Let’s secure a healthy energy future

Commonwealth Magazine, February 27, 2019

LOOKING AT RECENT HEADLINES, one sees that climate change—and the call for pioneering solutions to combat it—are now front and center in the public consciousness.

We are at the forefront of an opportunity to truly modernize the Commonwealth’s energy economy, improve the health of its communities and become a producer and exporter of renewable power rather than an importer of fossil fuels.

The majority of the newly elected Massachusetts state representatives – 14 freshman lawmakers — are united in their vision to build a renewable energy economy that will rein in greenhouse gas emissions and grow the 21st century green-tech job sector. Informally dubbed “GreenTeamMA,” this ambitious crop of legislators wants to reform the way that energy is made and used in the Bay State. Like many of the new faces in Congress who are working to educate voters on the benefits of a renewable energy economy for the country through the Green New Deal, GreenTeamMA supporters understand the economic, environmental, and human health imperative of swiftly shifting to a renewably-powered Bay State.

Last month, state Sen. Marc Pacheco and state Rep. Ruth Balser jointly filed An Act to Secure a Clean Energy Future. This powerfully bold, visionary piece of legislation is something like a Green New Deal for Massachusetts; but rather than a broad resolution to be hammered out later, the bill presents specific prescriptions and timelines designed to guide businesses, municipalities, manufacturers, and electricity producers in transforming the way that energy is produced, stored, distributed and used. It considers where Massachusetts stands now with respect to climate change preparedness and fills in the gaps to get us where we need to be by 2050.

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