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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R)'s Department of Environmental Protection has issued a draft of new clean air regulations to address greenhouse gas emissions, seven months after the state's Supreme Court ruled it was not doing enough to cut them.
Under the proposal, utilities would be required to purchase generation credits from zero-carbon sources, starting at 16% in 2018 and increasing to 80% by 2050. Renewables, nuclear and fossil generation with carbon capture would be eligible for the Clean Energy Credits.
The Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act requires the state reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. Separate regulatory programs announced last week target emissions from vehicles and fossil fuel extraction and transport, along with the power sector rules.
The enemy would be coordinating a large letters to the editor campaign aimed at every Mass newspaper, telling the readers in Mass how they are harming their neighbors to the north. The way the people in Mass hear it from their media is that their purchase of wind electrons from Maine is something Mainers are thankful for.
Meeting their mandated RPS will drive demand regardless of their progress on emissions goals. Combined, it does not bode well for Maine.
From the report: Pg 4
Power Plant Emissions—GHG emissions from the use of electricity in Massachusetts have fallen dramatically since 1990, from 28 to 17 MMTCO2e in 2011, a drop of more than 37 percent (MassDEP 2013d) (see Figure 11). The decline of electricity generation by coal-fired power plants in Massachusetts is driving much of this decrease. Two coal-fired power plants have already shut-down some or all of their generating capacity.1 Additional GHG reductions from the closure of a third coal-fired plant are possible in 2017. In addition, Massachusetts led the way in securing an historic commitment by the nine RGGI states to lower the cap on power plant emissions from 165 million short tons per year to 91 million short tons per year in 2014, with an annual reduction of 2.5 percent each year through 2020.
They are over half way there with 30years remaining. Maybe their Solar initiatives should finish the rest and leave Maine alone.
This will drive demand for wind development for years. With VT's plan to opt-out and NH's limitations on development, Maine becomes the primary wind generation resource for New England. This will be devastating for Maine's landscape and eventually undermine any opportunity to develop a larger tourism industry in northern and eastern rural areas. Property values will decline, businesses will close and the small communities in our most distressed areas will be devastated.
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