Massachusetts Passes ‘Landmark’ Climate Legislation August 23, 2022
With support from environmental groups including Greater Boston PSR, the Massachusetts state legislature passed, and the governor signed, a powerful new climate bill that has been called a “landmark.”
The law will advance the transition to clean energy on multiple fronts. It supports development of offshore wind, clears away obstacles that blocked solar energy projects, provides rebates for the purchase of electric cars, rejects wood-burning biomass plants as a clean energy in the Renewable Portfolio Standard, and much more.
It also advances building electrification — one of Greater Boston PSR’s priorities — by authorizing 10 municipalities to participate in a pilot program that allows for new building construction and major renovations to be built without fossil fuels.
The new law also opens the door to expanded use of renewable thermal energy, including utility-scale networked ground-source heat pumps. Greater Boston PSR has promoted this technology because it can reduce air pollution and provide extremely efficient heating and cooling, an important health protection in our warming world. These heat pumps would provide heated water to homes instead of gas — an opportunity to help phase out methane (“fracked”) gas while also preserving jobs for utility workers.
The bill was signed into law just days after President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, the most significant climate policy the federal government has yet passed, making it an eventful week for climate action.