August 11, 2022 (BOSTON, MA) – Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has signed a far-reaching climate law that includes new measures related to clean energy, energy efficiency, and transportation emissions. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement in response.
“This new law takes some great steps on biomass and offshore wind, but it’s sorely lacking when it comes to environmental justice,” said Staci Rubin, Vice President of Environmental Justice at CLF. “For too long, these communities have been overburdened and overlooked when it comes to air quality, access to transit, and toxic pollution. We need to put a much larger focus on protecting EJ neighborhoods and phasing out fossil fuels once and for all when the legislature reconvenes.”
Importantly, the law removes burning dirty biomass from the definition of clean electricity that is eligible for state subsidies. It also continues Massachusetts’ leadership in building out the offshore wind industry. At the same time, unhealthy air pollution and dangerous energy infrastructure are concentrated in environmental justice populations, and the bill does not go far enough to protect these areas from further harm or require commuter rail electrification. The bill also does not go far enough in removing fossil fuels from our homes, buildings, and public transit at the pace necessary to address the climate crisis.
CLF experts are available for further comment.