Massachusetts

Massachusetts Energy Secretary Engaged in Enbridge Facility Review While Negotiating Job With Project’s Consultant

Read time: 5 mins
Matthew Beaton

While still in office, Massachusetts’ former energy and environmental secretary Matthew Beaton, who recently left his post for the private sector, took part in discussions about a natural gas project involving his new employer, DeSmog has found.

Following Carcinogen Data Fiasco, Pressure Grows on Massachusetts to Revoke Enbridge Facility Permit

Read time: 7 mins
Project opponents rally outside the permit appeal hearings on Monday, June 10. Credit: Itai Vardi, DeSmog 

In the wake of fresh revelations that a Massachusetts agency withheld critical air pollution data, calls on the state to retract a permit for a proposed natural gas compressor station in the greater Boston area have intensified this week.

In a letter Thursday to a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) official presiding over an appeal on the permit for Enbridge’s facility in Weymouth, Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA) slammed the DEP for what he called “gaping insufficiencies” in granting the permit, which “compromise the integrity of the DEP process.”

As Natural Gas Infrastructure Decisions Loom, Massachusetts Gov. Baker Invests in Fossil Fuel Companies

Read time: 4 mins
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker

Amidst growing controversy over his administration’s support for new natural gas projects, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker personally invested in the fossil fuel industry, DeSmog has found.

According to Baker’s recent financial disclosure, filed last week with the state’s Ethics Commission, the governor invested last year in a specialty energy fund composed almost exclusively of oil, gas, and coal companies.

After DeSmog’s Revelations, Enbridge’s Weymouth Gas Facility Air Permit in Jeopardy

Read time: 5 mins
Mass DEP office

In a surprise move that threw a controversial fossil fuel project into a whirlwind, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) late last week revealed new evidence of toxins in the area of a proposed natural gas facility in the greater Boston area.

The sequence of events leading to the disclosure was set in motion by DeSmog’s recent revelations that the state had not released air pollution data, including evidence of carcinogens, which were collected from the proposed site of Enbridge’s gas compressor station in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

Now, DEP’s air permit for the compressor station, which is currently under appeal, is teetering.

After Approving Enbridge Permit, Massachusetts’ Environment Secretary Lands Job with Project’s Contractor

Read time: 4 mins
Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary

Massachusetts’ Secretary for Energy and Environmental Affairs, Matthew Beaton, has accepted a position at a consulting firm working for oil and gas pipeline builder Enbridge on a controversial project for which Beaton’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently approved a crucial permit.

Governor Charlie Baker’s administration announced on Monday that Beaton has been hired as vice president for renewable energy and emerging technology at TRC Companies, a large environmental and engineering firm working mainly for the oil and gas industry.

Exclusive: Air Permit OK’d After New Evidence of Carcinogens at Enbridge’s Planned Gas Facility in Massachusetts Left out

Read time: 6 mins
Billboard against the Weymouth gas compressor station in Massachusetts

In the Greater Boston area, Enbridge is planning to build a controversial natural gas facility at a densely populated site which already has elevated levels of previously unreported carcinogens, documents obtained by DeSmog suggest.

Despite receiving new information indicating the current presence of these pollutants in the air around Enbridge’s proposed gas compressor station in Weymouth, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) did not include the data in the project’s health impact assessment (HIA) which it oversaw. The assessment, which was published 10 days later, found that human health likely will not be affected by direct exposure to the station.

Massachusetts Hired Energy Industry Execs to 'Independently' Review State’s Gas System

Read time: 5 mins
Gas marker in Cambridge, Massachusetts

A private contractor employed by the state of Massachusetts to conduct a statewide safety review of its gas distribution companies hired gas industry executives for the project, documents obtained by DeSmog show. They include two former executives of National Grid —  one of the companies under review — and Enbridge, a main supplier of gas in the state.

Enbridge Gave Massachusetts Studies by Climate Denier, ALEC Associate in Gas Project Assessment

Read time: 7 mins
report book papers

As part of an ongoing health evaluation of a proposed and contested Boston metro area gas compressor station, the energy distribution company Enbridge shared with the State of Massachusetts materials from dubious and controversial sources. As documents obtained by DeSmog reveal, these include studies by a climate change denier and an official associated with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Koch brothers-backed group working to undermine environmental regulations. 

14 New Massachusetts State Reps Support 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

Read time: 12 mins
Kids holding pro-renewables signs at a Gulf of Mexico drilling lease protest in New Orleans in 2016

By Stacy Clark

With the swearing in of new members last week, the Massachusetts legislature, not unlike the U.S. Congress, is receiving an infusion of brand-new state representatives who already are pushing an aggressive agenda focused on addressing climate change and transitioning to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2050.

So far, 14, or over half of the 24 new recruits, have formed an informal but unified group known as GreenTeamMA. Their initiatives are straightforward. They’ve agreed to refuse campaign contributions from fossil fuel PACs, they support carbon pricing, and they’ll be working with constituents to drive higher demand for wind, solar, and hydropower in the Bay State, where today almost one-sixth of electricity comes from renewable sources.

Supreme Court Blocks ExxonMobil's Effort to Conceal Decades of Documents in Probe of Oil Giant's Climate Deception

Read time: 4 mins
ExxonKnew protesters in T-rex costumes

By Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams

The high court's ruling means the company must hand over records to the Massachusetts attorney general for her ongoing investigation

In a win for climate campaigners and Massachusetts' Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected ExxonMobil's attempt to block Healey's demand for documents related to her state's ongoing investigation into allegations that one of the world's largest oil and gas corporations deceived the public and investors for decades about how fossil fuels drive global warming.

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