Monthly Archives: March 2023

Monthly News Check-In 3/1/23

Welcome back.

Massachusetts legislators approved a pilot program last year to let 10 cities and towns ban fossil fuels in new buildings. However, under DOER’s proposed regulations, municipalities that have already asked the state for permission to ban fossil fuels in new construction would need to wait until early 2024 at the earliest to implement their bans.

“It’s important that state government permit the towns that want to do this to go forward as quickly as possible,” said State Senator Mike Barrett. “The Legislature wrote this language because a handful of towns had already moved way out in front. The communities had gone through the laborious process of drafting local bylaws and ordinances.”

The hope is that data gathered from the first ten communities will help create a roadmap for how to meet the state’s ambitious climate goals, and given the exigencies of climate change, there’s a clear urgency to moving forward as quickly as possible.

Apart from the delays involved, the obvious issue of environmental justice raises its head: the 10 cities and towns involved in the pilot project are all relatively wealthy communities, while poorer communities will have to wait.

In other news, community solar is poised to become much more common thanks to a new $7 billion fund tied to the Inflation Reduction Act. The EPA began the process of setting up the fund last week.

Massachusetts has the third highest community solar generating capacity in the the country, after New York and Minnesota.

The federal government now has $7 billion that can go to community solar through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which was created by the Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Joe Biden in August.

On the other side, there are activist groups such as Citizens for Responsible Solar, co-founded by a former staffer for George W. Bush, actually fighting solar installations in rural areas. The organization has helped local groups opposing solar projects in at least 10 states.

Two steps forward, two steps back?

button - BEAT News  For even more environmental news, info, and events, check out the latest newsletter from our colleagues at Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT)!

— The NFGiM Team


Kalmus and Abramoff protest on stage at the AGU meeting in December.Credit: Dwight Owens» Outcry as scientists sanctioned for climate protest

» More about protests and actions    

Outcry as scientists sanctioned for climate protest
In response to the protest, the AGU removed the scientists’ abstracts from the meeting programme, expelled them from the meeting and opened cases of professional misconduct against them.
By Myriam Vidal Valero, Nature
February 15, 2023


Manchin’s Mountain Valley Pipeline provision fails in Senate vote
By CHUCK VIPPERMAN, Chatham Star Tribune
December 22, 2022


Glick departing

» More about FERC    

FERC climate reviews in limbo as Glick departs
By Miranda Willson, E&E News
December 15, 2022


Justin Kratz

McCann School Committee Give Go-Ahead on New HVAC Program
By Brian Rhodes, iBerkshires
December 20, 2022

Maura Healey wants to go big on climate tech, housing, as she prepares to take office
By Matt Stout and Samantha J. Gross, Boston Globe
December 19, 2022


‘Face it head on’: Connecticut makes climate change studies compulsory
Enshrining the curriculum in law insulates the subject from budget cuts and culture wars related to the climate crisis
By The Guardian
December 17, 2022


Here Is What Is Really Strangling the Energy Transition
By Justin Gillis and Tyler H. Norris, New York Times | Opinion
December 16, 2022

Mr. Gillis is a director at Generation Investment Management, a co-author of “The Big Fix: 7 Practical Steps to Save Our Planet” and a former environmental reporter for The Times. Mr. Norris is a vice president for development at Cypress Creek Renewables, a national developer of solar farms.


How a climate-smart forest economy could help mitigate climate change and its worst impacts
By Daniel Zimmer, Director Sustainable Land Use, Climate-KIC, in World Economic Forum
December 19, 2022



US smart meter penetration continues steady growth, tops 100M in operation: FERC
For the fourth consecutive year the number of advanced meters installed on the United States electric grid increased by approximately 8 million.
By Robert Walton, Utility Dive
December 21, 2022


Billions in Amtrak Funding Could Modernize Aging Rail System
The $1 trillion infrastructure bill that President Biden signed into law includes money that Amtrak hopes can fix crumbling bridges and tunnels along the Northeast Corridor.
By Madeleine Ngo, New York Times
December 20, 2021


Has green hydrogen sprung a leak?
By Sarah Mcfarlane and Ron Bousso, Reuters
December 22, 2022



Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

» Learn more about Pipeline projects
» Learn more about other proposed energy infrastructure
» Sign up for the NFGiM Newsletter for events, news and actions you can take
» DONATE to help keep our efforts going!