Springfield City Councilors Adam Gomez, Jesse Lederman & Orlando Ramos
Springfield City Council passes resolution opposing millions in state subsidies for biomass incineration
December 22, 2020
Channel 22 news (WWLP)
SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield City Council unanimously passed a resolution Monday night in opposition to state renewable energy subsidies for wood-burning biomass incinerators in Massachusetts.
According to Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman, the vote comes in the wake of final draft regulations being proposed by the state Department of Energy Resources that would weaken existing guidelines for taxpayer and ratepayer-funded subsidies in what is known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard.
This would potentially allow millions in state funds to flow to proposed biomass waste incinerating power plants for the first time since 2012. Lederman said that continued pending state legislation would incentivize power from such facilities under the premise that they represent renewable energy production.
Attorney General calls for public process for proposed RPS* regs citing " significant public concern & scientific evidence regarding the climate & public health of biomass generation"
In comments to the Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy Joint Committee as they consider the DOER* draft regulations (which include drastic rollbacks in hard fought-for rules for biomass power plants) the AG's office pointed out that:
The science shows that biomass energy generation only exacerbates climate and public health harms
The Commonwealth has both a legal and a moral obligation to protect our most vulnerable communities from harmful air pollution.
Incentivizing additional forest biomass energy production would be a step backward, not forward, in those critical efforts
*Renewable Portfolio Standards
*Dept. of Energy Resources*
Take action to stop the rollbacks in the draft language for the Renewable Portfolio Standards. The draft standards would make it financially viable for the proposed toxic, polluting biomass plant in Springfield to be built. If the draft language is included, the proposed biomass plant would be eligible for ratepayer "clean energy" subsidies.
SPRINGFIELD — Massachusetts’ two U.S. senators, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, have asked the state to suspend and reassess the approval it gave 12 years ago for a still-unbuiltSpringfield biomass plant that would take wood chips and burn them for electricity...
“Springfield residents deserve an updated air quality analysis that reflects the city’s current health and environmental justice issues....In reassessing the Palmer biomass plant proposal, MassDEP needs to account for the latest research into the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory health risks in the surrounding population, and the historic burden of air pollution on the local community.”
Beyond Stopping Emissions:
How Healthy Soil & Plants Can Restore Climate Balance
Getting to Know the Soils of Massachusetts
& Why It Matters
Ralph Baker, Ph.D. January 5
7:00 – 8:30 pm via Zoom
Soils are nature’s foundation – intricate and biologically rich; sustaining us if we treat them wisely! Ralph Baker will provide an introduction to the range of soil types around us, and explain how soil characteristics affect its suitability for plant growth and other ecological services they provide...Read more here http://climateactionnowma.org/speakerseries/
Biomass plant will create a ‘sacrifice zone’ in Springfield
Guest viewpoint by Marty Nathan in Mass Live, Dec 23
... I was reading a piece describing the cancer and other severe chronic diseases suffered by low-income people living in Louisiana’s petrochemical refinery district known as Cancer Alley. The writer said, “You can’t have a polluting industry without a sacrifice zone.”
Words to remember, that immediately flashed through my mind when listening to an explanation of the Baker Administration’s new rules classifying “clean” energy sources under the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard program (RPS). Technologies that qualify get lucrative renewable energy subsidies from ratepayers.
We’re Aiming for the Wrong Climate Targets —
Let’s Talk About Improving Our Aim
We — meaning all of humanity — need to emit close to 50% less greenhouse gases by 2030 (and get to net-zero emissions by 2050). So far global emissions are still rising, so we need to make a dramatic turn in the next few years if we are to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. It’s a global problem — greenhouse gases emitted anywhere, cause problems everywhere.
Next Climate Action Now monthly gathering is on
Monday, January 25th, 2021
Climate Action Now is a people powered, grassroots Western Mass organization dedicated to building a powerful, unstoppable climate movement. We work in our communities and in collaboration with diverse partners across the region to educate, advocate, and mobilize for climate justice. Climate Action Now is affiliated with 350.org.
Check outour website and join us at our monthly gatherings (4th Mondays of every month except December) to see how you can get involved in our many projects and campaigns. The Climate Action Now Steering Committee includes a representative from each working group and campaign. Climate Action Now warmly welcomes newcomers.
Let's work together to create an inclusive climate justice movement!