By Bob Katzen
The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued an order that requires all Bay State gas companies to hire an independent consultant and issue a report to the DPU by March 1, 2022 on ways
that the companies can help the state meet its goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 while simultaneously safeguarding ratepayer interests and ensuring safe, reliable and cost-effective natural gas service. The House and Senate have approved different versions of a climate change bill. Both bills include the reduction to net-zero by 2050. A conference committee is currently working to hammer out a compromise version to send to the governor for his signature.
“As the Baker-Polito Administration has committed to an aggressive goal of net zero emissions by 2050, this investigation will analyze the future role of natural gas as part of Massachusetts’ energy system,” said DPU Chairman Matthew Nelson. “The commonwealth continues to lead the nation on climate change mitigation, and this order will help assess how to best achieve deep emissions reductions while ensuring a safe, modern and cost-effective heating distribution system for Massachusetts ratepayers.”