Rebecca Jones and Montserrat Archbald: Tell ISO to stop subsidizing fossil fuels

Published: 5/23/2022 12:31:21 PM
Modified: 5/23/2022 12:29:27 PM

We are longtime residents of Massachusetts who care deeply about our community. Our backgrounds are in education and science, and our increasing awareness of the climate crisis drives us to speak out about a situation that involves all of us as consumers of energy in New England.

ISO NE (Independent Systems Operator-New England) is responsible for designing and running our regional energy markets. We are concerned about its approach to forward capacity payments, which subsidize energy sources for “future peak energy consumption.” Every year, ISO-NE decides which energy sources to subsidize in a forward capacity auction; in the current cycle they have again chosen to subsidize fossil fuels.

In their own study, ISO-NE came to the conclusion that the entities it now subsidizes through forward capacity payments are not necessary to meet future demand, but decided to continue to fund them anyway.

A portion of your electric bill — 10-20% — goes toward FCPs that prop up unnecessary fossil fuels beyond the energy you’re consuming. In the midst of the climate crisis, resources should be directed toward conservation, and toward renewable sources such as solar and wind. Instead, ISO-NE’s decisions about who receives payments are made in a way that favors fossil fuels and disadvantages renewables, and fails to account for the health and environmental impacts of burning coal and gas.

ISO-NE is supposed to be making decisions in the public interest. If you share our concerns, tell ISO-NE to stop subsidizing fossil fuels that profit the few while dirtying the air, destabilizing the weather and roasting the planet. Please contact ISO-NE, your utility company, and your local representatives to make your voice heard.

Rebecca Jones

Montserrat Archbald

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