skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, June 24, 2024

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

America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

MA Groups: Time is Now to End Biomass Subsidies

play audio
Play

Tuesday, January 18, 2022   

Proposed legislation would end subsidies for wood-burning power plants in Massachusetts by removing biomass as an eligible fuel source for the Commonwealth's two primary clean-energy programs.

Currently, fuel from biomass plants is included in the Renewable Portfolio Standard and the Alternative Portfolio Standard, but environmental groups noted burning wood is more polluting than burning coal, and leads to major health impacts in surrounding communities.

Caitlin Peale Sloan, Massachusetts vice president for the Conservation Law Foundation, said subsidies for biomass need to end, especially as the need to reduce emissions grows because of threats from climate change.

"It's very important that now we clarify what we're calling renewable," Peale Sloane urged. "So that we can increase our subsidies of renewables without increasing combustion and additional climate impacts from carbon emissions."

Last year, the operating permit for a proposed Palmer biomass plant in Springfield was revoked because of its proximity to an environmental-justice community. Springfield has high rates of asthma and other respiratory illnesses. A letter from more than 100 groups urged the Legislature to pass the bill, so biomass cannot be subsidized in any area of the state.

Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Springfield, one of the bill's co-sponsors, said the proposed plant was aiming to build in the middle of a densely populated neighborhood where many residents are immigrants, people of color or low-income.

He argued ending subsidies for biomass will help push back against the history of racism in where these plants have been put.

"The greater Springfield area has one of the worst asthma rates in the entire country," Lesser pointed out. "Part of the reason for it is this industrial legacy, and a legacy of pollution tied in certain respects to these power plants."

He emphasized moving forward, it will be important to ensure front-line communities hit hardest by the effects of climate change and pollution get the most focused protection from climate-mitigation efforts.

Naia Tenerowicz, a Springfield resident and environmental advocate, said while Massachusetts is a leader in the transition to net-zero emissions in many ways, subsidies for biomass set the Commonwealth back.

"The idea that biomass could be subsidized as clean energy, when it's polluting your community when it's making it harder for you and your loved ones to breathe," Tenerowicz remarked. "It's not something that I want to happen to anyone in any community."


get more stories like this via email
more stories
The 2024 Summer U.S. Conference of Mayors in Kansas City, Mo., will be under the leadership of its president, Mayor Hillary Schieve of Reno, Nev., and host Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
(SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Stock)

play sound

Some Michigan mayors are out of the office this week - but still working for their cities. They're at the 92nd meeting of the United States …


Social Issues

play sound

Summer is here, but some Wisconsin households juggling higher consumer costs and other basic needs might feel like a vacation is out of reach…

Social Issues

play sound

An interim North Dakota legislative committee this week got an update from state leaders on potential moves to reconnect kids in foster care with thei…


Social Issues

play sound

More employers are offering benefits to adoptive parents, according to a new survey by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The amount of paid …

About a quarter of Americans hold unfavorable views of both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden. (Christian Delbert/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The Arizona Court of Appeals recently dismissed a case brought by Republican Arizona attorney general candidate Abraham Hamadeh, Republican Cochise …

Social Issues

play sound

North Carolina's business community is alarmed after Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson praised the controversial House Bill 2, known as the "Bathroom Bill," at …

Social Issues

play sound

Members of the group Radical Elders are participating in a Chicago tech conference this weekend to explain the impact of technology on older Americans…

 

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