CONSERVATION

The Connecticut River at Springfield, Massachusetts, on April 3, 2017.
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Springfield Water and Sewer Commission has qualified for a $50 million low-interest loan that could help the Connecticut River run cleaner. 

Federal authorities were in Hartford this week, taking comment on President Donald Trump’s proposal to expand offshore drilling for oil and gas. Lately, the politics surrounding offshore drilling have changed a lot.

New England’s controversial “Northern Pass” energy project is on hold. The nearly 200-mile-long transmission line would have brought in hydropower from Canada, but recently got blocked by regulators in New Hampshire.

Governor Chris Sununu says it looks unlikely new offshore drilling would affect New Hampshire, but regional fishery managers are still worried.

The U.S. Department of the Interior says it wants to open most of the nation's coastline to new oil and gas leases. Sununu opposes drilling off New Hampshire's Seacoast, and says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke assured him the North Atlantic won't be high priority.

Legislators from nine states -- including five in New England -- are calling for a tax on carbon emissions. The idea is to make pollution part of the price of doing business.

Pledging to defend American businesses and workers, President Trump imposed tariffs on imported solar panel components and large residential washing machines on Monday.

Part 1 of a two-part story.

Massachusetts wants to get 1,600 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind farms by the year 2027, up from zero today.

In December, three developers submitted proposals for the state’s first offshore wind farm, which could supply up to a quarter of that goal when built.

The town of Simsbury is debating whether it will formally appeal a massive solar project. At issue is a decision reached by the Connecticut Siting Council last month.

A federal energy regulator has rejected a proposed rule that would have subsidized nuclear and coal plants, helping those fuel sources compete with cheaper natural gas and renewables.

The rule was described by the Department of Energy as a way to promote the resilience of the electric grid — that is, its ability to provide reliable energy in the face of disruptive events like bad weather.

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