Massachusetts Senate Passes Key Climate Legislation

Massachusetts Senate Passes Key Climate Legislation - Carbon Herald
Credit: Andrey Metelev | Unsplash

A number of climate policy measures were adopted by the Massachusetts Senate to help the state achieve its net zero emissions by 2050. The Massachusetts Senate passed comprehensive climate legislation late on Thursday to make systemic changes to the state’s clean energy infrastructure. The bill (S 2834) passed the upper chamber by a vote of 38-2.

Some of the measures include protecting residents from unfair and deceptive practices. The bill bans competitive energy suppliers from enrolling new individual residential customers. According to data, the practice lost consumers more than $577 million between July 2015 and June 2023.

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The Massachusetts climate legislation wants to authorize $5.4 billion in borrowing to spur housing production. It is projected to prompt the creation of 40,000 housing units, which is still small compared to the 200,000-unit shortage the state faces. The bill is considered historic in the state’s housing market.

The state also wants to encourage electric vehicles use. It would expand its MOR-EV program through 2027 that gives residents $3,500-$6,000 for the purchase of new or used electric vehicles. It would allow residents who own parcels within condominiums, homeowner associations, and historic districts to install EV chargers.

The bills aims to curb the use of natural gas. Focus will shift from some automatic replacements of leak-prone pipes to more targeted repairs, or decommissioning the pipeline if a more climate friendly alternative exists. 

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“I applaud the Senate for passing a climate bill that includes big wins for consumers and our communities, marking a significant step toward an equitable transition to clean energy… Today’s legislation proposes a new intervenor compensation program that will give communities the resources they need to help shape our clean energy future. I am also grateful that the Senate included provisions that would ban the predatory competitive electric supply industry and wind down the costly Gas System Enhancement Plan program,” commented Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell.

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