MA Clean Energy Bill Addresses State Energy, Transportation and Climate Needs

Statement by John Rogers, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Feb 12, 2018

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (February 12, 2018)—The Massachusetts Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, led by Senator Marc Pacheco (Taunton) and Sen. Jamie Eldridge (Acton), introduced clean energy legislation today, a revised version of S479.

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

“I’m extremely pleased to see this bill, and the broad range of issues it addresses for responding to Massachusetts’s energy, transportation and climate needs. The Senate climate change committee’s leadership on climate and energy issues has been critical for Massachusetts’s progress, and this bill is an important next step.

“The bill covers a range of priorities for our electricity sector. Those include bringing the state’s renewable portfolio standard back up to leadership levels—essentially getting us to 50 percent new renewable energy by 2030, which is key for following up on the 2016 Energy Diversity Act and its push for offshore wind and other renewable energy options. The bill also knocks down barriers that are preventing homes and businesses across the economic spectrum from adopting solar by making sure that equitable access is a consideration in decision making, and by removing the artificial caps that have suppressed solar’s growth. The legislation would also extend our state’s Global Warming Solutions Act by adding 2030 and 2040 to the targets for reducing carbon pollution.

“This measure also takes on  pollution from transportation, now the largest source of pollution in the state. The proposed cap-and-invest program covering transportation fuels would help cut emissions while providing significant new resources to invest in clean transportation; the clean fuel standard would ensure that the state continues to invest in clean fuel technologies; and purchase incentives, incentives for public charging stations, curbside EV charging programs and investments in public charging stations on key highway corridors would get more electric vehicles on the road.

“And there’s a lot more in this bill. That’s entirely appropriate: With the Trump administration abdicating leadership on climate and energy issues, this is really a time for leading states like Massachusetts to step up to the plate even more. This effort reflects legislative needs that have been expressed in bills put forth by numerous members of both the Massachusetts House and Senate, and we look forward to working with both chambers on tackling these incredibly important issues in the very near term.”