THE FEB. 4 editorial “Salem gas plant must be a bridge, not a barrier, to clean energy” raises an important problem facing Salem Harbor and all 75 natural gas power plants across New England; the lack of guidance on future regulations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
All six New England states should be discussing policies and standards to ensure that all aspects of our energy system, including natural gas, become cleaner for a robust and reliable clean energy future at the end of the “natural gas bridge.”
First, as recently begun in Massachusetts, policymakers must embrace modernization of the electric grid to enable people to get energy from many different sources, including solar and wind.
Second, policymakers can establish a roadmap for the retrofitting of fossil fuel plants with carbon capture and sequestration technologies to reduce emissions over time.
Third, we need a regional process for pilot projects to evaluate cost-effective investments in our energy system.
Finally, with natural gas already supplying 52 percent of the region’s energy, we must increase innovation and competition in renewal energy to ensure affordable clean-energy options at the end of the so-called bridge.
The writer is president of the New England Clean Energy Council.