas and oil infrastructure in the state. Kinder Morgan then used this to their own advantage. -FERC being the “yes man” for new pipelines without regard for what residents desire in the Commonwealth. Stand up to FERC! -The state to NOT take up a challenge such as the one that came after Judge Agostini refused to favor the Commonwealth's petition to make an exception to the 1938 Natural Gas Act for Otis State Forest conservation land under Article 97, and move this up the ladder to the State Supreme Court. -The Legislature to NOT ACT and let such matters die and essentially allow Kinder Morgan or other private companies a green light to move ahead. Their inaction allowed the company to move forward and tied the hands of the Dept of Environmental Protection, the AG and the Dept of Conservation and Recreation. -Politicians such as Representative Garrett Bradley who wanted to remove Otis State Forest from Article 97 protections. -Politicians who refuse to stand up to companies like Kinder Morgan but instead advise settlement to get what the opponents could get. I say, stay the course! -The Governor's office to be opposed to it's own citizens who have a perfect right to stand up for their protected lands and demand clean energy for all of us. -Agencies like the Environmental Protection and Conservation and Recreation departments to not stay the course! We need definite commitment otherwise a clean energy future will not materialize. - Political appointees like AG, Maura Healey who initially fought this but also dropped the ball when the Judge ruled. Also our Senators, Warren, Markey and Neal, gave up and left it in the lurch. -Concerns by Native American tribes being ignored. Of all the concerns theirs are most historically important being that they were the original inhabitants of the Commonwealth. Despite many opponents the Otis State Forest with Tennessee Gas/Kinder Morgan Pipeline project is moving forward. But walking backwards is a useful blueprint for the future in order to push back against future projects that have a huge impact on residents in the Commonwealth and do not promote a clean energy program. Where did the State fail? Why were residents not listened to? Why are environmental lawyers so expensive for grassroots coalitions to afford? Why has the coalition of Native American tribes concerns about sacred ceremonial sites not been considered, even now as it is a pending issue? Without fully acknowledging what is wrong, passing legislation or pouring money into programs that then either left without being acted upon, not enforced or not adequately staffed, as what is currently being done under Governor Charlie Baker, we cannot move forward on our Clean Energy programs and ideas. Environmental protections have to be as essential as basic funding for all other programs. I'd also like to see more done with apartment buildings that are being built and those already built. Many people live in this type of housing and yet little is done to pressure private landlords to Green up their properties. I live in a complex where the landlord complains about increasing utility bills, but doesn't install solar panels. He pays exorbitant amounts for dumpsters but there is no composting or supervision over recycling. It would be nice to see more environmentally communities built. Condominium communities often do not use solar or compost and often use grounds maintenance that use toxic pesticides and fertilizers that are bad for the environment, children and pets. This wasteful process of creating fertilized green areas that offer little use, should be reexamined by private and public groups. In addition I'd like more attention paid to our wildlife in the Commonwealth. We used to have a flock of turkeys in the woods behind us. But hunters have vanquished them even though there is no hunting allowed so close to our complex. Where is the accountability? Where is MY right to enjoy the natural world, whether it is the waterways, beaches, walks in the woods or wildlife appreciation? I am concerned that if there is any crisis our environment and wildlife will be severely damaged from abuse by residents or the State itself as we see with the Otis State Forest debacle. Thank you for this opportunity to cover a variety of topics. Betsy Cook Chicopee MA
The expansion of fracked gas is aserious threat to the environment. Not only the methods and by products of its extraction but also the many toxic molecules that are within it. The gas compressor blow down process releases many of these directly into the atmosphere. Fracked gas is not " clean energy"
I would like Massachusetts to do something similar if not the same as California and be 100% renewable by 2050.
I just graduated from Hampshire Regional High School in Westhampton, and throughout my six years there, it was clear we lacked emphasis on environmental science classes and climate change education. Only a small fraction of students in high school have even taken environmental science or thoroughly learned about climate chance and its implications. And this fact astounds me. Environmental degradation is arguably the most pressing issue in the 21st century, yet students are leaving high school without basic knowledge about climate change, renewable resources, and energy efficiency. How can they make informed voting choices about environmental issues without knowing the basics of the finite resources of our planet or how Global Warming works? I believe that environmental science courses and learning about Climate Change should be required in high schools. The Massachusetts legislature should push schools to offer courses that cover climate justice and teach students methods to approach climate-change deniers with facts and empathy. And, teachers who include climate change in their curriculum should be protected from parents' criticism; they are simply teaching facts based upon science. Overall, schools need more funding for Environmental Science. Senators and representatives who are proponents for education need to push high and middle school science departments to emphasize this curriculum. When students learn about environmental issues early on in an engaging atmosphere, they can become passionate activists themselves. This next generation of environmentally-aware young people are the ones who are going to make a positive difference in our country. However, for these leaders to emerge, stronger support for Environmental Science in public schools is vital.
Dear Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change; Why is it that the Ma General Court was silent on Kinder Morgan's pipeline in the Otis State Forest. Article 97 property is protected by our State Constitution. Federal preemption for the purpose of destroying our habitat is not an excuse. No 401 certifications should be granted as long as we still have leaking methane pipelines.
Massachusetts Forests are in Decline There are three million acres of forest land in Massachusetts which cover 61% of the land area. Our forests are essential to protect wildlife habitat, provide clean air and water, provide forest products that we all use, and to help mitigate climate change. The total amount of protected forest land in Massachusetts is over one million acres. But it is not enough to protect forest land; we must also manage it. In the last decade, major threats to our forests have grown. The most important are the hemlock wooly adelgid where 2.3 billion board feet of hemlock timber is at risk and the emerald ash borer where almost 1 billion board feet of timber is at risk. This is almost 15% of all the sawtimber in the state. Other insect and disease agents, the spread of non-native invasive plants which crowd out native vegetation, and the legacy of destructive highgrade logging where the best timber is cut leaving a junk forest behind, have also caused our forests to decline. More than 75% of our forests have been degraded or are at risk for significant decline. About 2,000 acres was recently conserved in Leverett and Shutesbury for sustainable forestry and other uses. Governor Baker said that projects like that are important to ensure that our ecosystems are resilient to the effects of climate change. But in order to practice sustainable forestry and manage our forests so they are resilient to climate change, we need low grade timber markets so that low value and dying timber can be economically removed. The Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act requires a 25% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and an 80% reduction by 2050. Deforestation as well as the urban heat island effect is responsible for up to 50% of the increase in global warming in the last century because our forests are a major carbon sink. Thus protecting and managing our forests are a major part of meeting the emission goals. However, our forests ability to act as a carbon sink is declining. Forests store carbon as they grow but as tree mortality increases, net growth slows and declines. According to the US Forest Service data for 2015 tree mortality has doubled in Massachusetts to 600,000 cords/year which equals 1.5 million tons. This is about triple the timber harvesting rate. Our forests are releasing up to one ton of carbon per year (as much as 3 million tons/year) as more trees decline and die reducing net growth and decreasing carbon sequestration rates. As the hemlock wooly adelgid and emerald ash borer spread, it is going to get much worse. Hemlocks across the state are now in serious decline. To help meet the emission reduction targets, our state is spending billions on solar and wind energy. The ability of these intermittent forms of energy to significantly reduce carbon emissions is questionable since they need natural gas as a backup when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing. The Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) is a calculation used to estimate the dollar value to society of reducing CO2 emissions. EPA has estimated that the SCC is $37/ton. Solar energy receives many subsidies from the state and federal government as well as from our electric utility which is called “net metering”. But one rooftop solar unit, which may cost $25,000 or more without any subsidies, will displace only about one ton of carbon every year. If the solar rooftop unit displaces 20 tons over the 20 year life of the unit, then the cost per ton of CO2 displaced is a very expensive $1,250/year far exceeding the $37/ton SCC estimate. Solar “farms” preform much worse. In contrast, using locally produced chipwood from sustainably managed forests for heat and power would only cost between $10-20/ton. Thus while solar fails a cost/benefit analysis when you compare it the SCC, wood energy passes easily. Rather than spending billions on solar panels imported from China, it would be far more cost effective to reduce carbon emissions by restoring the health and productivity of our forests by promoting locally produced biomass. Our forests are in decline and dying. The only way we can help restore the health and productivity of our forests is to support markets for low grade timber and that means biomass for power, heat, food production in greenhouses, and other products such as biochar and mulch. By supporting biomass markets, we will improve our forests and provide thousands of new job opportunities especially in our rural areas where they are most needed. New Biomass Study for a 50MW biomass power plant in NH: Carbon Emissions from Forest Residue-Based Power are 115% Lower than Natural Gas the First Year; 98% Lower over 100 years! http://www.bioenergy-news.com/display_news/12412/biomass_carbon_emissions_115_lower_than_natural_gas/ Full report here: http://www.usabiomass.org/docs/Final%20BPA%20Khanna%20Dwivedi%20Biomass%20Carbon%20Study%20May%202017.pdf Save our forests! Promote biomass!
I'm Senior Advisor for Energy and Buildings for Health Care Without Harm, We coordinate the 22 hospitals in the Boston Green Ribbon Commission's Health Care Working Group, work with health systems statewide including Baystate Health, and with 1,400 hospitals nationwide. We recently released a study demonstrating Boston hospitals are on track to achieve a 33% reduction in GHG by 2020, or 47% compared to business as usual. This achievement is driven in large part by Boston Medical Center and Partners HealthCare committing to over 50 MW of new solar and wind energy, as part of their respective commitments to be climate neutral by 2018 and net carbon positive by 2025. 1. Climate change and fossil fuel emissions increase premature deaths, asthma, cardiopulmonary events, mental health issues, neurological damage, drug use, violence, and disease vectors such as Lyme and Zika. They raise health care costs, and impact our most vulnerable citizens. US DOE, EPA and other data show Massachusetts' fossil fuel and electricity emissions have health impacts costing the state and citizens over $1 billion per year, well over three cents per kWh. Conversely, acting sooner rather than later delivers many billions in benefits. During heat waves and hurricanes, clinical demand skyrockets, and hospital, extended care, research and pharmacy operations can be severely impacted, if not completely disrupted. To thrive as health care institutions in a healthy resilient society, we need a public policy framework that rapidly advances four goals, which many hospitals have endorsed: 1. We need innovation, and advances in technology and new business creation that leverage climate change as an economic opportunity. The Commonwealth can be a global hub for research and development, knowledge and intellectual property supporting a low-carbon future. 2. We need a climate resilient multi-modal mobility system encompassing expanded investment in public transit, biking, pedestrian infrastructure, and smart land use policy. We need a transition of the entire system, including freight and autos, to renewables. 3. We need pro-active risk reduction efforts to protect people, assets, and energy, water and food infrastructure. Policies must support the practice of risk reduction as a core organizational and governmental function, not as a side issue or 'undertaken when we have a moment.' And most important for today, we need a 4. Regional, modernized and nimble electric and thermal energy market, based on infrastructure, management and incentives capable of driving long-term demand reduction and de-carbonization. Including: a. Restructure and redirect the DPU, as proposed in the Eldridge/Kulik DPU Reform Bill S1847, but go further. Specifically, enable and direct the DPU to avoid inadvertently shifting costs from energy to public health and health care. Health care is already a lot more expensive than energy; Massachusetts household health insurance costs are six times their energy spend. A single hospital emergency room visit for a serious asthma attack can cost thousands of dollars. Therefore we need policies to monetize both the adverse health effects of fossil fuel use, and the health benefits of energy conservation, efficiency and renewables. Let's counter outdated siloed thinking with smart systems thinking. It's far more cost effective to spend a dollar cleaning up the energy supply than to find and spend $30 dollars in new patient revenues; that's the ratio 20 or 30 to one, depending on the hospitals' margin. b. Prevent investment of billions of dollars in fossil fuel infrastructure and traditional energy distribution systems to address the few hours of highest winter and summer peak demand. Please pass policies that eliminate perverse utility and market incentives. Please create a public-private partnership for a statewide, peak reliability program that engages all citizens and organizations in direct conservation action at the critical times. Now is not the time for small steps. In this legislative session, we need action to: 1. Greatly accelerate the development and amount of offshore wind, 2. Increase the RPS to 3% to enable us all to meet the 2050 goals, 3. Raise or eliminate the net metering cap to level the playing field for solar against the extensive subsidies and tax breaks doled out to fossil fuels, and 4. Support our ratepayer advocate, the Attorney General, in seeking improvements to the Eversource rate case, which threatens some hospitals' solvency. It is time to limit the powers that are forever attempting to steal from the many for the benefit of the few. Thank you for helping the Commonwealth become a world leader in environmental health, climate justice, energy innovation and social equity.
I'm sorry to miss the session last night but I wanted to contribute to the discussion. Here are the issues I believe the legislature needs to address asap. We are running out of time to reverse climate change and clearly the Federal Gov is not stepping up to the plate any time soon. It is up to each State now to do the BEST we can. Restore Full Net Metering Credits for Community solar and low income solar projects. This was slashed by 40% in April, 2016 by the MA State legislature. 100% full retail net metering will enable 75% of the Commonwealth's ratepayers who are not able to install solar PV due to rental, or lease agreements, shading, orientation or other issues. Raise or Remove the Net Metering Caps that are maxed for at least 171 towns in National Grid territory. Eversource is close behind in filling its net metering cap. There is no reason to even have a net metering cap now. HI, CA and Germany all have far greater percentage of solar PV installed than MA with no consequence on the reliability of the grid. No Min Monthly Reliability Charge or Fixed Demand Charges for owners of solar PV systems. Again in April 2016, this MMRC was given to the utilities with no Value of Solar Study to document the costs and benefits of solar PV on the grid. The fixed charges Eversource is asking for in the current rate case are based on no facts or real data. We need a Value of Solar study conducted immediately and every few years to inform many of the policy decisions to come. Make the SMART incentive WORK for solar and adjust incentives to market forces. And Add residential sized storage, canopy, low income, community solar incentives to SMART program. Increase funding for the very popular MA CEC Solar Loan program to help every homeowner own their solar PV system. Direct ownership provides the ratepayer with all the incentives and benefits of solar PV generation. This Solar loan program has enabled a large number of households to own solar with lower interest rates, loan support and simply access to financial institutions which previously were negative about loaning for solar projects. Require Solar Ready Roofs for all new construction in the Commonwealth. This is a no brainer. Raise the RPS to 3% from the current measly 1%. Again this is a no brainer. We need to move faster on reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to have any chance to slow down global warming. And Remember, the first 80% reduction will cost 20% and the last 20% of reduction will cost 80%. We want 100% renewable energy by 2045 just like California!
Wind power has NO place in Massachusetts. Even if you don't want to hear this, I tell you that it makes people ill, it destroys the water table and makes harmful changes to the environment, it kills many birds and bats, it makes a paltry amount of energy that hyper-inflates the cost of electricity, ... Would you like me to go on? I could.
I applaud our state for taking the initiative to investigate the optimal ways to deliver clean energy to the Commonwealth. We want more energy-efficient utility systems to limit our effect on climate change. But these proposed solutions to fight global warming cannot come at a price of adversely affecting human health or safety. Relying on wireless utility meters and wireless infrastructure to relay energy usage is one clean energy proposal that is not so clean. The world’s digital economy consumes about 10% of the total global electricity usage and is expected to grow substantially as the Internet-of-Things continues to unfold. Communicating utility usage wirelessly via Smart meter networks consumes more energy than it is expected to save. Beyond that, adding more wireless signals to our environment substantially increases the risk of harmful health effects from exposure to microwave signals. Please be reminded that wireless devices emit microwave radiation, which is acknowledged by all scientists to be biologically active. However, the vast majority of doctors, scientists and engineers will tell you that wireless technology is safe & harmless. My expertise is in biomedical engineering, with a doctoral degree from Vanderbilt University. In the past when I had discussed the safety of wireless devices with my engineering colleagues who are specialists in electromagnetic fields, they used to give me the standard response: the signal is too small to do any harm. But now when I explain to them the latest research that shows the electromagnetic fields from wireless devices exert a force on the charged salt ions in our cells, and that this force opens calcium channels which disturbs our metabolism, my colleagues’ response is: “Engineers are not trained to think biologically.” So there you have it: people designing these systems are not trained to think biologically, and thus our wireless technology such as Smart utility meters has not been tested for biological safety beyond their heating effects. Are we comfortable using microwave-emitting technology that has not been fully tested for biological safety? A safe threshold for protecting human health from long term microwave exposures has not yet been established by the medical and scientific communities. We just don’t know, yet, how much microwave radiation the body can handle over decades of exposure, and we especially need to consider the more vulnerable populations –children, senior citizens, and those with immune-compromised conditions. The national exposure standards for radiofrequency radiation do not account for the smaller body sizes of women and children, and do not consider long term exposures. Thus, our current national standards for wireless radiation exposures are seriously flawed and scientifically obsolete. Low-intensity microwave signals used in our present wireless communication systems are encoded with pulsed patterns. The science has demonstrated that our body's cellular communication via calcium signaling is adversely affected by this pulsing. The implications of this metabolic disturbance are vast. Almost every neurotransmitter in our nervous system is released in response to proper calcium channel activation. Most of the hormones of the body are under the control of mechanisms triggered by proper calcium channel activation. The function of most immune cells in our body relies in part on these calcium channels. I am writing to ask you to protect our citizens from chronic exposures to wireless devices from the proposed Smart meter electric grid. Given the current rollout of the Smart utility grid in Massachusetts, wireless utility meters should be optional, giving residents or businesses a choice for their homes or work place. Utility companies should be prohibited from charging a monthly meter-reading fee to homeowners, as is the policy of National Grid, which penalizes homeowners for protecting themselves from radiation that is presently classified as a possible carcinogen. The stakes are too high to significantly risk the health of the public in exchange for little or no gain in energy savings with Smart meters. I thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration of this matter.
To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced substantially and quickly. To do so requires both policies which encourage the development of sustainable energy sources, and policies which encourage reduced use of fossil fuels and other green house gas sources. Please make every effort to build bipartisan support for enactment of a revenue neutral carbon fee and dividend plan for Massachusetts, and show the nation it can work. It is a good bet, and our best hope politically, economically, socially and environmentally for saving the planet. Please.
Given your good record on environmental issues you might be interested to learn one of the major concerns we've been wrestling with is in regard to the protection and preservation of our forests in this time of climate chaos. There are forces within our Commonwealth who have not given up on industrial scale wood biomass energy, even after the strong efforts many of us undertook to stop the proposed biomass plant in Greenfield some years back. Those forces, both corporate and political, would love to have industrial-scale wood biomass defined as "renewable energy" simply because trees grow back. What is decidedly NOT mentioned is the fact that it takes 50 to 100+ years for logged forests to regain the carbon lost during the destructive logging process, time we DO NOT have in this age of climate chaos. Also not mentioned by the industry and its supporters is the growing export market for wood chips and pellets that our forests might supply, thus becoming export plantations robbing us of a critical means of carbon sequestration. In addition, the matter of particulate emissions associated with industrial wood biomass incineration flies in the face of the concept of true renewable energy. Other forest preservation activists and I are trying to get a meeting with Rep. Eldridge, the one who introduced the MA 100% Renewable legislation on Beacon Hill, to express our concerns. That meeting has yet to be scheduled but I feel compelled now to bring up our concerns to you as you meet with residents around the state to hear from them on issues regarding renewable energy. I have posted some science links below that demonstrate the realities of biomass harvesting and incineration with regard to the Climate Crisis. Thanks for your attention to this issue. Regards, Don Ogden The Enviro show WXOJ & WMCB 140 Pine street Florence, MA 01062 https://www.dogwoodalliance.org/2017/03/media-release-the-great-american-stand-us-forests-and-the-climate-emergency/ https://www.newscientist.com/article/2122115-the-eus-renewable-energy-policy-is-making-global-warming-worse/ http://biomess101.org/the-tree-burning-lobbys-legislative-long-game/
For months I have been anticipating the promised hearing in Boston on June 26th - and now it's in Winthrop? My first suggestion is to hold a hearing in Boston. I appreciate that our elected Senators recognize the HUGE importance of Climate Change for us and for future generations, and have committed their time and effort to this Clean Energy Future Tour! We can keep Massachusetts money in Massachusetts while protecting health and safety now and in the future, Economic good sense and social justice point in the same direction! It's time to PUT A PRICE ON CARBON! I also support accelerating the Renewable Portfolio Standard, increasing energy-efficiency measures, and promoting offshore wind development. PLEASE PUT A PRICE ON CARBON!
For Massachusetts to get serious about addressing climate change, it should raise the gasoline tax. This would promote lower carbon emissions and provide needed revenue for highways, complete streets, and public transportation – as well as improve the state’s fiscal outlook and bond rating. Just as Massachusetts has been the model for our nation on health care, Massachusetts could become the model for our nation on gas taxes. In the past 27 years, the gasoline tax was only raised in 2013 from 21 cents to 24 cents a gallon. While gas tax rates remained nearly flat, the cost of constructing and maintaining a transportation network became more expensive, resulting in about a 50% drop in cost-adjusted tax rate. With more fuel-efficient vehicles, the revenue per mile driven has dropped and will drop much more. This has resulted in multi-billion dollar deficits in funding highway and public transportation infrastructure, and placed increasing pressure on other areas of our state budget. An increase of 50 cents a gallon would raise about $1.5 billion a year. The Massachusetts constitution allows gas tax revenue to go to mass transportation in addition to highways. Massachusetts should encourage the other states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to adopt similar increases in the gasoline tax. Lowering gas consumption with taxes will help lower cost per barrel of oil, reducing oil company and OPEC profits. There is no better way to maintain and improve public transportation, the Massachusetts economy, and address climate change than to raise the gas tax.
I attended the Weymouth meeting but I am not a public speaker so I quietly listened and cheered for others who spoke my feelings. I however, am very strongly opinionated about this subject. I thank you for all the action and work being done and can only hope some of what is being done will give us the results we want. The proposed pipeline and compressor station for N Weymouth is in a densely populated neighborhood, not a rural area as is characterized by the industry. Compressor stations are normally sited in rural areas to minimize the pollution exposure and danger to people. The Fore River basin is already over the limits of some pollutants as proven by the air quality testing of Dr Curt Norigard. A compressor station on this site will only make this worse. Many thousands of people live within the poor air quality zone this compressor station would create. I am at a loss as to why our elected officials and government would even consider let alone allow this. I thank you for working to make that change but fear it will be too little too late . I am fearful no matter how hard we fight our Governor Charlie Baker and FERC will turn a blind eye to all the objections and rubber stamp in favor of industry. Pollution will increase. The environment will be harmed. People will suffer and die as a result both directly and indirectly. Our efforts to slow the speed of global warming certainly will suffer from this as well. We, the world will be more dependent on fossil fuel as a result of the increased build out of fossil fuel infrastructure for many decades to come. The industry will export the fracked gas they pollute our community with and profit in an extreme way at our expense. Please help to restore my faith that the system works for the people. Make sure the voice of the people is listened to and respected. Make sure our voices, objections, and pleads are not just empty actions that are swept under the carpet and discounted as having no weight in the process. We want clean energy now. This is an attainable goal and is good for the future economically, environmentally and for the health and well being of all people. Thank you for your support and efforts in this important fight. Linda Illes
Thank you, Committee, and the entire MA Senate, for voting, (39-0 last session), against the gas pipeline tax; •I oppose the new gas pipelines, which will bring fracked gas and more greenhouse gas emissions to MA - exactly what we don't need; • Please remain firm to protect consumers from the $6.6. BILLION pipeline tax and against new fracked gas pipelines. • I support for the Global Warming Solutions Act and other legislation that will bring us into a cleaner energy future. We can bring jobs and economic boosts to Massachusetts by investing in new energy technology and infrastructure! Massachusetts can be a global leader in this! Thank you, Mark Elliot, M.D.