Climate “roadmap” doesn’t take us where we need to go

For Immediate Release

BOSTON – The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a climate bill today that, though amended from its original version, falls far short of transitioning Massachusetts to 100 percent renewable energy.

This happened despite the fact that a majority of representatives endorsed the Decker/Garballey 100% Renewable Energy Act (H.2836), which would transition Massachusetts to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035 and 100 percent renewable energy for heating and transportation by 2045. The 100% Renewable Energy Act was also supported by more than 50 environmental and civic organizations, along with hundreds of city and town officials, youth activists, health professionals, clean energy industry leaders, and faith leaders.

Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts, issued the following statement:

“Today, representatives missed their chance to put Massachusetts on track to 100% renewable energy when they passed H.4912, an ultimately flawed bill.

“We do want to thank the legislators who worked hard to add important clean energy provisions. In particular, we applaud Rep. Marjorie Decker, who fought tirelessly and won a requirement for utilities to supply at least 40% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030. We also thank Rep. Josh Cutler for championing energy efficiency standards for appliances, Rep. Patricia Haddad for increasing the state’s commitment to offshore wind energy, and Rep. Adrian Madaro and others for advocating for environmental justice protections.

“While these are good steps, it’s important to be clear about what this bill does not do. It does not end the use of dirty, polluting oil and gas. Rather, it allows the burning of fossil fuels to continue for decades, and it postpones necessary action in favor of studies and ‘roadmaps.’

“This ‘roadmap’ doesn’t take us where we need to go. It puts us on a road that still ends with the use of fossil fuels. That’s a shame, because the way to a healthier, safer future is clear: We must transition to 100% renewable sources of energy, as laid out in the Decker/Garballey 100% Renewable Energy Act (H.2836).

“Despite overwhelming support for the Decker/Garballey bill, the House failed to do what is needed today. That’s why we, together with a broad coalition, are redoubling our efforts to power Massachusetts with 100% renewable energy.”