Boston to look at getting into the electricity market to try to curb emissions

Boston city councilors agreed today to look at getting Boston into the bulk purchase of electricity from sustainable sources for resale to local residents and businesses.

Council President Michelle Wu said consumers could opt out of any such system, but said the main goal would be to help Boston dramatically reduce its contribution to climate change by maximizing the amount of energy the city consumes from renewable-energy sources. The proposal would be made possible by a state law - one of seven in the country - that lets cities and towns buy electricity on behalf of residents and businesses.

Wu said she didn't want to get dramatic, but said nothing less than the fate of the planet is at stake. She pointed to record-setting average global temperatures over the past three years and said that despite the bile from Washington, scientists around the world agree we're close to a tipping-point temperature beyond which lies "famine and mass extinction."

"Boston is one of the most vulnerable American cities," because climate change appears to be having effects faster here, she said. "Our window for avoiding this type of catastrophe is closing very quickly."

Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury), said this sort of municipal system has been in place on the Cape for several years.

"This is a new world we're living in and now, more than ever, this city needs to lead on environmental issues," he said, pointing to a nominated EPA administrator who doesn't believe in climate change

O'Malley added that consumers would see no difference in what happens when they turn on their lights - Eversource would still funnel electricity to consumers - but that done right, municipal electricity would be cleaner and possibly even cheaper.

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Comments

The city can't manage an Indy race, maybe stay away from power

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The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help. -- President Ronald Reagan

In 2006, Al Gore said he “believes humans may have only 10 years left to save the planet from turning into a total frying pan.” Then there was the predicted "end of snow." I'm glad they've extended the dire predictions to the year 2100, when we'll all be dead and gone (naturally, not by warming), while Gore and family accumulate billions in the meantime.

Don't worry about the price of energy. With President Trump, regulations will be lifted off of clean coal and fracking. Note Trump's victories in formerly Democrat coal and fracking states. We'll have new pipelines and refineries, and U.S. energy independence. Fossil fuels and the removal of government subsidies will make solar and windmills an expensive novelty. About time.

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You should stick to things you know about

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Because you've bought into the myth of "clean coal." And you seem unaware of the numerous Massachusetts towns that already go well beyond this and run their own electrical systems. You might ask somebody from, oh, Wellesley, how horrible that is.

In any case, you don't live in Boston, so this won't affect you in the least. Me, as a Boston resident, I look forward to learning more about this.

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But Adam

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a guy can only write so much fan-fiction about being a hard-boiled detective busily ridding the streets of minorities undesirables.

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Invest in candles

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And you seem unaware of the numerous Massachusetts towns that already go well beyond this and run their own electrical systems. You might ask somebody from, oh, Wellesley, how horrible that is.

No. I'm well aware of it, that's why Matt O'Malley's reference to this type of system already in place "on the Cape for several years" was comical, since there are towns much closer that run their own municipal light and cable systems. I emphasize towns because a large sanctuary city with massive unfunded pension liabilities and potential loss of $250 million in federal aid needn't be creating another bureaucracy. I'm in Boston daily. If the new electric department runs as well as the school department and city council, invest in candles.

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If the City of Boston wanted

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If the City of Boston wanted to eminent domain the local power grid from Eversource and form a public electric company, I'd be all for it.

But reselling generation? That doesn't sound like a business your local government should dabble in.

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I agree. Let's stick to good

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I agree. Let's stick to good old fashion 1800's technology.
Does anyone have the phone number to the ice house? I need another block for my icebox.

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It costs too much

Solar power is now cheaper than that old-fashioned technology, and it's only going to get cheaper.

Over the past six years, the cost of solar energy has dropped dramatically, to the point where it is now even cheaper than wind power in emerging markets like China and India. This may be largely due to rising investments in solar over the last few years. Now, there is electricity being produced in Chile for $29.10 per megawatt hour–half the price of power produced by coal.

We shouldn't be throwing money away by continuing to burn fossil fuels.

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"end of snow"

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Here it is nearly the end of January and at least where I am, there's been no significant, sticking snow fall. And today it's 50. This is all very different than what I remember as a child. It feels like winter up north is a thing of the past.

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How soon they forget

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We just had the snowiest winter in Boston history two years ago. Featuring the coldest month in Boston history. You probably also don't remember that the first significant snowfall of that winter was on January 27th. Today is January 25th.

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Fake cop is now a fake energy expert

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Figures.

You might go tell off those commies in Littleton - one of the few towns that voted for Trump in any numbers - that they are anti-American for having their own power system.

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Yep

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Nobody in Boston will have to buy into the city system, if we get one. I'd put more faith into something run by the city of Boston than the scamsters who call us several times a week now (we're lucky that we live in a relatively obscure area so they rarely come knocking on our door).

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ELECTRICITY ?

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that bill is ok.
why is it not feasible for current providers
to use low impact sources?
the option to switch is nice
how about water and sewar ?
cable ?

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Water and sewer?

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Already provided by the city (well, technically, the BWSC, which is run more like semi-independent authority than a city department, but still).

Cable? The mayor and some councilors talked about that for a bit, but that vote sailed when Verizon agreed to wire us up with FiOS.

And there are renewable energy suppliers you can sign up for today without waiting for the city. Perhaps somebody here has suggestions (since I just gave up completely under the barrage of scammers).

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Er...

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"Boston is one of the most vulnerable American cities," because sea-level rises are happening faster off our coast than elsewhere, she said. "Our window for avoiding this type of catastrophe is closing very quickly."

My high school earth science is a little dated, so correct me if I'm wrong, but: sea levels rise at the same rate everywhere. Boston is especially vulnerable because so much of it is within ~10 feet of current sea level, but absent some sort of weird gravitational thing, it's not we're any more screwed than NYC.

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Yeah, true, the horizon will not suddenly tilt here

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As ice melts on the South Pole, the resulting gravitational pull on the ocean, as well as the gradual sinking of land in the Northeast, means that Boston and other nearby communities are likely to experience about 25 percent higher increase of sea levels than other parts of the planet, according to the new research.

Source.

I'll fix.

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Correcting you, as requested

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My high school earth science is a little dated, so correct me if I'm wrong, but: sea levels rise at the same rate everywhere.

Thermal effects, ocean currents, and other factors mean that sea level rise is NOT the same on every coast: http://www.earthobservatory.sg/faq-on-earth-sciences/why-will-sea-level-...

Boston will see MORE than average sea level rise do to these effects. The mid-Atlantic will be even worse off: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/02/01/why...

And the simulation found that at high emissions scenarios similar to current rates, the Atlantic sea levels rise considerably faster than the Pacific, with particularly noteworthy impacts for the U.S. East Coast. (Other recent research by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey has suggested this increased rate of sea level rise is already happening — finding sea level rise rates “~ 3–4 times higher than the global average” along a large stretch of the U.S. East Coast, which the researchers dubbed a sea level rise “hotspot.”)

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Actually

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Sea levels in the equatorial region should rise more overall due to a whole number of changes in the system, the largest being the effect of the equatorial bulge on water.

But yes, Boston is in for some fun because of all the reclaimed land large swaths of the city are built on, and due to storms like we had Monday into Tuesday. The Back Bay will be partying like it's 1840 again.

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wrong

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Sea levels do not rise at the same rate everywhere. That is simply not true.

The northeast, and the eastern US seaboard in general are experiencing a greater than average rate of sea level rise because of the weakening of the north atlantic currents, which currently pull water away from the coast, essentially lowering the sea level as you get closer to land.

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/sea-level-rising-faster-than-average-...

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I guess I'll buy

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my ark sooner rather than later.

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Sounds great. Get off dirty

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Sounds great. Get off dirty energy now or pay the huge price later. Actually, we are paying the price now in the form on kids with asthma, lung cancer from toxic emissions, oil spills etc.

I'll be able to look future generations in the eye decades from now and say, "Hey, I wasn't ignorant and did what I could to not leave you a mess to clean up."

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Sounds… less than ideal

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Investing any government money/efforts into fossil fuels is incredibly dumb (Trumpers), and the city attempting to run energy supply is similarly dumb (Democrats)

Cap and Trade carbon tax… if only both parties hadn’t abandoned it we might actually be making some progress.

This isn’t that complicated should simply futher move off coal/oil and use natural gas (or ideally, revitalize nuclear given the huge strides made in the past 40 years… hell new reactors can even recycle what we thought was “spent” fuel from old ones) as the bridge we have been, while helping encourage renewable development (though, short of a scheme like the city running your electric bill)

Sigh.

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