Prep yourself to give input at the Baker Administration’s upcoming transportation sector emissions listening tour, beginning on October 31st. Here’s what you need to know.
- State emissions mandates mean Massachusetts must drastically reduce transportation sector emissions in the coming decades.
- The Baker administration is hosting a series of public listening sessions to gather input on the best way to reduce transportation emissions.
- Two carbon pricing bills before the legislature are an efficient way to achieve lower transportation and heating sector emissions.
- If you’d like to attend a listening session in person, see the bottom of this page for the schedule. If you can’t make it, you can submit written comments here.
State Emission Mandates
- The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008 (GWSA) set an 80% emissions reduction requirement for Massachusetts by the year 2050.
- To stay on track to reach the mandated 80% cut in GHG emissions by 2050, the state must cut emissions at least 45% below 1990 levels by 2030.
- Assuming we will reach our 2020 mandate, we still must cut an additional 20% of emissions between 2020 and 2030.
GHG Emissions in Massachusetts: A Brief History
- Most of emissions reductions to date have come from the electricity sector, where Massachusetts has the most well-developed policies.
- Emissions in the electricity sector have dropped 65% (from 1990 levels) since 2008, and are now only 18% of our total emissions.
- Examples of these policies include:
- Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS)
- Energy efficiency programs for electricity
- Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
- Currently the transportation sector accounts for the largest share of carbon emissions in the state, with heating of buildings and industrial use a close second.
- In 2014 (the most recent figures available), 39% of state GHG emissions came from transportation and 33% from heating and industrial use.
- Massachusetts policies in transportation and in heating/industry are far less developed than in electricity, and will need to be focused on if the state is to achieve the large emissions cuts required by the GWSA.
- The Baker-Polito administration is aware of this, but is focusing only on transportation for the listening tour.
Carbon Pricing: The Best Solution
- The most powerful policy to cut emissions is an economy-wide price on carbon pollution, focused mainly on fuel used in transportation and heating.
- Massachusetts carbon pricing bills S.1821 and H.1726 are an effective and efficient means of reducing emissions in transportation and heating.
- Putting a price on carbon pollution can do two things:
- Establish a price incentive to cut fossil fuel use.
- Provide funds to invest in measures that will yield emissions cuts — such as mass transit, electric vehicle infrastructure, and efficiency and renewable energy in buildings. (H.1726 reinvests 20% of the fees into a Green Infrastructure Fund, yielding about $400 million a year for these types of projects when the carbon price matures)
How to Participate in the Listening Tour
- If you are interested in submitting written comments you can do it via this link.
- To have the most impact, consider attending a listening session and speaking in support of carbon pricing as a tool to cut transportation sector emissions.
- The four listening tours scheduled are:
- Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 9:00am, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA (register here)
- Thursday, November 2, 2017, 6:00pm, MassDEP Central Region Office, 8 New Bond Street, Worcester, MA (No Registration Required)
- Monday, November 6, 2017, 11:00am, UMass-Amherst, Student Union – Cape Cod Lounge, 280 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA (register here)
- Thursday, November 9, 2017, 6:00pm, West Middle School, 271 West Street, Brockton, MA (No registration required)