As mayors representing a diverse group of communities across Massachusetts, we are in a unique position to be on the front lines of how the big global issues manifest from block to block in our neighborhoods. One of the many ways we see this is in how our residents want to power their homes and businesses. Their message to us is clear: they want cost-effective solutions that speed our transition to clean and renewable energy, and they want innovative and meaningful ways to help them combat the climate crisis.
Compared to parts of the country that have much greater summer cooling needs, New Englanders have more options to keep ourselves comfortable affordably and sustainably. Unless you have someone in your home who needs central air conditioning for health reasons, we encourage you to look to room air conditioners and fans, particularly ceiling fans. Here are some tips, offered by the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy.
As frequent readers of our blog will know, transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts. The cars, trucks, and buses on our roads are also responsible for pollution that causes direct and widespread harm to human health – harm that disproportionately impacts low-income communities and communities of color. Right now, there’s something you can do about it: get your legislator to attend an upcoming briefing on bills that will work on these issues!
A priority for Green Energy Consumers Alliance is increasing New England’s clean energy supply while delivering lower costs to consumers. In both Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the following facts prevail about our electricity supply options:
New Incentive for Electric Trucks in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) recently announced that the popular rebate program for electric vehicles, MOR-EV, will now offer incentives for medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks too. This is great news for the climate and public health in Massachusetts.
In December 2020, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs filed its first draft of the 2030 Clean Energy & Climate Plan (CECP). The plan outlines specific strategies to ensure that the state’s carbon emission limit is met by 2030.
Although it's a good first draft, public comment and participation can steer the final draft to be even better. The deadline for submitting comments has been extended to March 22, 2021. In addition to the blogposts we've already written about the transportation and electricity sections of the CECP, we’ve submitted all of our feedback on the plan early, which you can read here. Here are our main takeaways.
The Baker administration released their ten-year Clean Energy & Climate Plan (CECP), which is open for comment through February 22. The comment period for the CECP is an excellent opportunity to set the Baker Administration on course to tackle climate emissions within multiple sectors of the economy. You can read the whole plan here.
We’re working on our formal comments on the whole plan and will share them soon. Meanwhile, here are our comments on how the plan would treat the electricity sector.
February 12 Update: The deadline for submitting comments has been extended to March 22, 2021, but Green Energy Consumers Alliance submitted our feedback early. Read it here.
If you follow Massachusetts climate policy, you’re probably not very happy with Governor Baker for his recent veto of the Climate Roadmap bill. Though we’re disappointed with his decision, we’re optimistic that lawmakers are ready to refile the legislation and override another veto if necessary.
On January 14, Governor Baker pocket vetoed Senate Bill 2995, An Act Creating a Next Generation Roadmap for Climate Policy. The bill was passed by the legislature too late in the session to override the veto. The governor wrote a five-page letter of explanation that we did not find persuasive. Already, the bill has been refiled and we are optimistic that the bill will be passed again and, if it is vetoed, the legislature will override.
Although 2020 did not go as we expected, it looks like we may be reaping the rewards of hard work on climate policy in the early days of 2021. In the past few days, the Massachusetts executive and legislative branches have made steps toward sweeping policy changes, some of which are the culmination of lots of hard work by legislators and advocates. This blog was edited on January 15 to reflect legislative updates since its original posting.