Mass Power Forward’s Executive Order No. 578 for Gov. Baker

The Mass Power Forward coalition (CAN is part of this) has prepared the following executive order for Governor Baker. We want him to sign this to show that he is serious about preventing climate chaos.  #standUpCharlie

Executive Order No. 578

By His Excellency





WHEREAS, climate change presents a serious threat to the environment and the Commonwealth’s residents, communities, and economy;

WHEREAS, extreme weather events associated with climate change present a serious threat to public safety, and the lives and property of our residents;

WHEREAS, the Global Warming Solutions Act (the “GWSA”) directs the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Environmental Protection to take certain steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change, including setting statewide greenhouse gas emissions limits for 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050;

WHEREAS, the statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit for 2020 is 25% below the 1990 level of emissions and the corresponding limit for 2050 is at least 80% below the 1990 level of emissions, and the Office of the Governor has committed Massachusetts to achieving between 35% and 45% reduction below the 1990 level by 2030;

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth can provide leadership by reducing its own emissions from state operations, planning and preparing for impending climate change, and enhancing the resilience of government investments;

WHEREAS, the generation and consumption of energy continues to be a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the Commonwealth, and there is significant potential for reducing emissions through continued investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, demand-response, energy storage, and conservation;

WHEREAS, the ambitious goals for greenhouse gas emissions established by the GWSA will help to mitigate future climate change, and can only be met if we nearly, if not completely, phase-out the use of fossil fuels;

WHEREAS, building more fossil fuel infrastructure threatens to increase our emissions and thus our ability to meet our state’s climate mandates;

WHEREAS, our state agencies and authorities must take all appropriate steps to ensure that we reach our mandated climate goals;

WHEREAS, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and its constituent agencies, including the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, have deep institutional expertise in preventing and reducing climate pollution; and

WHEREAS, clarifying our government’s priorities around new energy infrastructure will help us better address the threat of climate change;

        NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHARLES D. BAKER, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, Part 2, c. 2, Section 1, Art. 1, do hereby order as follows:

           Section 1.  The Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs shall coordinate, and make consistent, new and existing efforts to mitigate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to ensure that all of his constituent agencies use the fullest extent of their powers to avoid the construction of any new major fossil fuel infrastructure projects, including but not limited to transportation pipelines, electric generating facilities, pipeline compressor stations, and interstate liquefied natural gas storage facilities. To achieve these objectives the Secretary shall lead the efforts set out in this Executive Order, and shall:

  1. Instruct all constituent agencies to utilize all tools within their legal authority to avoid permitting, or authorizing the construction of, new large fossil fuel infrastructure or other fossil fuel energy projects.
  2. Re-double the Secretary’s efforts to expand upon existing strategies for the Commonwealth to lead by example in making new, additional reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from Government operations by transitioning its own operations to be free of fossil fuel use to the greatest extent possible; and
  3. Work to develop additional policies to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy, energy efficiency, conservation, demand response, and energy storage particularly when such deployment will avoid the need to permit or construct a new fossil fuel facility.  

           Section 2.  The Department of Environmental Protection shall promulgate regulations based on its authority in Section 142(A) of Chapter 111 of the General Laws by November 1, 2018 to avoid to the greatest extent possible the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure and facilities in order to ensure that the Commonwealth meets the all statewide emissions limits mandated by the GWSA.  In order to ensure that the Department’s regulations meet this requirement on this schedule, the Department of Environmental Protection shall:

  1. Establish an internet portal through which interested parties, including affected businesses and members of the public, may propose regulatory approaches for the Department’s consideration;
  2. Publish, no later than December 16, 2017, the notice associated with these regulations as required by Section 5 of Chapter 30A of the General Laws; and
  3. Hold, no later than February 24, 2018, a public hearing associated with these regulations as required by Section 5 of Chapter 30A of the General Laws.

Section 3.  The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and representatives of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs shall, on an ongoing basis and with initial recommendations no later than April 1, 2018, engage with regional energy and energy management agencies, including ISO-NE and the New England States Committee on Electricity, to pursue policies that:

  1. Rapidly and cost-effectively integrate renewable generation into the regional power grid;
  2. Deploy local energy resources and energy storage as an alternative to new transmission or fossil fuel infrastructure;
  3. Avert construction and oppose public subsidy of new fossil fuel infrastructure;
  4. Reduce climate pollution and improve public health; and
  5. Adopt best practices from other regional energy and energy management agencies for accomplishing these objectives;


Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this XXth day of November in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred forty-two.




Commonwealth of Massachusetts