July 21, 2022 (BOSTON, MA) – The Massachusetts Legislature has passed a far-reaching climate bill that includes new measures related to clean energy, energy efficiency, and transportation emissions. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement in response.
“This bill includes some important steps forward in limiting biomass subsidies and supporting the offshore wind industry,” said Caitlin Peale Sloan, Vice President of CLF Massachusetts. “However, there’s a lot of room for improvement when it comes to environmental justice. The state needs to take a stronger stand in protecting these communities from air pollution, creating access to an electrified commuter rail, and our leaders must do more to equitably phase out fossil fuels once and for all. We’ll continue our push to make these critical changes a reality in the next session.”
The bill removes the burning of 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. 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. The bill also does not go far enough in removing fossil fuels from our homes, buildings, and public transit.
CLF experts are available for further comment.