Library filed under Energy Policy from Massachusetts
"There are a lot of implications beyond Cape Wind," Cape Cod Commission Executive Director Paul Niedzwiecki said yesterday. Based on the court's decision, an energy developer could simply fill out applications with local boards but then proceed directly to the siting board for a ruling, he said. "I don't think that kind of bootstrapping was intended when the (siting board) was created," he said.
LeBlanc said the premiers have done well in selling their energy message in New England. "But it's not as simple as saying, 'We're here. Come buy from us.' ...New England states want to have energy independence and grow their energy supply in-house.
The Senate will try again today to pass a bill supporters say will streamline the location of wind power facilities in Massachusetts. The legislation, which has received mixed reviews from Berkshire lawmakers, passed both the Massachusetts Senate and House. However, the Senate failed to take a final parliamentary vote before the clock ran out July 31.
A Republican lawmaker has again blocked the Massachusetts Senate from taking a final vote on a bill that backers say will make it easier to site wind turbine facilities.
The town and its residents are just beginning to understand the implications of an eight-to-10-turbine wind farm proposed for West Mountain just as a state proposal to take control of wind projects away from towns stalls in the legislature. "This all lets the townspeople know that it ultimately will be the citizens' vote at Town Meeting," said Thomas C. Marino, chairman of the Brimfield Board of Selectmen.
The state Senate sought yesterday to revive a proposal to overhaul the wind turbine siting process and Senate President Therese Murray indicated she'd throw the weight of her office behind an effort to send the bill to Gov. Deval Patrick.
A Republican lawmaker has blocked a final vote in the Massachusetts Senate on a bill supporters say would streamline the siting of wind power facilities. ...Democrats tried to push the bill through on Monday, but Republican Sen. Michael Knapik of Westfield objected.
After the brief session, Knapik described wind energy as a heavily subsidized "ripoff" and said he was confident Senate Republicans would block the bill any time Senate leaders attempt to push it through between now and the end of the legislative session in January 2011. Timilty, who presided Monday, said he expected another bid to enact the bill later this week. "Right back up again on Thursday," he said.
The amount of energy produced isn't worth the trade-off in noise, disruption and commercial development of green areas. "We are not going to be changing our energy profile in New England with 1,000 wind turbines, but we are going to be destroying our environment," she said. "If we are talking about sacrificing all our mountaintops for 5-6 percent of our energy needs, that's not acceptable."
Mr. Baker also demonstrated a reasoned devotion to data and math when it comes to the Patrick Administration's swoon over wind energy. He said he couldn't make sense of it. Neither can we, not of wind energy plants in the state and federal waters surrounding the Vineyard -but nowhere else at all in state waters - and not dotting the Vineyard landscape either.
Yet the measure died in the House after opponents of the bill delayed a formal vote on the final compromise legislation crafted by negotiators from both chambers until the final minute of the legislative session at 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning. That prevented the legislation from reaching the Senate for final approval.
The state Department of Public Utilities, which is reviewing the National Grid-Cape Wind rate agreement, should "not approve any long-term contracts (under the state law) until out-of-state generators have received an equal opportunity to bid and to have their bids evaluated on their merits," TransCanada said.
A state law that would streamline the permitting of large land-based wind turbines has hit a snag. Separate versions of the Wind Energy Siting Reform Act were passed in the House and the Senate, and a compromise bill did not clear the Senate before the end of the legislative session Saturday.
The country has evidently arrived at a point in its legal culture where no negative consequences seem to exist for making false or misleading claims to sell wind energy and take your property rights. Should the people who value intellectual honesty be fleeced by such mendacity, even from their government?
Lawmakers also gave final approval to a measure to reduce health care costs for small businesses, but failed to take a final vote on another measure to streamline the site selection process for wind energy turbines. Supporters of the wind energy bill hope the Senate can give it a final vote during an informal session, delivering it to Gov. Patrick's desk.
A bipartisan group of House legislators, including several from Cape Cod and Nantucket, are asking state Attorney General Martha Coakley to take a hard look at a proposal to overhaul how land-based wind energy projects are approved. ...Opponents say the bill, expected to go to Gov. Deval Patrick's desk for his signature today, goes too far. The legislative session ends Saturday.
On Tuesday, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia announced they would explore building new transmission lines between the two provinces, which would more than double the amount of electricity that can be shared between them. A similar expansion of capacity between centrally located New Brunswick and the northeastern United States could give the Maritimes access to a lucrative energy market.
The Boston Herald wants Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin to force the state to turn over correspondence between state leaders, utility commissioners and executives at National Grid and Cape Wind. A state lawyer has refused to provide the Herald with the information, saying the matter is still under regulatory review.
But there's another issue still in flux. This involves the broader RPS program, which required utilities and energy suppliers to negotiate contracts with in-state projects. TransCanada sued over this as well, again saying that it prevented the company from selling wind electricity from Maine into Massachusetts. ...Renewable energy advocates are surely watching the state, wondering if the outcome will have any broader impact on other markets in the U.S.
Critics of the legislation say the bill puts too much power at the state level. Supporters praise the bill for reducing red tape and time involved in permitting such projects. According to Ian Bowles, Massachusetts secretary of energy and environmental affairs, the bill is very clear in mandating that if a local municipality decides a wind project is wrong for the town.