skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Electric bus movement looks to accelerate; Macron says he has not ruled out using Western troop to help Ukraine stand-up to Russia; two rural Iowa newspapers saved from extinction; BLM announces added protections for sensitive Oregon landscape.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Speaker Johnson commits to avoiding a government shutdown. Republican Senators call for a trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. And a Democratic Senator aims to ensure protection for IVF nationwide.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

MA Groups Push Bill to Stop Clean-Energy Subsidies for Woody Biomass Plants

play audio
Play

Monday, September 13, 2021   

SPRINGFIELD, Ma. -- Groups working to reduce air pollution are testifying at a hearing today to urge state lawmakers to prevent wood-burning biomass from being classified as a renewable-energy source.

Dr. Mary Booth, with Partnership for Policy Integrity, said Massachusetts subsidizes clean-energy production, but regulations need to be strengthened to make sure woody biomass power plants cannot qualify.

She noted biomass can actually produce more carbon dioxide than fossil fuels, and added without technology yet to sequester carbon at a mass scale, maintaining forests is key.

"Forests take carbon out of the air and convert it," Booth explained. "So we need an incentive structure that promotes preserving and restoring forests, not burning them for fuel and liquidating forest carbon stocks into the atmosphere."

Booth said in 2012, the Commonwealth did strengthen regulations to only include wood-burning power plants that would emit less carbon than a natural-gas plant over 20 years. But since then, some protections have been rolled back by the Baker administration in ways she said especially harm communities on the front lines of the climate crisis.

Dr. Brita Lundberg, board chair of Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility, said air pollution from wood-burning power plants leads to negative health outcomes for folks in neighboring communities - from heart disease, stroke and respiratory issues to lung cancer and pneumonia - and increases Medicare costs. She said asking taxpayers to subsidize the pollution of their own communities, or communities in neighboring states, is wrong.

"Air pollution kills more than 10,000 people in the U.S.; 600 people here in Massachusetts just last year," Lundberg reported. "And a disproportionate number of those come from low-income and minority communities."

Lundberg added policy supporting the financing of wood-burning plants does not align with the Commonwealth's commitment to net-zero carbon emissions in Massachusetts and will worsen the climate crisis. She hopes today's hearing will lead to swift passage of the bill, and urged the governor to show leadership on the issue by signing it, if it comes to his desk.

Disclosure: Partnership for Policy Integrity contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, and Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
A new report from California Competes outlined four main areas of action for colleges to take to reengage, reenroll, and propel comebacker students to completion. (Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone)

Social Issues

play sound

More than 6 million Californians stopped out of college before getting a degree and a new report has laid out a plan to bring them back on campus…


Social Issues

play sound

North Carolina's public school system is facing a crisis, according to the recently released "Public Schooling in America 2024" report. It ranks the …

Social Issues

play sound

In the 2023 legislative season, 25 states introduced legislation related to artificial intelligence and more than a dozen states enacted AI …


Colorado's I Matter program provides adolescents in crisis access to six free mental-health counseling sessions, with referrals for further help if it is necessary. (Pexels)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Advocates say Colorado legislative leaders are working to make the state a leader in addressing the youth mental health crisis. At least nine bills …

Social Issues

play sound

A coalition of organizations in Georgia is joining forces to combat the rising rate of suicide among children and teenagers. According to national …

States including California and Illinois have passed mental health legislation similar to what Michigan is now considering, without seeing increases to insurance premiums. (Drazen/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A House bill aimed at increasing access to mental health care in Michigan could go to a vote on the House floor at any time. Rep. Felicia Brabec…

Social Issues

play sound

Rep. Ben Toma, R-Peoria, Speaker of the Arizona House, has introduced legislation with hopes to curtail illegal immigration and save Arizonans big in …

play sound

Most school and transit buses on the nation's roadways these days are still powered by diesel engines but in Wisconsin and elsewhere, there is hope …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021