ENERGY

How Mass. Is Faring In Its Emissions Reduction Goals

Aug 11, 2017

It’s official: Last year was the hottest on record for the planet, and the long-term forecast for New England, according to a new draft federal report, calls for a lot warmer temperatures, much higher seas and more precipitation.

A play by Massachusetts to inject more renewable power into its electricity mix could reshape the entire region's energy landscape. Dozens of developers are competing to offer Massachusetts the best price for long-term contracts to supply clean energy to hundreds of thousands of homes. 

But many of the projects also face another challenge: convincing residents of Northern New England it's in their interest to host the Bay State's extension cord.

Pipes waiting to be burried along a stretch of land in Otis State Forest in Sandisfield, Mass.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Despite ongoing construction and few remaining challenges, the protests continue at the construction site of a natural gas pipeline in southern Berkshire county.

Twenty-two more people were arrested for trespassing over the weekend. Half of them were also arrested at previous protests.

In the past, the district attorney's office has downgraded the charges to a civil penalty.

Dennis Carr of Cummington is among those arrested twice. He said he's somewhat concerned about perhaps facing criminal charges this time around.

As Kevin Sullivan slowly rumbles his pickup truck across his 60 acres of property near the Connecticut-Massachusetts border, he leans in and asks a question: What’s farmland?

After years of encouraging solar development, Vermont seems to be attracting the attention of national solar companies.

Sue Baxter owns land abutting where a New York-to-Connecticute pipeline is being constructed. She sits atop a lifeguard chair made for her by friends, as she keeps an eye on the project.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Construction continues on a New York-to-Connecticut natural gas pipeline, running through Otis State Forest in Sandisfield, Massachusetts. Despite work being well underway, there are some who believe the project -- which has been the source of a legal and regulatory battle -- can still be halted. And a few still protest daily, on private land only yards from the construction site.

Eversource crews get ready for a winter storm in March, 2017.
Don Treeger / The Republican

The electric company Eversource said it's looking to lessen the burden of a proposed rate increase on its western Massachusetts residents. The utility had called for about a 10 percent hike next year.

Elected officials, business leaders and the public have been crying foul over the proposed increase, saying not only was it exorbitant -- but also unfair when compared to the smaller increase customers in eastern Massachusetts would pay.

The reason from Eversource? Fewer customers in the west to shoulder the region's operating deficit.

Eastbound state route 57 entering Sandisfield, Mass.
John Phelan / Creative Commons

Federal regulators have brushed off a request by both Massachusetts U.S. senators to delay construction of a natural gas pipeline running through Otis State Forest in southern Berkshire County.

Pipeline protesters and their supporters outside of Southern Berkshire District Court in Great Barrington, Mass. after a hearing on May 11, 2017.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Seventeen protesters arrested at the construction site of a natural gas pipeline in southern Berkshire county appeared in court Thursday in Great Barrington. And prosecutors tossed them a curveball.

Protesters block access to Otis State Forest in Sandisfield, Mass. where a natural gas pipeline is being built.
Mary Serreze / MassLive

Eighteen demonstrators were arrested Tuesday in southern Berkshire County at the construction site of a natural gas pipeline in Otis State Forest.

State police say the protesters blocked access roads to the job site in an effort to keep construction workers away. Police spokesperson Dave Procopio said those arrested will be charged with trespassing.

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