Climate activists in Massachusetts oppose electrical company plans

Did you know Massachusetts's electrical companies are asking for a rate increase? Climate activists mobilized well for this. In at least two places around the state, experts in renewable energies and climate disruption loaded the speaker lists at the forums that the Department of Public Utilities has to offer by law. Here in Cambridge, not a single person spoke in favor of the rate hike except for the VP of the electric company, Eversource (owner of NStar and Western Massachusetts Electric Company). The picture emerging from testimony is of a tired, conventional business plan that skimps on renewable energy, despite the company's boasts and some truly useful upgrades. In particular, the company wants to increase charges to people with solar power, which would discourage people from installing panels. Naturally, as at any public forum, not everybody obeyed the panel's request to stay on topic. Some climate activists waxed eloquent about legislative initiatives. One inevitable crank took up 20 minutes on some twisted tale about being wronged by NStar (which he probably was). One well-prepared speaker from a solar energy company laid out an indictment of the historical resistance Eversource has put up to renewable energy--unnecessary resistance, because they could have built up a business model around promoting it. A representative from the Attorney General's office, and some speakers, opposed the rate hike on economic grounds.