Understanding Your Electric Bill And The Debate Over Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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If you're shocked by your electric bills this winter, you're not alone. The price of electricity in Massachusetts — and throughout the region — has soared to the highest in the nation. But ironically, the price of gas and oil here in New England is low and has been going down.

This week, WBUR is airing a special two-part series investigating the cost of electricity.

And electricity bills aren't the only source of Massachusetts' energy woes. The state's now being sued by the Conservation Law Foundation, the Mass Energy Consumers Alliance and four local high school students for its failure to comply with the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act.

The act was supposed to help the state reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020, and it required the state to establish emissions regulations by 2011.

Though the state did release the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 in 2010, the groups suing say that the plan doesn't include a hard cap each year to ensure the amount of emissions will gradually decrease over time.


Bruce Gellerman, WBUR reporter. He tweets @audiobruce.

Veronica Eady, director of the Conservation Law Foundation. She tweets @ronisue.


WBUR: As Winter Electricity Prices Jump, Mass. Debate Over Natural Gas Pipelines Heats Up

  • For many ratepayers, bills have gone up as much as 40 percent this winter. And that’s on top of what are typically some of the highest electricity rates in North America. And yet, the wholesale price for natural gas — the energy source used to generate most of the electricity in the region — is actually lower this year. Baker thinks he knows why: “Our big problem here is we don’t have enough pipeline capacity,” he said recently.

Boston Herald: Lawsuit Seeks Strict Limits On Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • Lawyers for the Conservation Law Foundation and the Boston and Wellesley teenagers argued Monday in Suffolk County Superior Court that the state has failed to live up to its 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act. The group said the law requires the Department of Environmental Protection to set greenhouse gas emissions limits to help the state meet its goal of reducing those emissions by 25 percent by 2020 — and by 80 percent by 2050.

This segment aired on March 10, 2015.


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