December 9th Roundup: 2020 Climate Bill Coming Soon?

We’re excited to announce Christian Morris as the new co-author of the Climate XChange Massachusetts Roundup! As a member of CXC’s Communication Team, Christian brings his comms and Bay State know-how to the Roundup as we increase our weekly coverage of all things climate and the environment in Massachusetts.

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– Fate of 2020 climate bill remains uncertain (Tim Cronin): Massachusetts lawmakers continue to negotiate a final climate bill, over 100 days since the formation of a conference committee to iron out differences between separate House and Senate versions. It’s unclear why negotiations have stalled, with no information on the committee’s discussions being made public since their first meeting in August of this year. The climate conference committee has until the end of the current session (January 5th, 2021) to release a bill, although ideally they would release one in the next few weeks (to give the legislature time to overrule a potential veto from the Governor). With major priorities completed in the last few weeks, including passing the long-delayed budget and a major police reform bill, lawmakers now look to finish up conference committee negotiations on bills relating to healthcare financing, economic development/housing, transportation bonding, and the climate change bill.

If a climate bill is released, most lawmakers and the public will likely have very little time to react to it before it gets a vote in the House and Senate. Amendments are generally discouraged on final conference committee bills, so expect each chamber’s debate to be relatively short, with a bill being sent to the Governor’s desk within a week of its public release.

[For more background on the bills being considered by the climate bill conference committee, check out Climate XChange’s previous coverage of the Senate’s Next Generation Climate bill (S.2500) or the House’s comprehensive energy & climate bill (H.4933)]

– House continues “listening session” on green recovery approaches (Tim Cronin): The House Green Recovery Task Force continues to meet with a variety of stakeholders since being announced in September by Representatives Tom Golden and Carolyn Dykema. Over a dozen stakeholder groups have so far met with the Task Force, whose members mirror the House membership of the Joint Energy Committee. Outside groups that have presented to so far include 350MA, ELM, the Mass Municipal Association, McDonald’s Sustainability Team, Climate XChange, and others. Anyone interested in meeting with the task force is encouraged to reach out via their website.


– “Boston building owners get a one-stop shop for energy efficiency resources” (Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network): [read the article]

– “16 Mass. Elected Officials Challenge State Agency On East Boston Substation” (Miriam Wasser, WBUR): [read the article]

– “Boston roadmap details 10-minute EV access for all” (Kristin Musulin, Utility Dive): [read the article]

– “Beacon Hill goes green: Pilot program looks to swap gas lights for LEDs”(Ainslie Cromar, [read the article]

– “Study: Affordable Housing In Mass. Among Most Vulnerable To Flooding” (Simón Rios, WBUR): [read the article]

– “Climate Warnings on Gas Pumps Will Soon Appear in the First U.S. City [Cambridge, MA]” (Dharna Noor, Earther): [read the article]


– “Follow Science: That’s How To Fight Climate Change — And How We Should Be Fighting The Pandemic by Gina McCarthy, via WBUR.

– “There’s a far more streamlined approach to the climate crisis than the Paris Agreement by Ross Gelbspan, via The Boston Globe

– “The best climate change solutions benefit humanity and nature by Jonathan Jennings and Kinari Webb, via The Boston Globe 

– “Science is the way forward by Peter de Menocal and Richard W. Murray, via The Boston Globe

– “Plants will save us — if we help them do it by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie, via The Boston Globe

– “Op-ed: Hydrogen is the missing piece of Mass. clean energy economy by Geoff Gunn, via Boston Business Journal 

– “Should Massachusetts significantly expand its off-shore wind energy production? by Elizabeth Turnbull Henry and Fiona Hogan, via The Boston Globe

– “The Tesla Raffle Is Back! Tickets Support The Fight Against Climate Change” (Climate XChange): [read the article]

– “Climate change key to winning many elections” (Clare Kelly, Commonwealth Magazine): [read the article]


– “‘Climate change continued its relentless march’: 2020 on track to be 2nd warmest year in recorded history” (Jackson Cote, MassLive): [read the article]

– “Large, Rare Loggerhead Turtle Rescued On Truro Beach” (The Associated Press, WBUR): [read the article]

– “Releasing batches of balloons banned in Attleboro” (George W. Rhodes, The Sun Chronicle): [read the article]


– “Top Baker aide says full steam ahead with TCI” (Bruce Mohl, via Commonwealth Magazine): [read the article]


– “Transit Expert Calls The MBTA’s $89M Plan For New Silver Line Buses ‘Greenwashing’” (Miriam Wasser, WBUR): [read the article]


– “‘Natural gas’ or ‘methane’? Americans see a big difference” (Kate Yoder, Grist): [read the article]

– “Why are we still missing our mark on climate messaging?” (Christian Morris, Climate XChange): [read the article]

– “A world in which no one is disposable” (Maria Virginia Olano, Cooler Earth Podcast): [read the article or listen to the podcast]

– “No economy functions well when people are dying” (Maria Virginia Olano, Cooler Earth Podcast): [read the article or listen to the podcast]


– “How to better tackle climate change” (John Kerry, The Hill): [read the article]


– “We’re at a turning point on climate change. But most countries are still choosing fossil fuels over clean energy, report says” (Helen Regan, CNN): [read the article]

– “Climate change: Temperature analysis shows UN goals ‘within reach‘” (Matt McGrath, BBC): [read the article]


– “On Leadership and Scaling Impact with Laura Teicher” (Maria Virginia Olano, Climate XChange): [read the article]


– “Utility Regulators Ignored Conflict Of Interest Concerns For National Grid Audit” (Saurabh Datar and Beth Healy, WBUR): [read the article]


– “Feds Push Vineyard Wind Decision Into 2021” (Colin A. Young, State House News Service, WBUR): [read the article]


– “Biden’s administration should charge up the offshore wind industry” (Jon Chesto, The Boston Globe): [read the article]

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


– “Matt O’Malley, environmental reform advocate, won’t seek reelection to Boston City Council” (Milton J. Valencia, The Boston Globe): [read the article]


– “New York’s Climate Law Reveals Potential Challenges for Biden’s Plan” (Amelia Murray-Cooper, Climate XChange): [read the article]

– “Hydropower project faces new challenge” (Christian M. Wade, The Salem News): [read the article]

– “In Las Vegas, hotter days will impact lower-income, Black and Brown residents the most” (Ysabelle Kempe, Climate XChange): [read the article]

– “Illinois Poised to Provide a Climate Action Model for Other States” (Eric Jjemba, Climate XChange): [read the article]

– “Executive Order Positions Oregon for Statewide Climate Action” (Zac Pinard, Climate XChange): [read the article]


– “How to Tell if Joe Biden Is Hiring the Right People to Address the Climate Crisis” (Dharna Noor, Earther): [read the article]

– “Kerry’s climate job scrambles Biden’s org chart” (Natasha Bertrand and Nahal Toosi, Politico): [read the article]

– “Trump’s Last-Ditch Efforts to Stifle Climate Action and Clean Energy” (Christian Morris, Climate XChange): [read the article]

Featured Image: Photo by Mark Boss via Unsplash