Green energy activists have named Massachusetts the country’s most energy-efficient state even after officials were forced to import tons of gas from Russia during last year’s bitterly cold winter.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, which issues the annual scorecard, gave Massachusetts the honor for employing programs that helped make the state more efficient. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said the state’s pledge to go green likely played a part in the group’s decision.
“Massachusetts remains committed to leveraging energy efficiency and clean energy to meet climate goals, reduce costs and grow the Commonwealth’s economy,” the Republican governor said in a press statement Thursday. He cited the state’s procurement of offshore wind projects as one of the reasons why Massachusetts got the honor for the eighth straight year. Baker announced in April $10 million for new programs to increase green energy.
The scorecard measures six categories, including utility programs, transportation, building energy codes, state government policies, and appliance standards, among other measurements. American Council’s decision comes after state officials were forced to import Russian natural gas last year following an energy crunch.
Massachusetts blocked financing in 2016 for the $3 billion Access Northeast Pipeline, which would have helped the state weather an energy crunch this winter. The state’s decision to rely principally on green energy hiked gas prices and forced it turn to Russian oil imports.
The state’s Attorney General Maura Healey concluded in 2016 that “no new pipelines are needed” and that we “can maintain electric reliability through 2030 even without additional new natural gas pipelines.” (RELATED: Here’s Why Russia Is Delivering Loads Of Natural Gas To This Deep Blue State)
Activist groups have spent years organizing online campaigns to oppose every new coal, oil, and natural-gas project in the country. Greenpeace, for one, has etched out the position that the only good fossil fuels are the ones that are left in the ground. The Sierra Club, meanwhile, claims the U.S. is ready for 100 percent green energy.
New England’s energy grid strained to keep up with skyrocketing energy demand in December and January when arctic temperatures hammered the region. Boston received a shipment of natural gas from an export terminal owned by Novatek — one of the Russian energy giants sanctioned in 2014. Russian oil and gas shipments, however, aren’t covered by U.S. sanctions.
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