By Bob Katzen

The Telecommunications Utilities and Energy Committee held a virtual hearing on a measure that would allow the state’s Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to assist municipal lighting plants in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by facilitating collaboration between municipal lighting plants and other state, local, regional and federal agencies.

The DOER would also be allowed to assist by providing these lighting plants with training; analytical tools to determine which greenhouse gas emission reduction and electrification programs and strategies to prioritize; information on state programs in which they are eligible to participate; and sample designs and materials for greenhouse gas emission reduction and electrification programs.

“Many municipal light plants are working hard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but they often lack the staffing and resources to conduct detailed analyses of which kinds of decarbonization programs to offer, and how to design and promote those programs,” said sponsor Senate Majority Leader Sen. Cindy Creem (D-Newton). “By directing DOER to assist MLPs in developing emissions reduction and electrification programs, this bill would ensure that MLPs aren’t wasting scarce resources by duplicating each other’s climate efforts. It would also accelerate decarbonization in MLP communities and help the commonwealth reach its emissions reduction obligations.”

“Municipal light plant communities … have long been statewide leaders in recycling efforts, promoting sustainability and working diligently to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said co-sponsor Rep. Alice Peisch (D-Wellesley). “These communities, however, are ineligible to participate in important state programs and trainings that will further these goals. This legislation amends the statute to allow municipal light plan communities to access environmental programming critical to advancing the commonwealth’s status as a nationwide leader in clean energy and climate change mitigation.”

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