Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Mass. Gov. Vetoes Climate Bill to Eliminate Carbon Emissions

Mass. Gov. Vetoes Climate Bill to Eliminate Carbon Emissions
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker speaks during the National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 on October 13, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Isaac Brekken for National Clean Energy Summit / Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker vetoed a sweeping climate bill on Thursday that would have put the commonwealth on a path to eliminating carbon emissions by 2050.

Baker's veto sets up a confrontation between the Republican governor and the Democratic supermajority-controlled legislature.

The bill would have also directed utilities to purchase more offshore wind power, set efficiency standards for appliances, and required that 40% of the state's electricity come from renewable sources by 2030.

The governor's veto came under pressure from developers, who claimed the bill's building efficiency rules would hamper housing development – despite studies showing the cost efficiencies of net-zero construction.

Baker, who in December released his own plan to make the state emissions-neutral by 2050, said he agreed with the bill's supporters on climate goals, but State Sen. Michael Barrett, a lead negotiator on the bill, accused Baker of using technicalities to avoid the ambitious commitments set out by the legislation, and predicted the bill's strong support would ultimately carry it over the finish line.

"Charlie Baker is not the first politician in the world to have responded to climate change by procrastinating," Barrett said.

Lawmakers passed the bill nearly unanimously at the end of the 2020 legislative session, and plan to refile it and quickly send it back to Baker with time left in the session to override a second veto.

For a deeper dive:

Boston Globe, WBUR, AP, Boston Herald, CommonWealth, NBC Boston, MassLive; Commentary: WBUR, Alicia Barton and Ken Kimmell op-ed

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

An Edith's Checkerspot butterfly in Los Padres National Forest in Southern California. Patricia Marroquin / Moment / Getty Images

Butterflies across the U.S. West are disappearing, and now researchers say the climate crisis is largely to blame.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A wildfire burns in the Hollywood hills on July 19, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AaronP / Bauer-Griffin / GC Images

California faces another "critically dry year" according to state officials, and a destructive wildfire season looms on its horizon. But in a state that welcomes innovation, water efficacy approaches and drought management could replenish California, increasingly threatened by the climate's new extremes.

Read More Show Less


Wisdom is seen with her chick in Feb. 2021 at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Jon Brack / Friends of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge / Flickr / CC 2.0

Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.

Read More Show Less
Wind turbines in Norway. piola66 / E+ / Getty Images

By Hui Hu

Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.

Read More Show Less
Jaffa Port in Israel. theDOCK innovated the Israeli maritime space and kickstarted a boom in new technologies. Pixabay

While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.

Read More Show Less