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letters | the Bay State’s energy future

Patrick, utility firms stumble in taking steps to reduce carbon

Your Aug. 2 editorial nails one essential truth when it addressed the end of the legislative session (“Stubborn objections to hydro slow fight on climate change”). Massachusetts has reached the point where general statements about global warming are not enough; the time has come for the real work of reducing the carbon pollution causing global warming.

The utility companies and the Patrick administration failed to do that work when they tried to move a bill that was all about facilitating imports of hydroelectricity. While hydro is certainly better than burning coal, it is only one piece of the portfolio of clean energy we need. A lack of willingness to strike a compromise that also advanced zero emissions and in-region wind power was the downfall of the bill.

Progress is still possible, as witnessed by the passage of the first-in-the-nation renewable thermal standard, a critical step in reducing emissions by cleaning up the way we heat our homes and businesses. That bill emerged from a collaborative effort and willingness to do the real work we will need to do to protect our climate.

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Seth Kaplan
Vice president for policy
and climate advocacy

Conservation Law Foundation

Boston