In The People's Blog

Today the Senate sent an omnibus climate — A Next Generation Climate Roadmap — bill to the House, before it goes to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. Here are 10 things to know:

  1. This is the THIRD time I’ve voted YES on this bill. It’s the same bill Governor Baker vetoed at the end of last session in December, and after the House and Senate passed it, again, at the start of this session, the Governor sent it back, this time with changes.
  2. The bill the Senate passes today REJECTS many of the Governor’s proposed changes. The Baker Administration put forward a 2030 Clean Energy and Climate Plan, which would achieve 2030 statewide greenhouse gas emissions that are 45% below the 1990 level. The bill passed by the Senate today rejects a key change proposed by the Governor and requires a 50% reduction from 1990 levels by 2030.
  3. This bill requires the Commonwealth to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Net zero emissions is different from 100% renewable energy, and the work to codify 100% renewable energy targets will continue this session.
  4. The bill codifies “environmental justice” into law and begins to require the Commonwealth to consider environmental justice populations and principles. Many advocates fought for years for this to be codified in law.
  5. This bill places a 5-year moratorium on biomass being considered a non-carbon emitting resource. It is important to remember that the first version of this bill in the House listed biomass as a non-carbon emitting resource, and it took people power and great work from WMA House colleagues to achieve this change.
  6. The bill starts a much-needed overhaul of the Department of Public Utilities by requiring that the DPU include climate change impacts in its regulatory considerations for the first time.
  7. The bill requires the development of a stretch energy code that requires net zero buildings. This provision started with a bylaw in Amherst, and then became a bill that I filed, and then became a sticking point with the Governor — and now it will become law. Thanks to INCREDIBLE constituent advocacy all along the way.
  8. The bill increases energy efficiency standards for home appliances and other appliances. Massachusetts has been a national leader in energy conservation.
  9. Let me applaud the work EEA Secretary Kathleen Theoharides did on the 2030 Clean Energy and Climate Plan and on this bill. Secretary Theoharides has led the climate work with vision and purpose and this final bill is stronger because of her efforts. She has also demonstrated again and again that she understands what’s needed in western Massachusetts and that she’s more than willing to go the distance toward regional equity. I’m grateful for her steadfast, good-willed work.
  10. I was thrilled to vote on this bill three times, but it did not have to be that way. I believe that we can be bold AND successful in fighting climate change. In the same way the Commonwealth has led on energy conservation, so should we ALSO lead in solar (with good and smart solar siting regulations, with local control and prioritizing the built environment). We ALSO can lead in carbon sequestration and protecting our forests, we ALSO can lead by redesigning green schools and net zero buildings and creating hundreds of green construction jobs in the process.  I am urged forward by advocates and constituents who know this future is possible. I’m with you.
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