Bold Leadership for Clean Energy in Massachusetts

 
 

Here is the press release the Bob Massie Campaign gave to the media today about his comprehensive energy plan.

“It’s time to ignore the utilities’ profit-driven scare tactics about natural gas shortages and to push for Massachusetts to create tens of thousands of new high-paying jobs based on the renewable technologies sweeping the world today.”

Democratic Candidate for Governor Bob Massie today released his Energy Plan -- titled "Our Common Future: Bold Leadership for Clean Renewable Energy in Massachusetts" -- that will reduce energy bills, create good paying jobs, and move us decisively into the front ranks of the global transition to 100% clean renewable energy.

“While many other states and countries are racing forward to win the global race for cleaner and cheaper energy, Governor Baker has been slow-walking our transition in order to give our utilities and generators time to reap more profits from their broken business model,” said Massie. “This must stop. Public utilities must once again serve the public interest.”

Bob Massie, who over his career has created or led several some of the world’s most influential organizations to promote economic prosperity is the only candidate for governor with a comprehensive energy plan for Massachusetts that includes 22 specific action items.  For example, he vows to:

 

●   End utility control of the state commission that regulates utilities and redesign our incentives to move forward aggressively on renewable energy.

●   Eliminate restrictions on solar power and dramatically increase new wind facilities.

●   Create new jobs in Massachusetts to support the buildout of renewable energy.

●   Create “net-zero” targets for new public buildings and a stronger energy code for private construction.

●   Support a “transition dividend,” in which money from putting a price on carbon would flow directly to families, small businesses, and municipalities to improve their energy efficiency.

●   Stop pipelines and end our dependence on fossil fuels by moving to 100% renewable energy.

●   Support the creation of new municipal public utilities to replace private utilities. At a time when more companies are using their market power to boost profits for Wall Street, we need to reaffirm our commitment to the concept of a utility using its monopoly power in the public interest.  Public utilities currently sell energy at costs lower than private utilities. Public utilities could also provide gigabit speed municipal internet.

 

Our current energy policy causes Massachusetts to send more than $20 billion a year out of the state to pay for fossil fuels. The Massie Energy Plan would keep that money inside our state, reducing utility bills, and creating jobs for Massachusetts families.

“This is not just a plan for a little more renewable energy. I am proposing a structural change to our economy that replaces centralized corporate control over our energy supply to a system of nimble and distributed energy that will offer more reliability and democratic control,” said Massie, “The time for platitudes and empty promises is long past. Right now, even as we are facing record cold temperatures -- as well as some of the highest natural gas prices in the country -- Charlie Baker and his utility company friends should stopping pushing expensive and dangerous fossil fuels and move us forward to capture the savings and benefits that other states and countries are already benefiting from.”

The MA Attorney General reports that utilities have manufactured unrealistic gas demand forecasts to show a need for new pipelines - built at ratepayer expense with a built-in 10% profit for utilities. A recent academic study ("Vertical Market Power in Interconnected Natural Gas and Electricity Markets", Nov. 2017) shows that National Grid and Eversource purposefully slowed gas flow in pipelines serving New England in order to raise costs to consumers. Over a three-year period of study, capacity withholding increased electricity prices by 38% and gas prices by 20%, and cost customers $3.6 billion more for electricity.

“The relationship between Charlie Baker and the utilities and fossil fuel industry in Massachusetts is much too cozy,” said Massie. “He has received tens of thousands in campaign donations from their executives; he has placed fossil fuel advocates in his administration and on his oversight commissions; and his timid energy plans will leave us behind many of the world’s leading economies at precisely the moment when new technologies are sweeping the country and the world.”

 

Campaign finance records show that Charlie Baker has to date received tens of thousands of dollars in contributions from people working directly for Eversource and National Grid, the two largest private utilities in Massachusetts. Both the Executive Director and the Massachusetts President of National Grid gave max donations to Baker.

Charlie Baker’s appointments to ISO (the commission regulating utilities) are all individuals with close ties to the utility industry and almost no connection to clean renewable energy interests.

“Charlie Baker is prioritizing raising money for his reelection campaign over helping working families who are paying exorbitant utility bills. I will not accept money from utility company execs, I won’t appoint them to regulate utilities, and I will not run state energy policy to continue to enrich them,” said Massie.

The top salaries at Eversource are $7.5 million a year for its Non-Executive Chairman and $4.6 million for its President. The top salaries at National Grid are $6.3 million for its CEO and $4.6 million for its U.S. Executive Director.

The Massie Energy Plan would put the Commonwealth at the forefront of renewable energy nationwide, becoming a major exporter of clean renewable energy to the northeastern USA and boost our state’s economy. According to some studies, a full buildout of our offshore wind system could allow Massachusetts to be a net exporter of energy, raising as much as $6 billion in additional revenue for the state.

In addition, the Port of New Bedford is primed to assemble and deploy the multi-billion dollar offshore wind industry.

“The only thing stopping us is a little political courage. Elected officials don’t want to take on the big utility corporations for the same reason they don’t want to take on big pharma, big banks, hedge funds, and the cable and phone companies - they don’t want to make waves and they don’t want to hurt their campaign fundraising. I’ll stand with working families.”

 

Bob Massie has a career of working to hold corporations accountable while working for a strong, just and sustainable economy. He was Executive Director of Ceres from 1996-2003, the largest coalition of environmental groups and institutional investors in the U.S., and was president of the New Economy Coalition, an organization dedicated to moving the economy towards justice and sustainability. Bob organized the first large-scale meeting about climate in the Boston area in 1992, featuring Al Gore.

The full report can be read here