Sierra Club: Mass. Clean Energy Bill Needs Major Improvements

Commenting on the new Massachusetts bill seeking to increase the amount of renewable energy, Massachusetts Sierra Club said more is needed from the bill to deliver benefits to the state’s residents. 

“While there is some good in this bill, there are still major improvements needed to deliver benefits to Massachusetts residents: doubling the Renewable Portfolio Standard, support for onshore wind, eliminating the cap on net metering and restoring net metering for low-income and community solar projects, and forcing utilities to fix gas leaks,” Emily Norton, Massachusetts Chapter Director for the Sierra Club, said. “We need to scale up to an economy powered 100 percent by renewables and there is no time to lose. Massachusetts is a climate leader, let’s pass a bill that shows other states and the nation what can be done.”

“This bill is a small step mostly in the right direction, but at this point we need huge strides,” Cathy Buckley, Chair of the Massachusetts Sierra Club, said. “This incremental approach does not account for the terrible costs that our children will endure with ever-accelerating sea-level rise and devastating storms. Massachusetts is in a unique position – we are a national leader, an innovation center, and located adjacent to an immense source of offshore wind. There is no excuse to not move vigorously into a clean energy economy.”

The bill for increased renewable power came after a unanimous decision from the Supreme Judicial Court last week finding that Massachusetts is currently not doing enough to comply with the legal requirements of the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) to reduce carbon pollution.

Previous procurements for onshore wind have delivered benefits for Massachusetts and the regional economy, and a study has shown that procurement of at least 2,000 megawatts is needed to realize the full benefits of offshore wind, including local jobs as well as cost savings from economies of scale, Sierra Club said.

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