Report: Killing forests, trees, soils for large ground mounted solar in Massachusetts

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A 2021 report by Partnership for Policy Integrity to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) office concludes that solar projects that clear-cut forests and remove soils and vegetation harm — not help — the climate.

“Nothing much will grow here again in a human timeframe” – page 2

PFPI harshly criticizes the impacts of the state’s SMART solar subsidy program with regard to three proposed projects by AD Makepeace and Borrego Solar in Wareham MA. The projects are at 140 and 150 Tihonet Road and 27 Charge Pond Road.

“First, this project, [almost 200 acres of deforestation of Pine Barrens in Wareham MA] and the others going in, represent not a success of the state’s solar energy policy, but a failure. It is shocking to see that the state’s renewable energy policy is actually incentivizing forest clearing for solar. Climate change mitigation is not just about reducing fossil fuel emissions. Climate modeling is crystal-clear that we need to not only reduce emissions, but actually sequester CO2 that has already been emitted. Restoring and expanding forests is the only means under our control to achieve this at scale. Accordingly, anything that undermines forest carbon uptake is actively undermining climate mitigation. The state should not have a policy that pits solar against forests. Policies should offer incentives for preserving and expanding forests, not destroying them.”

Other resources here:

Cape Cod bylaw for land clearing

Other relevant sites:

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