The editorial “Stubborn objections to hydro slow fight on climate change” makes the same faulty assumption that proponents did in promoting the failed Clean Energy Resources Act. The fact is, sole-source long-term contracts are not a panacea to meet the Commonwealth’s environmental goals. The Legislature wisely rejected the bill, not by making “the perfect the enemy of the good,” as the Globe contends, but rather because lawmakers were protecting Massachusetts consumers from the dangerous outcome that would have come from passing this bad proposal.
Instead, the best way to drive innovation and competitively priced, environmentally responsible electricity is through the power of competition. Rather than picking winners and losers in the marketplace and locking consumers into 25-year contracts, Massachusetts should set an emissions standard. A standard would allow any resource that can meet it to compete every day to meet consumer demand as cost-effectively as possible.
This is the model for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which Massachusetts helped found, and is the basis for virtually every successful emissions reduction market in the world. Competitive power generators have invested billions of dollars in the Commonwealth that have driven lower emissions. These producers stand ready to compete to continue providing the service and reliability that consumers demand and expect.