TheTelecommunications, Utilities and Energy (TUE) Committee will be conducting a virtual public hearing on the Baker administration’s proposed biomass rule changes this Friday, July 30th at 10 AM.
We won this public hearing because of your support and advocacy. Our collective efforts, including the 80+ groups that stepped up on short notice to sign our letter asking the TUE Committee to hold this hearing, were key to our success.
As noted in the hearing announcement, oral testimony is by invitation only. The advocacy community has been given a limited number of slots, and PFPI and members of the No Toxic Biomass campaign have provided names to the TUE committee. However, anyone can attend (virtually) and submit written testimony!
We are urging the TUE Committee to reject DOER’s amendments that would expand renewable energy incentives for wood-burning biomass power plants and roll back critical public health and environmental protections.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Attend the TUE hearing this Friday: Strong (virtual) turnout at the hearing will demonstrate to the legislature that we are watching closely. The live stream of the public hearing may be viewed under the Hearings & Events section of the Massachusetts legislature’s website: www.malegislature.gov.
Submit Written Comments: Even a short personal note goes a long way with legislators! Written testimony can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and Samuel.Anderson@masenate.gov by Monday, August 2nd at 5 pm. Ask the TUE Committee to reject DOER’s proposed rule changes that expand renewable energy incentives for wood burning power plants and to recommend expanding protections for environmental justice communities. For more talking points see below.
Contact your State Senator and Representative: Ask them to support and co-sponsor two bills endorsed by the No Toxic Biomass campaign:
- S.2186/H.3362 prohibits polluting power plants from receiving RPS funds if they are located in, or within 5 miles of an environmental justice community
- S.2197/H.3333 removes woody biomass burning altogether from Massachusetts’ renewable energy programs
For more information about these bills and to find out who your state legislators are, please visit: https://www.notoxicbiomass.org/legislative-campaign
Social Media: Please use the #BakerNoBiomass hashtag for any social media posts and link to the NoToxicBiomass.org campaign website.
- DOER is proposing sweeping changes that will allow inefficient and polluting wood-burning biomass power plants to once again qualify for renewable energy incentives in Massachusetts.
- The Baker administration’s changes roll back important environmental and public health protections adopted in 2012 that make Massachusetts’ RPS standards the strongest in the nation.
- Biomass power plants are not “clean energy” – they emit large quantities of harmful air pollution and are damaging to our climate and our forests.
- Wood-burning power plants emit more carbon dioxide pollution out their stacks than coal or natural gas plants per megawatt of energy produced.
- The new provision prohibiting biomass power plants from qualifying for the RPS if they are located in or within 5 miles of an environmental justice community is a positive step and should be expanded to include all combustion technologies that are covered in the RPS.
- These regulations will allow existing inefficient biomass power plants in Maine, New Hampshire and elsewhere to collect millions of dollars in renewable energy subsidies paid for by Massachusetts residents through their electric bills.
- Massachusetts ratepayers want to support clean renewable energy, not dirty biomass plants!
For more information, please visit www.notoxicbiomass.org or www.pfpi.net
On behalf of the No Toxic Biomass campaign, thank you!
Susan Theberge, Climate Action Now
James McCaffrey, Partnership for Policy Integrity (PFPI)