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Senate blocks speaker's move on trust over energy-bills tax  

Senators blocked a proposal by House Speaker Sal DiMasi to move the Renewable Energy Trust from the control of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

In an energy-reform bill filed by DiMasi earlier this year, the trust was put under the executive office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

Senate Ways and Means Chairman Steve Panagiotakos, a Lowell Democrat, said the move was to maintain the quasi-public collaborative.

“We didnt want to blow them up. We did think there should be better collaboration between them and the administration,” Panagiotakos said. “The administration will be able to advise and have consent over a small portion of funds.”

The trust takes in about $25 million a year generated by a small tax on consumers’ electric bills to fund renewable-energy projects throughout the state, including wind turbines, solar panels, energy-efficient schools and public-awareness campaigns.

The bill is expected come out of the Senate Ways and Means committee once legislators return for formal session Jan. 2


Lowell Sun

29 December 2007

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