On July 31st, 2020 the House passed a significant climate bill H.4912 An Act Creating A 2050 Roadmap To A Clean And Thriving Commonwealth

The bill currently sits before a conference committee in order for the House and Senate to come to a compromise on what to include in the final version. Here is a summary of what was included in the House version:

  • Creates a comprehensive plan to achieve net zero emissions by the year 2050.
    • Includes how to achieve the 2030 emission limits (50% below 1990 state emission level) and 2040 emission limit (75% below 1990 state emission level). 
    • Includes a backcast analysis of Massachusetts’s pathways to net zero, with an iterative planning process.  Adding 2030 and 2040 standards is a significant change that will drive more legislation.  For instance, the legislature and Baker Administration made some of the most significant legislation and regulatory changes each has made in response to approaching 2020 emission goals. Right now, Massachusetts does not have another set goal until 2050. 
  • Includes an Environmental Justice amendment which would protect already burdened communities from added pollution from new projects, require a focus on community benefits and possible public health impacts, and amplify the community’s voice and awareness of projects. 
    • Defines environmental justice populations as those that fit into one of following criteria:
      • not more than 65 percent of the statewide annual median household income;
      • minorities comprise 40 per cent or more of the population;
      • 25 percent or more of households lack English language proficiency; or
      • minorities comprise 25 percent or more of the population and the annual median household income of the municipality in which the neighborhood is located does not exceed 150 percent of the statewide annual median household income
  • Accelerates Massachusetts to 45% Renewable Energy energy production by 2035 (This is the most disappointing piece of the bill for me as we need to get to 100% renewable across all energy usage much faster.)
  • Establishes Clean Energy Equity Workforce and Market Development Program to provide training, job placement, startup opportunities and grants for energy efficiency and clean energy industries to:
    • Minority and women owned businesses
    • Persons living in environmental justice communities
    • Workers displaced from the fossil fuel industry 
  • Creates Low-Income Whole Home Retrofit Task Force to develop recommendations for programs that improve weatherization and electrification efforts of affordable housing. 
  • Requires electric distribution companies and municipal aggregators with certified efficiency plans to include efficiency investment plans. 
  • Incorporates higher energy efficiency standards for a variety of common appliances including plumbing, faucets, computers and commercial appliances.
  • Establishes a new solar incentive program to prioritize low-income ratepayers, addressing solar energy accessibility and affordability. 
  • Increases the required total procurement of offshore wind power by an additional 2,000 megawatts.
  • Adopts several measures aimed at improve gas pipeline safety, including increased fines for safety violations and expedited timelines for repairing gas leaks.
  • Increases the required minimum percentage of the state’s renewable energy via updates to the Commonwealth’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS).

 

Comparison of CA, NY, & MA:

State2030 emissions goal2040 goal2050 goal
CA40% of 199080% of 1990
NY40% of 1990Net zero
MA House Bill50% of 199075% of 1990Net zero

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