BOSTON (WWLP) – Environmentalists gathered outside the State House Thursday to celebrate the passage of a sweeping climate bill.
Even though the governor had some reservations, he signed off on a sweeping climate bill earlier this month which will help Massachusetts reach its goal of net zero emissions by 2050. The governor originally sent back this offshore wind and climate bill to the legislature with 19 pages of amendments. Some were adopted like eliminating the offshore wind price cap, but most of his suggestions were rejected.
Lawmakers along with the Baker Administration have committed to reducing carbon emissions in the state by at least 85% percent by 2050.
“Once this bill is fully implemented, we’re going to see more electric vehicles on our roads, we’re going to see more solar panels on our neighbor’s roofs, we’re going to be getting more of our electricity from the wind that is blowing off of our shows instead of burning oil and gas, so everywhere around us, we’re going to see the impacts of this bill,” said Ben Hellerstein, State Director of Environment Massachusetts.
The part that gave Baker the most pause was the provision that would give 10 cities and towns the ability to limit or ban the use of fossil fuels in new construction, fearing this could cause the price of living to increase in those municipalities. Recently, Mayor Wu announced she would push for Boston to take advantage of that pilot program.
Also mandated in the bill is that all new car sales must be zero-emission vehicles by 2035 and it increases the rebate for purchases and leases or zero-emission vehicles to $3,500. The law also offers an additional $1,000 to those who trade in an internal combustion vehicle.