December 18, 2018
BOSTON: The Massachusetts Coalition for Sustainable Energy (MCSE) continues to add members. Recent votes by the Boards of Directors of the Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Cape Cod Canal Chamber of Commerce and the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce bring total MCSE membership to 17 representing business, employer and labor organizations throughout the Commonwealth, heading into the next Legislative Session as energy policy is anticipated to emerge as a key issue.
“We felt it important to join with this very impressive coalition of Massachusetts organizations that are advocating for sound, sustainable and reasonable energy policies,” said Tom O’Rourke, President of the Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce. “We believe our renewable portfolio needs to increase, but our members are very concerned that as electricity costs escalate significantly, our economy becomes less competitive, and we aren’t even seeing emission reduction benefits anymore,” O’Rourke added. “This is the definition of unsustainable,” O’Rourke stated.
“Our business and employer communities endure some of the highest energy costs in Massachusetts,” Marie Oliva, President of the Cape Cod Canal Chamber of Commerce said. “We want to add our regional voice to the MCSE’s efforts and make clear to policymakers that the cost of energy is a major problem for everyone, especially businesses on and around the Cape,” Oliva continued. “We are also very concerned that the region’s grid operator is clear that we are near the limits of our electricity capacity and a contingency away from the need to implement forced blackouts,” Oliva added. “That would be catastrophic for our economy,” Oliva stated.
Theresa Stanley, President of the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce said: “We have joined the MCSE because energy policy in Massachusetts could use some improvement.” Pointing to the recent increases in greenhouse gas emissions produced by large amounts of oil and coal usage during peak periods of electricity use, Stanley added: “No area of the Commonwealth is more affected by climate change than ours. The fact that our emissions progress has halted, and even reversed, while at the same time residents pay the highest rates is just galling. We aren’t reaching our potential.”
“It really says a lot about the importance of this issue and the need for a sustainable solution that we are seeing so many local and regional business organizations join the MCSE,” said Bob Rio, Senior Vice President of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) a founding member of the MCSE. “We need a lot more reality and a lot less ideology in how we tackle this problem. It’s good to see that understanding penetrate at the local and regional level,” Rio added.