The Clean Energy Transition

It took longer than most of us would have liked, but universal recognition that we need a clean energy economy now seems undeniable. On January 5th, 2016, we will talk about how we get there together.

The evening begins promptly at 6:00 PM with a special one-hour screening of The Last Mountain from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Presentations and discussion thereafter will focus on the realities of the fossil fuel economy; how we, as citizens and communities, can help accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy; the challenges triggered by the transition; and how communities, organizations and each of us can participate.

What will make all of this real and personal are our speakers’ views into the struggles and successes of two communities right here in MA that are already living this transition — Salemand Somerset, home of Brayton Point, our last operating coal plant.

Eric Grunebaum is Chief Business Development Officer at TeraCool LLC. He advises startup companies and facilities owners on clean energy and efficiency projects. Previously he was a real estate developer and producer of documentaries, including the theatrically released film, The Last Mountain, which focuses on coal, highlighting a WV community proposing a 328 MW wind farm on nearby mountain ridges rather than strip mining them for coal. Eric has also been active in efforts to bring revenue neutral carbon pricing to MA.

Christophe Courchesne is the Chief of the Environmental Protection Division at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. Before this role, Christophe was a senior attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation’s New Hampshire office where he focused on advocacy and litigation to fight climate change and advance clean energy. He has also practiced environmental, energy, and land use law with Goodwin Procter LLP in Boston and clerked at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for Justice Robert J. Cordy. Christophe graduated from Harvard Law and U Mass at Amherst.

Representative Lori A. Ehrlich is serving her fifth term as the State Representative for the Eighth Essex District, representing Marblehead, Swampscott, and Lynn. Lori holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from Lehigh University, an M.P.A. from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She has been a CPA for thirty years in one of New England’s large regional firms as well as managing her own practice. Prior to her 2008 election, Lori founded two public health nonprofits and led the charge to clean up coal ash from the drinking water for 80,000 residents in Salem, Beverly and parts of Wenham.

Join us and our co-host, the Sustainable Solutions Lab at U Mass Boston and the Conservation Law Foundation, for this conversation about the transition we are all working hard to speed along. Hopefully you’ll agree that there’s no better way to start into the new year.  — Carol, Holly, Tilly.