Thursday, June 13, 2024

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State Rep. Pignatelli appointed as Lenox’s interim town manager, effective July 1

Select Board members applauded filling the opening with a local resident already knowledgeable with town workings.

Wetlands expert urges ban on use of Roundup weed killer

Efforts to get the truth out about glyphosate has been stymied by tainted corporate research and by an Environmental Protection Agency that is "dysfunctional at best."

Lawmakers grill gas company executives on safety practices after devastating explosion

Sen. Michael J. Barrett, D-Lexington, opened the hearing by remarking on the lack of transparency in the natural gas utility industry compared to other infrastructure industries the legislature has dealt with.

Gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez pledges to stop expansion of gas pipelines, urges investment in renewable energy

When asked about one of the biggest, and longest running, environmental issues in the Berkshires—cleaning up the Housatonic River from PCB pollution dumped decades ago by General Electric—Gonzalez said he agrees with local communities and the EPA that the toxins should be “safely disposed offsite.”

Legislators compromise on clean energy legislation; net metering cap for solar left unchanged

“I definitely share in the disappointment about the lack of net metering increases. I understand there are a lot of folks in the Berkshires and in my district who are vocal proponents of lifting and even eliminating the cap on metering credits." -- State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli

Environmental activists want to ban the sale of popular water bottles

If it passes at town meeting, the GB On Tap program intends to provide additional drinking fountains and bottle refilling stations throughout town. In addition, it will help participating merchants and restaurants offer refillable water bottles for sale.

Passions run high as Housie residents decry ‘smart’ water meters

Smart water meters use attached transponders to transmit usage and other data to water companies via the same cellular data networks used by smartphones.

Class action lawsuit acuses utilities Eversource, Avangrid of bilking customers out of $3.6 billion

According to this lawsuit, the utilities’ “abusive” behavior constitutes the largest energy market manipulation scheme since the Enron scandal.

Utilities manipulated natural gas supplies, causing artificial shortages, soaring energy prices, study finds

New England ratepayers paid $3.6 billion more for electricity due to capacity withholding. The utilities appear to have had an additional motive for withholding gas. Not only did the practice raise rivals’ costs in the electric generation market, but the artificially created gas shortages and high energy prices also lent credibility to the arguments for natural gas pipelines.

News Briefs: Pignatelli recognizes Covestro; Worthington considers broadband options

The Worthington Broadband Committee and municipal light board will present residents with at least two possible options for bringing broadband internet to the town.

Ratepayers shocked by proposed 27 percent electric rate hike

“During a time in which our regional economy is struggling to recover from decades of dramatic economic transition, this overall rate proposal is an unacceptable burden.” --- Jonathan Butler, president of 1Berkshire            

Gov. Baker economic secretary ‘surprised’ by criticism of broadband strategy for rural Western Massachusetts

Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration is quietly flirting with massive private companies like Comcast to deliver what will likely be inferior and expensive service to rural towns. “It’s a slow-rolling tragedy that will blight Western Massachusetts for generations.” -- Susan Crawford, Harvard law professor and director of the Berkshire Center for Internet and Society

Business Briefs: Housatonic River east branch restoration; manufacturing equipment unveiled at BCC; 1Berkshire Trendsetters; Hancock Shaker Village appoints new president; new Classics on Hudson...

As MASS MoCA’s director of development from 1988 to 2012, Jennifer Trainer Thompson helped raise some $70 million for operations and programs, including the Permanence Campaign that launched the Museum’s endowment and Sol LeWitt building.

Supreme Judicial Court strikes down natural gas pipeline tariff

“The Court’s decision makes clear that if pipeline developers want to build new projects in this state, they will need to find a source of financing other than electric ratepayers’ wallets.” -- Attorney General Maura Healey

News Briefs: CT scanner upgrade at Fairview; citizens oppose pipeline subsidies

The scanner will allow Fairview to perform more complex exams with greater clarity for physicians and continued reduced radiation exposure for patients.

At Berkshire dairy farm, state policies stifle energy independence

“If the cap [on how much power an individual producer can put back into the power grid] isn’t lifted, I’m in big trouble. I’m the camel with the straw on my back right now.” --- Louis Aragi, owner of Pine Island Farm in Sheffield, Massachusetts

Power company fees could jeopardize town turbine project

“The power companies are running wild. They don’t have to answer to anyone. It’s tragic for something this good.” -- Edwin Williams, CEO of Williams Stone who had donated the land where the town of Otis had intended to build a wind turbine to provide the town’s electricity needs
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