Massachusetts is supposed to be a Blue State.
Massachusetts is supposed to be concerned about the environment, full of tree-hugging eco-weenies (like myself!), and sprouting solar panels from every other rooftop.
Massachusetts is supposed to have aggressive support for zero Carbon energy, including incentives, SRECs, and so on.
But facts are different.
59% of Massachusetts electricity comes from explosive methane (“natural gas” to those of you who prefer industry adverts). This is a potent greenhouse gas which, in 20 year timeframes, is 90x worse than CO2 for climate disrupting radiative forcing. (See https://667-per-cm.net/about if you have doubts.) Natural gas ain’t granola. And the calculations which suggest it is better for the environment are, in my opinion, whacked and bupkis. Set aside upstream impacts from fracking. Not all methane is burnt when it goes up your chimney for heating, nor in generating plants. There are big leaks throughout the Boston metropolitan area which the utilities will fix “if they are dangerous”, but they don’t consider greenhouse gas emissions dangerous. And we all known we have to transition off of fossil fuels, for the good of ourselves, a coastal state as we are, and the moral good of the planet and people on it, not to mention the recently affirmed requirements of the Global Warming Solutions Act (“GWSA”). The Union of Concerned Scientists says we are getting overdependent upon natural gas. And the comparison with coal as a benefit is a logical fallacy of “the worst negates the bad”.
That’s quite different than Texas. Yes, Texas. Home of cowboy boots, and guns, and Spectra Energy.
- Texas holds the record for all-time wind energy production.
- The benefits of wind are estimated at $3.3 billion annually.
- Texas was the first US state to reach 10,000 megawatts of wind power generating capacity.
- Texas was One of the First U.S. States to Require a Certain Amount of Electricity Come from Renewable Energy Sources. (As was Massachusetts, to its credit.)
- Texas wind power is cheaper than fossil fuels.
- The Texas wind industry employs more than 24,000 workers.
Without going really big on offshore wind and solar, Massachusetts could be being just being a bunch of chumps. And I often wonder if Spectra Energy isn’t trying to dump their explosive methane here, because people at home know better. Or it could be Massachusetts citizens are hypocrites, claiming to be for something, until it affects their own back yards. Or it could be, Massachusetts leadership is having $100,000 spent on them, just in 2016.