Massachusetts Legislature Sends Bipartisan Climate Bill to the Governor
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is reviewing sweeping legislation to reduce the commonwealth's greenhouse gas pollution, spur clean energy jobs, electrify buildings, and protect communities disproportionately harmed by pollution.
The bill passed by 38-2 vote in the State Senate and in the House 145-9, but Baker has not committed to signing the bill and could use a pocket veto to let it die following the conclusion of the legislative session overnight. In addition to mandating net-zero greenhouse gas pollution by 2050, the legislation would also boost offshore wind energy and codify the definition of "environmental justice populations."
It would increase fines for pipeline safety violations, following a deadly series of explosions in late 2018. The bill's passage follows Gov. Baker's release of plans to eliminate greenhouse gas pollution by 2050, ban the sale of new internal combustion cars by 2035, and electrify heating in 1 million homes.
As reported by The Associated Press:
The focus on pipeline safety follows the series of explosions in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover in September 2018 that killed one person, injured almost two dozen and damaged more than 100 buildings. Federal investigators blamed the explosions on overpressurized gas lines.
The explosions led to a $56 million settlement between Massachusetts and Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and its parent, NiSource last year.
Newly elected Democratic House Speaker Ron Mariano said the bill sends the message Massachusetts "will empower our environmental justice communities, achieve net zero emissions by 2050, continue to lead on offshore wind, increase equitable access to our clean energy programs, and create pathways to clean energy jobs for underserved and low-income communities."
For a deeper dive:
- The Biggest Environmental Wins and Losses of the 2020 Election ... ›
- Bipartisan Climate Bill Highlights Forest Restoration, Conservation ... ›
- Mass. Gov. Vetoes Climate Bill to Eliminate Carbon Emissions ›
- Construction Begins on Keystone XL Pipeline in Montana - EcoWatch ›
- Trump Approves Keystone XL Pipeline, Groups Vow 'The Fight Is ... ›
- Keystone XL Pipeline Construction to Forge Ahead During ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Monir Ghaedi
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep most of Europe on pause, the EU aims for a breakthrough in its space program. The continent is seeking more than just a self-sufficient space industry competitive with China and the U.S.; the industry must also fit into the European Green Deal.
European satellites continue to provide data on climate change.
In 2018, a team of researchers went to West Africa's Nimba Mountains in search of one critically endangered species of bat. Along the way, they ended up discovering another.
- Eek! Bat Populations Are Shrinking. Here Are A Few Ways to Help ... ›
- First Bat Removed From U.S. Endangered Species List Helps ... ›
- What We've Lost: The Species Declared Extinct in 2020 - EcoWatch ›
By Jim Palardy
As 2021 dawns, people, ecosystems, and wildlife worldwide are facing a panoply of environmental issues. In an effort to help experts and policymakers determine where they might focus research, a panel of 25 scientists and practitioners — including me — from around the globe held discussions in the fall to identify emerging issues that deserve increased attention.
Ask a Scientist: What Should the Biden Administration and Congress Do to Address the Climate Crisis?
By Elliott Negin
What a difference an election makes. Thanks to the Biden-Harris victory in November, the next administration is poised to make a 180-degree turn to again address the climate crisis.
- Biden Reaffirms Commitment to Rejoining Paris Agreement ... ›
- Joe Biden Appoints Climate Crisis Team - EcoWatch ›
- Biden Plans to Fight Climate Change in a New Way - EcoWatch ›