By Bob Katzen
Governor Baker signed into law legislation that would expand the clean energy industry and reduce emissions from the transportation and building sectors across the state with the goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
Baker said he signed the bill to ensure the Bay State retains its standing as a national leader in securing renewable energy. “However, because the Legislature rejected virtually every meaningful amendment I put forth, this bill does not have the same shared sense of purpose that all previous climate legislation embodied, which is unfortunate,” said Baker. “We all know the commonwealth faces significant challenges in dealing with two existential threats—climate change and housing supply and affordability. This bill does not move Massachusetts in the right direction on housing. And the process by which many provisions in this bill are implemented will determine if this bill will make significant progress toward our climate goals.”
“This law builds on existing climate policy and accelerates our transition to local, clean energy, setting us on a course toward a sustainable, healthy future,” said Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund Executive Director Casey Bowers. “Recent heatwaves and drought conditions have made the immediate need to reduce emissions and protect vulnerable communities even clearer.”
“This new law takes some great steps on biomass and offshore wind, but it’s sorely lacking when it comes to environmental justice,” said Staci Rubin, Vice President of Environmental Justice at the Conservation Law Foundation. “For too long, these communities have been overburdened and overlooked when it comes to air quality, access to transit and toxic pollution. We need to put a much larger focus on protecting Environmental Justice neighborhoods and phasing out fossil fuels once and for all when the Legislature reconvenes.”
Mass Audubon President David O’Neill said, “This new law will propel the commonwealth’s efforts to meet its climate goals by scaling up offshore wind, stepping on the accelerator for more clean cars and clean energy buildings and making sure we create equitable access to the green jobs of the future.”