Who is DOER Commissioner Woodcock? He’s the person behind solar gone wrong in Massachusetts!

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is the state agency charged with writing the rules for who gets subsidies. The Commissioner of DOER is Patrick Woodcock who came to Massachusetts after working for Gov. LePage in Maine.

Woodcock is not a friend of the environment but a friend of industry. In Maine he used his state office to help make an illegal deal for a Spanish company, Avangrid, to lease state land to build a $1 billion transmission corridor through the Maine woods.

On August 11, 2021, a Maine court declared the lease Woodcock helped secure as illegal saying this was public land that could not be leased. A majority of Mainers oppose the corridor that would cut a swarth through 145 acres of Maine’s wilderness to import hydropower from Canadian megadams 1,000 miles away. The electricity is for Massachusetts – the very state where Woodcock is now head of the energy office. Woodcock has been using his position at DOER to promote the corridor for Avangrid in Massachusetts.

Here’s a 2014 email from Woodcock to the state agency in charge of the public land. He asks the agency to “accommodate” the request from the developer to lease state lands for the transmission corridor.

Here is a recording of a Massachusetts recent hearing with Woodcock being questioned about burning forests for electricity. He wants to weaken regulations but in place in 2012-science-based laws that protect the public from particulate emissions from burning trees for electricity and that protect our forests. Woodcock wants to call burning trees for electricity “renewable” and “green” energy — just like his regulations on solar call cutting down trees for solar “green.” And he wants Massachusetts ratepayers and taxpayers to subsidize this!

Notable quotes:

“Why move ahead on something that’s not even in effect and was reserved for MEPA, why on your own authority imported into the RPS program when we can’t find anything on section 11f of Chapter 25A that authorizes you to do that?”

“But on your own, you’ve hop-scotched over to an entirely new area of law enacted without any authorization in Chapter 25A?”

“But the decision to go with a 5 mile buffer when air travels across hundreds of miles and before the legislature authorized 5 mile buffers for the MEPA act itself seems to have been an extraordinary exercise of regulation making by your agency.”

“But this seems to be the case not of sharing burdens but of concentrating burdens on the remaining 11% of Massachusetts. How does concentrating the burden square with the intuitive feeling that burden-sharing is ok but disproportionate harm is to be avoided?”   

Here, Commissioner Woodcock is seen presenting at Vermont’s 2022 Comprehensive Energy Sector Workshop on the Electricity Sector. Woodcock discusses Massachusetts’ green-washed greenhouse gas reduction plans.

Next, Woodcock was asked about deforestation by caused by the Department of Energy Resources’ solar policy.  His answer was vague. The claim that DOER policies are protecting forests and ecosystems is contrary to what we see happening on the ground.  And the word is getting out.  As this video shows, Massachusetts now has a regional reputation for promoting forest destruction as part of its “green energy” plan.  Is that the kind of image Governor Baker wants?

This is not the leadership we want for Massachusetts energy policy. Woodcock should resign.

Strip mine & 50 acre solar site: near Golden Field Pond, Carver MA

BREAKING: May 8, 2021

New info & photos of deforestation & strip mining under the guise of solar energy & saving the planet: Carver, MA, USA

This is an AD Makepeace and Borrego Solar strip mine site.

Location: “Golden Field” solar project, Federal Road, Carver, Massachusetts. 50 acres of ground mounted solar out of 300 acres to date with another 190 acres planned in the same area. The site is within feet of a Golden Field Pond, designated by Massachusetts as a globally rare Priority Habitat for endangered species of plants and animals.

Photos provided to us by a reliable source over the last few days.

An estimated 2-4 million cubic yards of sand was strip mined by AD Makepeace Co. of Wareham MA for the 50 acre solar site between 2016 and about 2019.

Strip mine operations are underway to remove an additional 4 million cubic yards of valuable sand, leveling a 30 foot upland kame forest. There has been no biological survey to assess the status of the 220 plants and animals listed as special concern, threatened or endangered that are known to exist in this ecosystem.

At least $35 million in sand strip mined out so far at this area. This strip mine/solar site is one of 12 brought to us Borrego and AD Makepeace using ratepayer and taxpayer subsidies for “renewable energy” and “agriculature.”

Borrego Solar and AD Makepeace have been working together to site solar in this area for 10 years. The highest points of land were chosen to maximize the volume of earth that could be removed and sold for private profit.

At this site alone, 50 acres of globally rare pristine upland Pine Barrens forests has been leveled. Another 100 acres are planned to be destroyed under an Earth Removal Permit from Carver claiming this is an agricultural operation. We are working to shut this down.

Endangered Eastern Box Turtles have killed. Unknown rare biodiversity of the Pine Barrens ecosystem also destroyed.

Wampanoag cultural sites were allowed to be destroyed under cover of a letter from Mass Historic Commission.

This was allowed to pass Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) review without an environmental impact report.

This is why we are fighting to save the Pine Barrens and standing with our Indigenous allies against destruction of life on Earth. Enough is enough.

This is why the three proposed Makepeace & Borrego Solar projects to strip mine and clearcut another 190 acres in Southeastern Massachusetts must be stopped.
Before and after photos and maps below. More details to come.

Borrego Solar Golden Field Pond Solar Site, Carver MA 50 acres of strip mining of globally rare Pine Barrens habitat