Secure a Clean Energy Future for Our Children
Climate change affects the least among us the most. We must take drastic action now to secure a clean energy future for our children.
1. Power the Commonwealth With 100% Renewable Energy
For too long, our country’s politicians have delayed making courageous energy decisions in the face of climate change. As parents and stewards of the planet for future generations, we cannot continue to make policy and investment decisions that lock our communities into more carbon-intensive fuels for decades to come. A clean energy future is not just possible, it’s necessary now.
We must take action now to move Massachusetts to 50% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% renewable energy by 2050. Here’s what I propose:
- Pass Senator Eldridge’s bill, “An Act Transitioning Massachusetts to 100% Renewable Energy”, and send it to the Governor’s desk for signature as soon as possible
- Pass a tax on carbon emissions.
- Implement Gov. Patrick’s executive order on environmental justice, so that all state agencies devote resources to protect the environment for Massachusetts’ most vulnerable residents.
- Cease all new investments in fossil fuel infrastructure, including but not limited to the natural gas compressor stations in Rehoboth and Weymouth, and redirect efforts to increasing the use of hydroelectric power, wind power, solar power, and energy storage.
- Completely remove the net metering cap on solar, ban the use of any demand charges levied against solar customers, and scale up the Mass Solar Loan program.
- Dramatically increase our investment in smart grid technology and establish a new Smart Grid and Distributed Generation Division within the Department of Public Utilities to oversee widespread implementation.
- Scale up Newton’s solar share program. This program, which I implemented as Mayor, invested in solar panels across Newton, ultimately reducing our municipal carbon footprint by 50%. We shared the savings generated by the program with 900 of Newton’s lowest income residents in the form of a credit on their energy bill. Creating a clean energy future can also further the cause of social justice.
2. Make Massachusetts the National Leader in Offshore Wind
The waters off of the coast of Southeastern Massachusetts have been dubbed the “Saudi Arabia of offshore wind” due to their immense renewable energy potential. We have an incredible natural resource right here in our backyard that can power the Commonwealth for generations to come and create thousands of well-paying jobs in places like Fall River and New Bedford.
We must make Massachusetts the national leader in offshore wind. Here’s what I propose:
- Fund harbor dredging to pave the way for wind farm development.
- Encourage offshore wind developers and turbine manufacturers to manufacture and assemble the offshore wind turbines used in this project within the borders of the Commonwealth.
- Instruct MassDevelopment to support the construction of the largest offshore wind manufacturing and assembly facility in the United States in Southeastern Massachusetts.
- Produce 8,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2027–enough to power over 1.5 million Massachusetts homes.
3. Lead the Country in Climate Change Research and Innovation
Massachusetts can only do so much to address climate change by reducing its own in-state carbon emissions. The technologies invented here to combat climate change, however, can have an outsized impact in combating climate change worldwide. Our Commonwealth already has a strong cluster of universities, businesses, and entrepreneurs focused on clean energy and climate change, but there is much more room for growth.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has a well-defined and successful model for accelerating the growth of the state’s clean energy sector. I will scale up MassCEC in terms of its staffing, funding, and mission. MassCEC should be renamed as the Massachusetts Climate and Clean Energy Center (or MassCCEC), and expand its focus to include climate change adaptation, mitigation and resilience.
We must lead the fight against climate change. Here’s what I propose:
- Maintain the current MassCEC mandate to develop Massachusetts’ clean energy sector, but also expand the mission of the new MassCCEC to address the broader issues of climate climate change adaptation, mitigation, and resilience
- Seek out high impact investment, programming, research, and public-private partnership opportunities that accelerate the growth of businesses and technologies that address climate change.
- Develop new workforce training programs with industry partners to ensure that a qualified new workforce emerges in Massachusetts as climate resilience-related industries expand.
- Attract companies and federal programs aimed at addressing systemic climate issues and dedicated to researching solutions to the problems posed by climate change.