header-sealWith a month to go, the Net Meter / Solar Task Force came to Holyoke Community College on February 25th to hear public opinion on the seven policy “paths” proposed by pro-utility consultants (click here). More than a third of the Task Force members were no-shows, sending alternates instead. Not one consultant representative was present to answer questions or defend their proposals that like failed legislation H4185 from last year, will reverse the progress solar growth has achieved in the last few years.

MASOA chair, Christopher Smith, read and submitted our association response (click here) and MASOA’s support (along with Mass Solar Group) for alternative solar policies titled “Fair Solar Policy Framework” written by Fred Uger (click here), as well as proposals submitted by Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT – click here). It is worth noting that all 25+ speakers representing solar, small business, low income, environmental, clergy and more all spoke against the Task Force proposals, including an end to holding Net Metering capacity hostage preventing future solar PV growth.

We should not be surprised by the consultant’s proposals given that almost all the Task Force members are from utilities or friendly to their business plan that seeks to sideline solar PV in favor of replacing coal and oil with natural gas. The Governor reaffirmed this plan on Feb. 28th calling for numerous new gas pipelines despite public objection. In fact many have suggested that the real purpose of the proposed “Minimum Bill” is to provide millions of dollars to capitalize the new pipeline projects. And while the utilities will promote the need for these pipelines to reduce the burden on ratepayers, the truth will soon be revealed that the real goal is to ship liquefied gas to other countries at the expense of the ratepayer. Join MASOA (click here) and help us get the truth understood by our legislators!

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