Boston – With just hours remaining in the legislative session, the Massachusetts House and Senate approved a compromise clean energy bill today.
Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts, issued the following statement:
"Lawmakers could have knocked it out of the park. Instead, they only got a base hit.
"There's no doubt this bill moves us forward on clean energy. It takes the important step of aligning Massachusetts’ bedrock clean energy policy, the renewable portfolio standard, with our commitments to offshore wind and other resources, and sets the stage for further action. It also opens the door to doubling our offshore wind targets, and supports technologies like energy storage and renewable heating that will play a critical role in our transition to 100 percent clean energy.
"Unfortunately, the legislation fails to address caps on solar energy. We could generate 47 percent of our electricity from rooftop solar panels, and much more from ground-mounted solar farms. Instead, in more than 200 communities, solar projects will continue to be held back by these arbitrary, unnecessary limits.
"We're also troubled by the inclusion of energy sources like trash incineration and biomass within a new 'clean peak' standard, when we know that these are polluting technologies.
"The bottom line is that there’s more work to do. If Massachusetts is to remain at the forefront of the transition to renewable energy, we need to set bigger goals and follow through with concrete action. When legislators return in January, clean energy should be at the top of their agenda."
Last week, the Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center released the 100% Renewable Energy Agenda, an ambitious policy roadmap to accelerate Massachusetts' transition to clean, renewable energy across all sectors.