State Senate approves new clean energy bill

Boston Statehouse

State senators are supporting a new bill aimed at promoting a clean energy future. The bill aims to protect the state’s public health, create jobs, and reduce air pollution.

The bill – “An Act to Promote a Clean Energy Future” – sets new 2030 and 2040 statewide greenhouse gas emissions limits, lifts the cap on solar net metering, authorizes additional hydropower and offshore wind procurement and implements statewide energy storage goals.

Senate President Pro Tempore, Marc Pacheco of Taunton, told 22News, “It’s important for our public health, for our economy and for our ability to bring greenhouse gas emissions down. If we don’t bring those greenhouse gas emissions down, we are contributing to the worst effects of global climate change.”

The state has already spent more than $350-billion on extreme weather events.

And as we start the work week with extreme heat, supporter Emily Norton of Newton said, these high temperatures are very telling when talking about a climate change bill. “This is not even the hottest part of the summer. Late July is the hottest part of the summer and here we are already seeing such high temperatures. It’s just another indication, as if we needed more evidence that things are weird right now.”

Pacheco said the bill requires the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to adopt market-based compliance mechanisms.

Senator Michael Barrett of Lexington told 22News, the “pollution charge” on fossil fuels would incentivize the transportation, industrial, and residential sectors to use cleaner low-carbon energy. “If we can for example put a price on carbon and capture and really price the pollution impacts of using single occupant vehicles to get from Springfield to Boston, lets say, we suddenly make mass transit financially very appealing.”
    
The bill now heads to the House.

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