December 16th Roundup: Baker Vetoes Green Budget Proposal

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– Beacon Hill Update: crammed end-of-year calendar for legislature (Tim Cronin): Uncertainty remains over when (or if) the legislature will vote on bills still before four conference committees, including one focused on climate change. All while lawmakers attempt to override a series of vetoes of their top priorities including expanding abortion access, police reform, and key state budget amendments.

In addition to the long-awaited climate bill, the House and Senate are also still negotiating conference committee bills relating to healthcare financing, transportation bonding, and economic development/housing. Although facing a hard bill passage deadline of January 5th, lawmakers are also facing a soft deadline of late next week (12/23) if they want to give themselves enough time to override any last-minute vetoes by the Governor to these bills.

– Baker vetoes Green Budget amendments, lawmakers have opportunity to override (Tim Cronin): Members of the Green Budget coalition, led by ELM, are asking lawmakers to override Governor Baker’s recent veto of multiple environmental priorities in next year’s state budget. The goal of the ‘green budget’ is to ensure that at least 1% of the state’s budget is spent on the environment. In a tweet, ELM’s Casey Bowers said, “Disappointed to see the Governor veto critical increases to DCR, DEP, and DER – at a time when we’re relying on their work even more. I urge the legislature to override these cuts.” Despite the veto from the Governor, the green budget priorities can be added back into the budget with the support of two-thirds of lawmakers in each chamber. House lawmakers will be voting on this matter this afternoon, watch the live stream starting at 1:15 pm today (12/16) for updates.

– New session watch: Got a bill? Share it here! (Tim Cronin): Policy advocates, lawmakers, and local activists are working hard this month into early January to finalize new legislation they want to be considered in the upcoming two-year legislative session (2021-2022). Legislators have until January 15th next year to file new bills if they want to ensure the bill is assigned to a committee and gets a public hearing. If you are working on a bill relating to climate change, clean energy, or the environment and want to share it with the roundup’s audience of 800+ advocates, wonks, lawmakers, and activists, email

– “Fossil Fuel Divestment Getting Late Session Nudge from Munis” (Colin A. Young, State House News Service): “More than 80 local officials representing 34 cities and towns are asking Beacon Hill leaders to bring a bill to a vote in the next three weeks that would allow city and county retirement systems to divest from coal, oil and gas investments.” [Subscribe to SHNS] [Read the full letter here]

– “Mass. Senator Prods Climate Bill Negotiators With New Bill” (Colin Young, SHNS via WBUR): [read the article]

– “ New legislation can help Massachusetts build back a stronger, more equitable economy” (Mike Mattera, Akamai Technologies): [read the article]


– Globe Spotlight investigation reveals power & politics behind Weymouth Compressor fight (Tim Cronin): In a Spotlight investigation, the Boston Globe reported Sunday on the continuing saga of the Weymouth compressor station with a sweeping 5,000-word piece. Led by University of Connecticut journalism professor and Boston Globe Spotlight Fellow Mike Stanton, the Globe’s investigation found that “residents who fought a six-year battle with an energy giant over a controversial gas compressor never had much of a chance, with both the federal and state governments consistently ruling against them.”

In large part, the article highlights just how deep the connections are between fossil fuel interests and the government leaders responsible for approving the project, and the missed opportunity by Governor Baker to stop the development. One of the most inspiring aspects of the article is the in-depth look at the local activists who relentlessly fought the compressor for six years, including Alice Arena, Andrea Honore, and Nathan Phillips. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend sitting down and reading the full article.

– “Agencies prepare to meet growing need for energy assistance” (Jacquelyn Voghel, Daily Hampshire Gazette): [read the article]

– “Lawmakers Push For Gas Pipeline Safety In Climate Bill” (Colin Young, GBH): [read the article]


– “Passing energy efficiency standards for appliances” by Ben Hellerstein, via Wicked Local

– “What Biden’s Election Means for State Climate Policy, with guests Tamara Toles O’laughlin and Tina Johnson” by Ava Gallo, via Climate XChange

– “Solar revolution is stalled, needs to shift into gear” by Ben Downing and Ben Underwood, via Commonwealth Magazine

– “Rising Seas: Time for Mass. Towns to Retreat From the Coast?” by Ryan Kath and Jim Haddadin, via NBC Boston

– “Adopting carbon fees a critical next step” by Meagan Sylvia, via Greenfield Recorder

– “Passing clean energy bills key to fighting racial inequity” by Senator Jamie Eldridge and Andrea Nyameke, via the Boston Herald.

– “New normal due to climate change” by Andrew Ahern, via Telegram and Gazette

– “Deb Haaland’s ability, vision and ancestry would make her an ideal interior secretary” by Bill McKibben, via The Guardian.


– “Volunteers Are Racing to Save Endangered Sea Turtles Stunned by the Cold” (Jody Serrano, Earther): [read the article]

– “Farming Changes, Massachusetts Embraces Reclaimed Cranberry Bogs” (Christine Hatch, UMass Amherst): [read the article]

– “COVID-19 has changed everything, even Boston’s trash. Here’s how” (Danny McDonald, Boston Globe): [read the article]

– “EPA Completes Reviews of 9 Superfund Site Cleanups in Massachusetts during FY 2020” (EPA): [read the article]

–  “Judge throws out Quincy’s denial of environmental permit for Long Island Bridge” (Mary Whitfill, Patriot Ledger): [read the article]


– 72% in Massachusetts support TCI program (Christian Morris)A new poll, conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and Climate Nexus, finds that 72% of Massachusetts voters support the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI). Although the poll omitted any mention of potential gas price increases, which could potentially impact responses, pollsters are confident that support for TCI will remain steadfast because of the wide-reaching benefits promised of the initiative. [read the article]

– “Mass., other states near historic agreement to curb transportation emissions” (David Abel, Boston Globe): [read the article]


– “The T’s next set of battery-powered buses wouldn’t reduce much pollution” (Adam Vaccaro, Boston Globe): [read the article]


– “Many countries to miss Paris climate plan deadline due to COVID-19 delays: U.N.” (Emma Farge, Reuters): [read the article]

– “Is Your State Ready for the Health Harms of Climate Change?” (Juanita Constible, NRDC): [read the article]

– “Statement by IPCC Chair to the Climate Ambition Summit” (Hoesung Lee, IPCC): [read the article]

– “Global emissions growth slowing but still not declining” (Dan Haugen, Energy News Network): [read the article]


– “Jonah Kurman-Faber on his journey to Research Director” (Maria Virginia Olano, Climate XChange): [read the article]

– “SCPN Spotlight: Wafa May Elamin on inclusive community building” (Carlie Clarq, Climate XChange): [read the article]


– “State will meet 2020 emissions goal, though experts worry about future progress” (Kelly Thomas, Huntington News): [read the article]


– United Kingdom, State of Maine sign historic clean technology pact (Christian Morris): Last week, Governor Janet Mills of Maine and the United Kingdom’s Minister of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the RT Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP signed an MOU aiming to ramp up efforts around clean energy capacity and technology. The new partnership serves to aid both entities in achieving their goals of carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner, and will align the two governments with critical emissions reduction and climate change goals. Maine’s potential for offshore wind generation and the U.K.’s development of clean energy technology make for a fruitful collaboration, one that paves the way for renewable energy, green jobs, and a fossil fuel-free future. [read the article]

– “Feds: Application pause will delay Vineyard Wind at least a year” (Bill Opalka, Energy News Network): [read the article]


– “Confusion over tax status stymies solar projects” (Shira Schoenberg, Commonwealth Magazine): [read the article]

– “Mass. home sales soar during second surge” (Michael P. Norton, SouthCoast Today): [read the article]

– “Innovative geothermal micro-district concept moves ahead in Massachusetts” (Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network): [read the article]

– “Public power entities in three states commit to clean energy purchase from FirstLight” (Staff Report, The Recorder: [read the article]


– “Group Asks Mass. Attorney General To Step In, Order Boston College To Divest” (Victor Stefanescu, The Heights): [read the article]

– “Navy Grant Funds Energy Resilience Project” (Sharon Bennett, Microgrid Knowledge): [read the article]


– “Boston Mayor Walsh shares a vision of national climate action” (Kristin Musulin, Smart Cities Dive): [read the article]


– “Meet Gina McCarthy, a Mass. native who is set to serve as White House climate coordinator” (Shannon Larson, Boston Globe): [read the article]

– “As Climate Envoy, Kerry To Seek ‘Ambition’ With ‘Humility’” (Steve Inskeep, GBH): [read the article]

– “Biden can’t move the needle on environmental justice without these 2 things” (Marcela Mulholland and Julian Brave NoiseCat, Vox): [read the article]

– “Outgoing Rep. Joe Kennedy focusing future beyond potential Peace Corps role” (Glen Johnson and Margaret Talev, Axios): [read the article]

– “For Biden’s Economic Team, an Early Focus on Climate” (Jim Tankersley and Lisa Friedman, New York Times): [read the article]


Missed the last CXC Roundup? Here are the top three climate headlines from last week:

  1. Fate of 2020 climate bill remains uncertain
  2. “Matt O’Malley, environmental reform advocate, won’t seek reelection to Boston City Council”
  3. House continues “listening session” on green recovery approaches

Read the full Roundup here from December 9th, 2020 here.

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Featured Image: Photo by Andrew Heald via Unsplash