Union of Concerned Scientists ranks MA 3rd in clean energy progress

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"Its record of 10, top-10 appearances is the most of any state", said John Rogers, a senior energy analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists and one of the study's authors. The state came in second for electricity savings achieved through state programs and the number of clean energy jobs created, particularly in regards to energy efficiency and solar power, according to the report.

Wyoming might be in coal country, but it's also leading the country in renewable energy capacity, a new report finds.

"Ranking State Progress" report, which looked at 12 metrics, assessed trends in states' deployment of renewable energy, energy efficiency and electrification of vehicles. "Minnesota's clean energy industry supports 15,000 jobs across the state", said Lt. Governor Tina Smith.

Rep. Chris Millis, R-Pender, said Wednesday, however, that the state has given $1.6 billion in tax credits to renewable energy producers since 2010, which is hundreds of times what was forecast when REPS was put in place. Iowa ranked first in creating an environment that is friendly to businesses that want to use clean energy such as wind power, third in the rate that renewable energy has been added, and seventh in the portion of power generation that is renewable.

Under House Bill 745, the REPS standard would be frozen at the current 6 percent level, but all existing contracts for renewable energy would be honored.

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"The move to clean energy is unstoppable". Very few states made it into the top 10 without some kind of strong energy efficiency resource standard or climate target, and these included states led by Republicans and Democrats. "Meanwhile, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island can only be described as going full steam ahead on clean power".

"Historically, communities of color and low-income communities have been much more likely to suffer the harmful effects of power plant pollution, due to their proximity to plants, and are often hit hardest by climate change", said Rogers. "Unfortunately, limitations on available data for all 50 states, kept us from being able to quantify equity dimensions in the ranking. Making sure states collect the right data-on solar adoption in disadvantaged communities, for example, or on how much of their paycheck low-income households are spending on electricity-is crucial for guaranteeing a clean energy future for everyone".

Renewable*Connect Government is part of a larger effort to make state government more sustainable and cost effective.

Landon Stevens, policy director of Utah-based Strata Policy, said REPS has had a "precipitous drag" on the state's economy already, costing about $3,500 per family by 2013. "Still, this state leadership is great to see, and important to encourage".