BOSTON – Environmental advocates, business leaders, and lawmakers launched a campaign today to power Massachusetts with 100 percent clean energy.
The campaign urges legislators to pass the 100% Clean Act (H.3288, S.2136), filed by Rep. Marjorie Decker, Rep. Sean Garballey, and Sen. Joseph Boncore. This bill will transition Massachusetts to 100 percent clean electricity by 2035 and 100 percent clean heating and transportation by 2045. These three sectors account for the vast majority of global warming pollution from fossil fuels in the Commonwealth.
“Today, most of our energy comes from fossil fuels — but it doesn’t have to be that way,” said Ben Hellerstein, state director for Environment Massachusetts. “When our communities run on renewable energy, our air will be cleaner, our families will be healthier, and we’ll help prevent the worst impacts of global warming.”
“While the legislature has already charted a roadmap to reduce emissions, this bill is the vehicle that will transport us to a carbon pollution-free future,” said Jacob Stern, deputy director for the Sierra Club Massachusetts Chapter. “We owe it to the more than 1 in 10 adults living in Massachusetts, disproportionately low income residents and people of color, who suffer from asthma and other respiratory diseases to end the use of fossil fuels as quickly as possible.”
So far, 13 senators and 63 representatives have cosponsored the 100% Clean Act.
The bill lays out clear requirements and actions for the Commonwealth to transition to 100 percent clean energy, while ensuring that workers and environmental justice communities are included.
"The fossil fuel industry has taken the same page as the tobacco industry — they have long known the harm and damage being done to our land, water, air and our health, but they've stood in the way of progress for decades,” said Rep. Marjorie Decker (Cambridge). “In order to reverse some of this damage and slow it down before it's too late, the transition to renewable energy needs to be on our timeline, not theirs. This bill lays out ambitious timelines for shifting from fossil fuels to clean energy, with protections for workers and centering environmental justice communities that have suffered the brunt of climate change."
"This legislation is critical to the future wellbeing of every citizen in the Commonwealth," said Rep. Sean Garballey (Arlington). "We need to act promptly to pass strong, progressive policy change, such as requiring all utilities to provide 100 percent clean electricity by 2035. This is the first step to lasting change, so that we can stop our reliance on fossil fuels and ensure environmental justice on a state and local level."
“As elected officials, we have a responsibility to encourage the adoption of clean energy, ensuring a sustainable future for our community, our planet, and next generations. The 100% Clean Act creates clear targets for what we, as a Commonwealth, can achieve to curb the climate crisis,” said Sen. Joe Boncore (Winthrop). “I am proud to file the 100% Clean Act with Representatives Decker and Garballey, and the 76 legislators who have cosponsored this critical legislation.”
More than 60 environmental, civic, and business organizations have endorsed the 100% Clean Act. Mass Power Forward, a statewide coalition of more than 100 organizations, has chosen the bill as one of its top priorities for the 2021–2022 session.
“For me and my fellow students, this is personal. Climate change isn’t just a distant threat, it’s something that’s affecting our communities today,” said Arianna Maddox, board chair for MASSPIRG Students. “I support the 100% Clean Act because we deserve a safer future.”
“Clean energy technologies like solar and wind can power our society without polluting our air — and they can also create economic opportunity for the people who have been most harmed by our reliance on fossil fuels,” said Paula Garcia, senior bilingual energy analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists. “The 100% Clean Act should help ensure that environmental justice communities participate in and benefit from the transition to clean energy.”
Seven states, along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, have set 100 percent clean electricity targets. Leaders in California, Washington State, and New York have adopted or are considering commitments for 100 percent of car sales to be electric vehicles after a certain date.
More than 300 major companies have set 100 percent renewable energy targets.
“Massachusetts has the technical, financial and regulatory brains, as well as the private capital and innovation economy, to lead the world to 100 percent healthy and renewable energy,” said Jim Boyle, chairman and CEO of Sustainability Roundtable. “The move from fuel-based energy to technology-based energy rivals the development of the internet in the breadth and depth of its impact, and the time for Massachusetts to seize top leadership is now.”
“Massachusetts’ success in growing the solar industry is proof that our state has what it takes to be a renewable energy leader,” said Zaid Ashai, chairman and chief executive office of Nexamp. “A commitment to 100 percent clean energy will help ensure that Massachusetts continues to lead the way”
The 100% Clean Act was recently assigned to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy, where it is awaiting a hearing.