From Mass. Climate Action Network's Executive Director Sarah Dooling
Statement on Gov. Baker’s Veto of S 2995
Governor Baker’s veto of the Next Generation Roadmap Bill (S 2995) is deeply disappointing. The bill had overwhelming legislative support, the result of the leadership of Rep Tom Golden, Sen Mike Barrett, a broad coalition of legislators and the work of grassroots advocates who laid the groundwork for popular support.
The bill was the most comprehensive climate legislation put forth in Massachusetts in over a decade. Statewide greenhouse gas reductions were established, with interim emissions reduction targets, to get the Commonwealth to net zero by 2050. The bill also directed investments in clean energy and workforce development, prioritizing minority and women owned businesses.
The Governor’s veto perpetuates the burdens Environmental Justice communities have endured that benefited white, affluent communities for generations. Protecting EJ communities is the first step in supporting a holistic recovery from the overlapping impacts of the Covid pandemic, climate crisis and longstanding housing unaffordability. This past year revealed how suffering from the disproportionate effects of climate change makes Black and Brown communities more vulnerable to COVID-related deaths, because they live in neighborhoods and housing that are more toxic and more polluted compared to white neighborhoods.
The bill gave communities three years to opt-in to the net zero stretch code for all new buildings, ensuring new construction is energy efficient, comfortable, and safe, and responding to the calls of municipal leaders across the state. The Governor mistakenly assumes the cost of these upgrades would hinder the construction of urgently needed affordable housing. Quite the opposite: Net zero upgrades constitute a small part of a typical project’s construction costs. The money invested upfront for upgrades is recouped in dramatically lower operating costs.
This is not a cost problem – this is a political problem.
The Governor’s veto is a temporary setback. The Next Generation Roadmap Bill is crucial to ensuring a just transition that protects Environmental Justice communities, transforms our building sector, and advances statewide climate solutions.
We thank the advocates who worked so hard to get this bill to the Governor’s desk. MCAN looks forward to the leadership of Speaker Moriano and Senate President Karen Spilka in promptly refiling the bill.
Gov. Baker Vetoed the Climate Bill
An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy (S.2995), would have been the strongest effort of its kind in the country. Learn more about it
Jan. 15, 12-1 pm [free]
Green Energy Consumers Alliance
Rhode Island is the first state in the nation to host offshore wind turbines, and it has big plans for more. Massachusetts has its own aggressive offshore wind plan, with Vineyard Wind likely being the first project for the Bay State.
Join Green Energy Consumers' Policy Coordinator Kai Salem and learn about: -Offshore wind & the path to net zero carbon emissions, -upcoming projects in New England, -and policy that will support offshore wind.
The Town invites Arlington residents to a
Sustainable Transportation Plan Forum
Tues., Dec. 14, 7 pm
Register in advance:
Take the survey through Dec. 18:
Connect Arlington Fact Book
Hosted by the Sustainable Transportation Plan Advisory Committee, the Department of Planning & Community Development, and Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates
The Town of Arlington will review draft strategies and recommendations for Connect Arlington, the Town's Sustainable Transportation Plan. All members of the Arlington community are invited to participate via video conference or by calling in by phone to the event both hosted by Zoom.