Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
Gov. Charlie Baker today signed a offshore wind and climate bill that seeks to promote generation of clean power, upgrade the electric grid to accommodate an increase in clean energy, provide incentives for purchasing electric vehicles, and further pursue decarbonization.
The Legislature passed its climate bill on July 21, but the governor returned it with amendments on July 29, giving the House and Senate two days to respond to his proposals before the end of the legislative session. The Legislature passed an amended bill on July 31, and the governor had another 10 days to determine whether the Legislature had sufficiently addressed his concerns.
The final bill incorporates some, but not all, of the governor’s proposed changes. It includes Baker’s elimination of an offshore wind price cap, where the Legislature’s preferred language would have only adjusted conditions to simplify and encourage bids when there are only one or two bids. But the final bill did not include Baker’s request to use $750 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding for clean energy projects, which legislators feared could make the bill’s many provisions susceptible to line-item vetoes.
The new law allows up to 10 communities to apply to participate in a demonstration program that prohibits or restricts fossil fuel use in new building construction or major renovation projects. The pilot program will allow the Department of Energy Resources to study the implementation of fossil fuel bans in participating municipalities and evaluate future best practices on decarbonization.
Baker expressed concerns earlier this week about the pilot program, saying it could adversely affect housing affordability and accessibility.
The administration and legislators say the law will move Massachusetts toward achieving its 2030 and 2050 climate and energy targets.