The Massachusetts State Senate passed a major bill today with unanimous support that moved the state towards an economy-wide price on carbon. This marks the first time carbon pricing legislation has gained formal approval from Massachusetts policymakers.
The bill (S.2545- An Act to Promote a Clean Energy Future) features a key carbon pricing provision that establishes a “market-based mechanism” to reduce carbon emissions. If made into law, Massachusetts would be the first state to achieve a carbon price.
The proposal targets pollution from transportation and heating fuels, which combined account for 70% of state carbon emissions. Establishing a carbon price will put Massachusetts on track to achieve its mandated 80% emission reductions by 2050.
The Senate language does not impose a specific blueprint. The Governor and his administration are held instead to specific deadlines — carbon pricing of some kind for the transportation sector by the end of 2020, for commercial and industrial buildings and processes by the end of 2021, and for residential buildings by the end of 2022
S.2545 also contains a number of other ambitious proposals to achieve a clean energy future in Massachusetts including expansion of the state’s renewable energy portfolio (RPS) to 3% a year and a removal of most net metering caps.
Carbon pricing now moves to the Massachusetts House of Representatives for approval.