Senator de Mass. Prods Negotiators of the climate bill
A new bill was tabled in the legislature this week with the aim of reducing emissions and renewing the state’s focus on tackling climate change.
Hoping to sound “a wake-up call” and underscore the urgency of the problem, Senator Marc Pacheco introduced the bill, combining what he saw as the better parts of the climate policy bills than six other lawmakers. have been trying to reconcile since August. .
The Dean of the Senate, who chairs his committee on global warming and climate change, tabled what is essentially his own vision for a conference committee report on Wednesday and said he wanted to make sure Beacon Hill ” do not lose sight of the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gases “. emissions. “
The end-of-session bill, which did not go to committee when the Senate met on Thursday, would set a requirement to reach net zero emissions by 2050 with interim limits every five years, would increase the state’s renewable portfolio standard that governs the amount of clean energy Energy utilities must purchase, codify terms of environmental justice policy, increase state authorization for offshore wind to 6 gigawatts by 2035 and set a target for 100% of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2035.
“What we need is the political will to take urgent action and pass bold climate legislation here in the Commonwealth,” Pacheco said.
Eighty-one state legislators rang in 2019 and the start of the current two-year legislative session by deciding to pursue a series of climate policies, including the state’s move to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The year has been marked by strikes by youth for climate and clean energy efforts by city leaders and businesses, but not, ultimately, climate legislation completed.
Early 2020, Governor Charlie BakerHouse of Representatives Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate Speaker Karen Spilka all declared their support for net zero carbon emissions by 2050 on the same day in January. But that common goal, a goal that climate activists have spent years clamoring for, has still not been set in statutory stone.
The Senate overwhelmingly passed a set of climate bills in January that called for net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and set deadlines for the state to impose carbon pricing mechanisms for transportation , commercial buildings and homes. The house, which had passed earlier a climate adaptation bill of $ 1.3 billion, in July past his answer to the main Senate proposal, covering the 2050 emissions reduction roadmap, net metering of solar energy, grid modernization, workforce development, energy efficiency and clean energy targets for municipal power and light plants. A conference committee tried to iron out the differences between these bills since early August.
When the Senate passed its climate policy bills in January, it did not authorize the purchase of additional offshore wind power, but the House included authorization for additional offshore wind power in its draft. of law. The Senate, however, passed a Pacheco Amendment to its Economic Development Bill to order the executive to procure an additional 2,800 MW of offshore wind power by 2035, which would bring the total authorization of the State at 6 gigawatts.
Pacheco suggested this week that the six lawmakers negotiating the economic development compromise alone bring back the language of offshore wind to allow the climate change conference committee to incorporate it into its own discussions.
“Otherwise, lawmakers would effectively adopt the updated requirement for net zero emission reduction while failing to provide the administrative tools necessary to meet this new requirement,” he said. “We would be making a tragic mistake not to seize the opportunity that presents itself at this time to regain our leadership in the implementation of offshore wind.”
The Baker administration’s 2050 decarbonization roadmap and the 2030 Clean Energy and Climate Plan are both expected to be released this month. The 2050 roadmap will be used to set an emissions reduction target for 2030 by the end of this year.