August 1, 2016

Mass. Clean Energy Bill Propels State to Head of the Pack

Statement by UCS President Ken Kimmell and Senior Energy Analyst John Rogers

Cambridge, Mass. (August 1, 2016)—The Massachusetts House and Senate have approved a comprehensive energy bill that will result in up to 40 percent of the state’s electricity coming from hydropower, wind, and other sources by 2030, which will position Massachusetts once again as a clean energy leader, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Below is a statement by Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“This legislation puts Massachusetts back in the top tier of states driving clean energy development. The Bay State is blazing a trail here by developing solutions to avoid over-relying on natural gas as coal plants in the region close. This bill provides a blueprint for diversifying electricity sources, cutting pollution, stabilizing electricity prices, and boosting the state economy. The legislation will help Massachusetts, and the region, deploy offshore and onshore wind, hydropower, and other solutions at a large scale. This will have a significantly positive effect on the state’s economy in many ways.

“Massachusetts has long been a clean energy leader, from its first-in-the-nation statewide renewable portfolio standard adopted almost twenty years ago, its embrace of cap and trade through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and its policies making it number one in energy efficiency for each of the last five years. Massachusetts has also been one of the top states for deploying solar technology. This bill makes it clear that Massachusetts will be leading the pack on renewable energy in a whole lot more ways.”

Below is a statement by John Rogers, senior energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“This is a really important piece of legislation. Long-term contracts between utilities and renewable energy developers will help unlock a huge amount of clean energy resources for the state. That includes wind farms in New England that have for a long time offered the promise of low-cost, carbon-free power, but that we haven’t been able to tap because of challenges in getting the power to where we need it. This bill also shows that we’re serious about making offshore wind a reality for the region and the country—with Massachusetts at the center of the U.S. offshore wind revolution.

“With its renewable energy components and other energy tools—around energy storage, renewable energy finance, and more—this bill is a major win for Massachusetts, and beyond.” 

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.