Turning Climate Laws into Action

Cleaning up electricity, transportation, and buildings in Massachusetts

Massachusetts State House

Massachusetts State House. Photo: Jon Bilous via Shutterstock

May 3, 2023 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is pushing the Healey Administration to take the steps to slash polluting emissions by 2050 and make our energy infrastructure more resilient to climate impacts with petitions for rulemaking filed today. Massachusetts has passed strong climate laws, but officials have historically been slow to implement the changes these laws require, and the petitions lay out a clear path forward for state officials.

“Goals and promises are meaningless without real action on the ground,” said Caitlin Peale Sloan, Vice President of CLF Massachusetts. “The previous administration took little actual action to meet the goals laid out in Massachusetts’ strong climate laws, we now have an opportunity to do better. If we want to leave a healthy future for the next generation, it’s time to ditch fossil fuels and electrify everything from transportation to home heating, and these petitions lay out steps Massachusetts must take to get us there.”

CLF’s six petitions were filed with several state agencies today. To slash carbon pollution from transportation, the petitions advocate for transitioning to electric cars and trucks, improving public transportation, and integrating transit and pedestrian accessibility into new road projects.

“It’s time for our leaders to walk the walk on climate goals,” said Roseann Bongiovanni, Executive Director of GreenRoots, Inc. “Living in a densely populated city, I see firsthand every day the negative impact that fossil fuel emissions have on our environment and our health. We need to get these polluting fuels out of our lives today and be sure we’re protecting frontline communities like Chelsea in the process.”

Our petitions also request that the new administration ramp up the transition away from fossil fuels to heat our homes and businesses. This includes making electric systems more affordable and increasing weatherization efforts.

Finally, the petitions advocate for cuts to climate-warming emissions from our electricity sector. CLF is also pushing for the state to require utilities to plan for and adapt to climate impacts and hold utility companies accountable when they fail.

All these proposals are consistent with the state’s 2050 climate plan and roadmap law, and they will empower cities and towns to take action at the local level as well. It’s imperative that Massachusetts and other states take advantage of significant federal funding made available for climate and resilience projects in the Inflation Reduction Act and the recent infrastructure law.

The petitions were filed with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Energy Facilities Siting Board, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Utilities, the Department of Energy Resources, and the Department of Environmental Protection

CLF experts are available for further comment.