energy

WAMC

More communities in Massachusetts are getting state  financial help with local energy projects. The funding awarded Monday comes courtesy of  landmark legislation passed four years ago that was designed to increase clean energy momentum.   WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

In a recently published interview, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation chairman Joe Martens says that the state’s review of the potential environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas – known as ‘fracking’ – remains a work in progress, despite the department having already produced about 4,000 pages on the subject.

WAMC

Gov. Deval Patrick has signed an energy bill that requires Massachusetts utilities to buy more of their electricity in competitively bid, long-term contracts with renewable energy providers.

Patrick said Friday the new law will protect ratepayers while also helping the environment by requiring more use of clean energy sources.

Starting in 2016, utilities would be required to purchase 7 percent of their power from long-term renewable contracts, up from 3 percent.

James Howard Kunstler’s The Long Emergency, originally published in 2005, quickly became a grassroots hit. Kunstler’s vision of our post-oil future caught the attention of environmentalists and business leaders alike, and stimulated widespread discussion about our dependence on fossil fuels and on dysfunctional financial and government institutions.

As we pay close attention to the debate over hydrofracking this morning – and all week — on WAMC, we now turn to an interview between our Alan Chartock and Dennis Holbrook, executive vice president and chief legal officer of Norse Energy Corporation. Holbrook has spent nearly four decades in the energy industry and has served as a director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association for the past 25 years. Holbrook describes the chemical mix used in the fracking process.

Utilities See Growing 'Smart Meter' Opposition

May 14, 2012

Worries about health effects, privacy and cost are fueling growing opposition to wireless, digital "smart meters" that utilities around the country are installing on homes and businesses and touting as key energy conservation and grid reliability tools.  WAMC’s Tristan O’Neill reports…

Vermont appears poised to take an unusually aggressive stance. While several states have allowed utilities to charge a fee to customers who want to opt out of smart meters, Vermont's governor is expected soon to sign legislation that would allow customers to say no without paying anything extra.

Massachusetts Senate Passes Bill on Energy Costs

Apr 6, 2012

The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously passed a bill that aims to curb energy costs while requiring state utilities to buy more renewable power.   WAMC's Tristan O'Neill reports...

The bill passed Thursday requires utilities to enter long-term contracts with renewable power companies for 7 percent of their energy supplies, up from 3 percent.

The companies must competitively bid for the contracts, instead of one-on-one negotiations allowed now. And a state payment to utilities that agree to the deals drops from 4 percent of the contract's annual value to 1 percent.

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