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Chamber Releases Energy Policy Brief and Comes out in Support of Hydroelectricity

May 02, 2016

Boston, MA – This morning, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce released a public policy brief created to inform the Chamber’s approach to public policy on energy costs and supply, as well as solutions being offered in Massachusetts. The report, titled The Current Balance: The Role of Cost, Reliability, and Environmental Impact in the Massachusetts Electricity Market, can be found attached.

The Chamber has made energy prices and supply a key 2016 public policy issue. The Chamber’s energy brief identifies the need for Massachusetts to create and implement updated energy policies that strike the right balance between cost, reliability, and environmental impact. The report also identifies compromises among these priorities, including the need to look at how the Commonwealth can integrate natural gas, solar, hydropower, and other sources, to ensure that there is a more cost-effective, reliable, and environmentally sound energy future for Massachusetts.

"The rates for electricity in the Commonwealth are among the highest in the nation, a fact that greatly impacts our state’s competitiveness, regional economic growth, businesses and residents," said James E. Rooney, president & CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber.

"Based on our analysis of the data included in our energy report, the Chamber will support proposals that encourage the procurement of hydroelectricity in the Commonwealth," said Rooney. "We believe that hydroelectricity is the most cost-effective energy source for Massachusetts to meet the Green House Gas emission reduction goals set forth in the Global Warming Solutions Act. However, we have identified two reservations with specific components of legislation that is currently under consideration. We caution against legislating a set amount of electricity to be procured from a specific source. Instead, we would encourage the Legislature to allow for a competitive procurement process that does not require a minimum amount from a specified energy source. In addition, we encourage the Legislature to provide clarity and measurable parameters to define the term "cost effectiveness" for the ratepayers."