By Bob Katzen
The House 158-0, approved and sent to the Senate the GreenWorks Bill which invests $1.3 billion in resiliency, clean energy and energy efficiency to shrink the state’s carbon footprint. The proposal establishes a $1 billion grant program for cities and towns to fund clean energy, energy efficiency and climate change measures that cut greenhouse gas emissions, fortify infrastructure and reduce municipal costs.
“The GreenWorks program is going to support economic development opportunities throughout Massachusetts by helping our cities and towns adopt Massachusetts-made clean energy technology and provide jobs through green infrastructure projects,” said Rep. Smitty Pignatelli (D-Lenox), House chair of the Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture. “[The bill] will help the Berkshires and our entire commonwealth save money and leave more resources for other priorities such as schools, first responders, roads and bridges.”
“GreenWorks was meant to be, and is, broad and very flexible,” said Rep. Tom Golden (D-Lowell), chairman of the Committee on Telecommunication, Utilities and Energy and the bill’s chief sponsor “It is to allow each community to identify their problems and use GreenWorks dollars to solve their issues and their problems.
“They care about their taxes, they care about their roads, they care about many things,” said Rep. Ted Speliotis (D-Danvers) during the debate. “But when you ask them or when I’m asked in my district or here what are people talking about, they’re talking about the changes in our climate and the effects — and all in the negative, In the last month we have been barraged to a point like never in our lifetime — people fearful of going to the beaches, people fearful of their summer homes, they’re fearful of their own property — and each and every year we spend more time recouping from the damages.”