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Primer: current climate legislation in MA

CAN’s CLIMATE ACTION PACKAGE FOR MASSACHUSETTS
INVEST IN A RENEWABLE ECONOMY

 

**** SUPPORT CREATION OF A COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY BILL ****

In creating a comprehensive energy bill, we support the principles of the

Mass Power Forward Coalition, which promote an energy policy that:

  1. Advances Massachusetts toward a safer and healthier economy powered by local, clean, renewable sources, maximizing energy efficiency, responsibly sited solar, wind (on and off-shore), and energy storage; keeping us on track to reduce our climate change pollution by no less than 80% by 2050;
  2. Reduces our dependence on polluting energy sources, and frees our power grid from imported fuels, volatile markets and dangerous power generation facilities;
  1. Prioritizes neighborhoods, families and our public lands over utility monopolies and the polluting energy industry; and prohibits public subsidies for gas pipelines or other new fossil fuel infrastructure;
  1. Modernizes our power grid and empowers everyday people to access locally generated power;
  1. Assists workers and communities with retiring power plants to participate in the benefits of the green economy and clean energy transition.

 

 

**** SUPPORT LIFTING THE CAP ON SOLAR NET METERING ASAP! ****

Context: Under current solar policy, 171 Massachusetts communities have met their local utility’s cap on net metering, leaving many planned projects financially unviable. We need to incentivize more clean energy and allow our solar industry to continue creating clean energy jobs.

S.1770/H.2852  An Act relative to solar net metering, community shared solar and energy storage

Sponsors: Sen. James Eldridge, Rep. Thomas Calter & Rep. Paul Mark   

Committee: Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (TUE)

Summary: This bill lifts the cap on solar net metering (until 1600MW are reached), encourages community shared solar projects, sets a 20% solar by 2025 target, and directs the DPU to explore energy storage.

 

 

**** SUPPORT CONSUMER PROTECTION FROM PIPELINE TARIFFS ****

Context: Currently proposed natural gas pipelines are expected to provide an export market for private corporations yet would be funded by MA residents.

H.2494  An Act relative to consumer protection with regard to pipeline tariffs

Lead Sponsors: Rep. Lori Ehrlich, Sen. James Eldridge                                            Committee: Revenue

Summary: This bill disallows any cost to be levied on Massachusetts residents to fund a gas pipeline with a liquefied natural gas export terminal.

 

 

**** STOP INVESTING IN FOSSIL FUEL – SUPPORT PENSION FUND DIVESTMENT ****

Context: Divestment of the state’s pension fund from fossil fuels makes sense morally, environmentally and financially.  We should not invest in companies that accelerate climate change and lobby against clean energy. Further, economists predict that the value of fossil fuel corporations will decline drastically.  A current analysis shows our pension fund has already lost $500 million by holding onto fossil fuel investments.

S.1350/H.2269  An Act relative to Public Investment in Fossil Fuels

Lead Sponsors: Sen. Benjamin Downing, Rep. Marjorie Decker            Committee: Public Service

Summary: Over five years, divests the state’s pension fund from fossil fuel companies to align Massachusetts’ investment practices with its climate goals.  

 

**** PUT A FAIR PRICE ON CARBON EMISSIONS ****

Context: Economists agree a carbon fee and rebate is the most efficient way to reduce emissions. Raising the price of polluting encourages a shift to cleaner energy sources, without complicated regulations. There are two bills currently in the legislature, one that invests part of the funds into public transportation and renewable energy projects, and the other that refunds the entirety of fees:

S.1785  An Act to protect our environment & reduce the carbon footprint of the Commonwealth

Sponsor: Sen. Marc Pacheco              Committee: TUE

Summary: This bill creates a price on carbon emissions, with 80% of generated revenue going to residents and the remainder to public transportation and renewable energy projects.

 

S.1747  An Act combating climate change

Sponsor: Sen. Michael Barrett              Committee: TUE

Summary: This bill is similar except that all the proceeds would be rebated to (1) residents, with each state resident receiving an equal rebate, and (2) employers, in proportion to their share of total employment.

 

For more information, contact:

Susan Theberge at susantheberge@comcast.net (Mass Power Forward Coalition)

Darcy DuMont at darcy@divestourpensionsnow.org (DivestOurPensionsNow)

Dave Roitman at droitman1@verizon.net  (Carbon fee and rebate)

Adele Franks at adele.franks@gmail.com  (Solar net metering)