BEACON HILL HAPPENINGS
– Senate releases updated climate bill, rejects major revisions from Governor Baker (Tim Cronin): Late Wednesday night (3/10), Senate leaders released an updated version of the Next Generation Roadmap climate bill (S.30). The bill largely rejects the Governor’s major proposed changes to the bill, including ones to set the state’s 2030 emissions target at 45% (as opposed to the 50% the legislature wants) and his attempts to weaken proposed net-zero building codes. Despite this, the new version does include some technical changes. [Read more about changes in the latest version of the bill from the SHNS (via 22WWLP) here].
– Senate Republican leader blocks voting on climate bill (Tim Cronin): In an unexpected move yesterday (3/11), Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) made a procedural motion that delayed voting on the Next Generation Roadmap climate change bill (S.30). The bill was expected to be passed yesterday by the Senate, and then passed by the House as soon as this Wednesday. During a speech, Leader Tarr publicly stated that he made the motion because he objected to the timing of the bill’s release.
According to Senate rules, any senator has the right to make a motion to “lay on the table” a bill, which other Senators can not formally object to. Senator Tarr used this motion, meaning that the debate on the bill (and therefore voting on it) would be moved to the next scheduled formal session of the Senate. In a comment to the SHNS (via MetroWest Daily News) President “Spilka spokesman Antonio Caban said the plan was for the Senate to meet next on Monday in a formal session”, meaning the climate bill would be voted on by the Senate then.
In a statement on Twitter, Senate President Spilka said, “I am profoundly disappointed that the Republican caucus in the Senate is stopping the NextGen Roadmap climate bill from being debated and passed today. The majority of the @MA_Senate remains prepared to take swift action on this bill.” Meanwhile, moments after Leader Tarr blocked the vote, Speaker Mariano tweeted out “The House stands ready to act!”.
– Biomass opponents urge support for two legislative efforts (Tim Cronin): The Springfield Climate Justice Coalition has announced their endorsement of two new bills introduced by Senator Eric Lesser, Senator Adam Gomez, Rep. Orlando Ramos, and Rep. Jay Livingstone. The goal of the bills is to ensure that the state’s renewable energy subsidies are directed “toward truly clean energy resources and not to polluting power plants in environmental justice communities”. See the bill numbers and more information on them here.
– “There’s no time to waste — Baker, Legislature must enact the climate bill” by Mindy Lubber, CEO and president of Ceres, via Boston Globe
– “Palmer Renewable Energy can’t greenwash its emissions away” by Mary S. Booth, Director of Partnership for Policy Integrity
– “Massachusetts 2050: A Warming State” (Caeli Chesin, Amherst Wire): [read the article]
LOCAL CLIMATE POLITICS
– “Why Michelle Wu Wants To Bring A Green New Deal To Boston” (Eoin Higgins, The Appeal): [read the article]
– “Debate over Taunton gasification plant heats up” (Susannah Sudborough, Taunton Gazette): [read the article]
– “Arlington Sets 30-Year Plan To Reduce Greenhouse Gases To Zero” (Alex Newman, Patch): [read the article]
OUR LOCAL ENVIRONMENT
– “Pesticide limitation seen as victory in bee protection movement” (Katie Lannan, SHNS via WWLP): [read the article]
– “AG’s office backs legality of executive sessions on ‘Rest of River’ cleanup deal” (Larry Parnass, Berkshire Eagle): [read the article]
– “Researchers Find Previously Undetected ‘Forever Chemicals’ In Cape Cod Waters” (Eve Zuckoff, WGBH): [read the article]
– “Researchers, legislators collaborate to reduce effects of sea level rise in Boston” (Saya Ameli Hajebi, Tufts University via Prevention Web): [read the article]
GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE
– “International Climate Policy and John Kerry’s New Role in President Biden’s Administration” (Katie Yared, Climate XChange): [read the article]
– “Listening To The Forest For Clues About Climate Change” (Annie Ropeik, New Hampshire Public Radio via Earthwhile): [read the article]
THE GREEN ECONOMY
– “In Massachusetts, utility’s community solar plan leaves developers skeptical” (Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network): [read the article]
– “Finding work in the green energy sector” (Pam Kelly, The Recorder): [read the article]
THE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT
– “Legal fight to stop PCB dump in Lee works to leverage EPA’s own earlier opposition” (Larry Parnass, Berkshire Eagle): [read the article]
– “A better forecast for ‘climate tech’” (Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe): [read the article]
– Biden Administration completes environmental review of proposed Vineyard Wind project (Christian Morris): This past week, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and Office of Renewable Energy Programs issued its completed environmental review of Vineyard Wind’s proposed offshore wind project off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. The project would deliver 800 megawatts worth of renewable energy to the New England region — enough to deliver electricity to 400,000 homes — and would aid in meeting Massachusetts clean energy and emissions reduction goals. Vineyard Wind’s project still requires further approval before they can move forward with developing the offshore wind farm, but with a new administration eager to boost clean energy, the firm is hopeful that 2021 will “be a momentous year for our project and the broader offshore wind industry.” [read more]
– State to urge future offshore wind projects to be bigger, consider equity: According to reporting from WBUR reporter Miriam Wasser, Massachusetts has made some notable changes to its offshore wind procurement requirements. In a Tweet, Wasser explains that this means, “the next offshore wind project in MA could be really big, and it’s developer will need a diversity, equity and inclusion plan that spells out (and tracks) how it will make sure minority groups and those most impacted by pollution and climate change benefit.”
– “Biden administration moves forward on Vineyard Wind” (Bruce Mohl, Commonwealth Magazine): [read the article]
– “Biden accused of playing politics on Vineyard Wind” (Bruce Mohl, Commonwealth Magazine): [read the article]
– “Washington Cap-and-Invest Bill Gets Through Committee” (Zac Pinard, Climate XChange): [read the article]
Missed the last CXC Roundup? Here are the top three climate headlines from the previous weeks:
- Mariano signals NextGen Roadmap climate bill won’t change much
- Climate activists meet with lawmakers as part of Mass Power Forward lobby day
- Andrea Campbell releases climate justice plan
Read the full Roundup here from March 5th, 2021 here.