New offshore wind bill drops electric bill charges

CommonWealth Magazine

Sen. Michael Barrett of Lexington, the Senate chair of the Legislature’s Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy Committee, was perhaps the most vocal critic of increasing the cost of electricity with new bill surcharges at a time when the state is trying green its electric grid and use the power to supplant fossil fuels for transportation and heating.

In an email, Barrett said he was pleased to see the electric bill surcharges eliminated but still concerned about the overall direction of the legislation. “I worry about an inadvertent false equivalence, in which one slice of the clean energy pie is treated and funded the way we treat and fund the entire life sciences sector. For climate policy after this, where do solar, geothermal, and energy efficiency fit in? The bill gets the proportions wrong,” he said.

“The bottom line is the impact on the ratepayer’s bottom line. How much will all the subsidies and tax breaks cost? Where’s the cost-benefit analysis? A lot of money is moving around here,” he said.