State Launches Commission on Clean Heat

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BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration announced that the members of Massachusetts' first-in-the-nation Commission on Clean Heat were sworn in, helping to advance the Commonwealth's ambitious goals to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions in the buildings sector. 
 
The Commission, which was created via Executive Order 596, held its first meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, and over the next year will advise the Administration as it works to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050. The Commission membership, representing a wide range of backgrounds and expertise including affordable housing, energy efficient building design and construction, health care and real estate, will identify policies and strategies and recommend a framework to achieve emissions reductions that is well-balanced, affordable, and equitable.
 
"This Commission brings together a diverse, experienced and thoughtful group of experts and stakeholders to help our Administration develop the policies and strategies we will need to meet the challenges associated with decarbonizing the buildings sector in Massachusetts," said Governor Charlie Baker. "The membership of the Commission on Clean Heat represents a variety of important perspectives that will be critical in the development of balanced, forward-thinking approaches to decarbonization that prioritize innovation, affordability, and equity as we make this transition."
 
Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides has appointed EEA Undersecretary of Energy and Climate Solutions Judy Chang to serve as her designee and chair of the Commission, and its membership reflects a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds from outside stakeholders, including representatives from the fields of affordable housing, energy efficient building design and construction, healthcare, heating system design and technology, real estate, and heating fuel distribution.
 
"The Commission on Clean Heat will bring together stakeholders to take on our most pressing emissions reduction challenges in the building sector through a collaborative, inclusive approach," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. "Gathering these voices and perspectives from technical experts, the affordable housing community, business leaders, environmental organizations, and major industries in the Commonwealth, will enable our continued, nation-leading pursuit of the equitable, creative strategies we need to meet our ambitious climate targets."
 
The Commission on Clean Heat is comprised of the following members:
 

Name:

Organization:

William Akley

President of Gas Business, Eversource

 

Lauren Baumann

Vice President, New Ecology

Kenan Bigby

Managing Director of Development, Trinity Financial

Harry Brett

UA Representative in New England, Plumbers and Gas Fitters UA Local 12

 

Alexander “Zan” Bross

Manager, Design & Construction, MassHousing

Andrew Brown

Assistant Project Manager, The HYM Investment Group

Emerson Clauss III

President, Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Massachusetts (HBRAMA)

Rebecca Davis

Chief Operating Officer, Massachusetts Competitive Partnership

Eric Dubin

Senior Director, Utilities and Performance Construction, Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC

Mike Duclos

Founder and Member of Board of Directors, Passive House New England

Madeline Fraser Cook

Director, Government Investments and Technical Assistance, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

Eugenia Gibbons

Independent Consultant

Dharik Mallapragada

Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Initiative

Cameron Peterson

Director of Clean Energy, Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Robert Rio

Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Counsel, Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM)

Kimberly Robinson

Executive Director, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

Dorothy Savarese

President and CEO, Cape Cod Five

Tamara Small

CEO, NAIOP Massachusetts

Charles Uglietto

President, Cubby Oil & Energy

Dennis Villanueva

Senior Manager, Energy and Sustainability, Mass General Brigham

Jolette Westbrook

Director and Senior Attorney, Energy Markets and Regulation, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)

 

The Commission on Clean Heat will meet regularly to work on developing policy recommendations, which are due to Governor Baker by Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. The policies developed by the Commission will seek to sustainably reduce the use of heating fuels and minimize emissions from the building sector while ensuring costs and opportunities arising from such reductions are distributed equitably. The Commission on Clean Heat will also hold public stakeholder meetings throughout the year, with the first to be scheduled in March, 2022. Dates and times for the public stakeholder meetings, as well as additional opportunities for public input, will be announced on the Commission on Clean Heat  webpage.
 
"Climate leadership over the next decade will require a fundamental transition in how we heat and cool our homes and buildings," said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Patrick Woodcock. "While we move forward with accelerating the aggressive deployment of energy efficiency and heat pumps this first-in-the-nation commission on clean heat will identify the next generation of cost-effective and equitable policies that yield deep building sector decarbonization across the Commonwealth."

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BEAT: Conserving Flowers and their Pollinators

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Joan Edwards will speak at the May Pittsfield Green Drinks event on Tuesday, May 17th at 6:00 PM and give a slideshow presentation about the rapidly decreasing biodiversity that is taking place globally, known as the sixth extinction. 
 
She will specifically focus on flowers and their insect visitors. 
 
This sixth extinction is primarily driven by human actions, from habitat loss to climate change. The impacts of biodiversity loss are far-reaching, resulting in biological communities that are less resilient and with diminished ecosystems services. As part of the discussion, Joan will explore the impact of biodiversity loss in the pollinator-flower world and examine how the surprising dynamics of flower-pollinator networks can help to conserve both flowers and their pollinators.
 
Joan Edwards is a botanist interested in understanding the biomechanics and adaptive significance of ultra-fast plant movements—plant actions that are so quick they occur in milliseconds. Using high-speed video (up to 100,000 fps), she studies the evolutionary significance and biomechanics of fast movements, including the trebuchet catapults of bunchberry dogwood, the vortex rings of Sphagnum moss, the splash cups of liverworts, and the "poppers" of wood sorrel. Her early fieldwork was on the impact of moose on plants in the boreal forests of Isle Royale National Park. 
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