June 18th Roundup: AG Maura Healey Wants Companies to Disclose Financial Risks of Climate Change

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– Hearings begin next week on pollution, local energy bills (Tim Cronin): Even as statehouse leaders work through how to open the legislature back up, bills focused on indoor and outdoor pollution as well as local energy are getting public committee hearings, albeit online.

A pair of bills (H.2230/S.1447), supported by GreenRoots and CLF, and other groups, focuses on improving outdoor and indoor air quality for communities burdened by transportation pollution is getting a hearing at 10 am on Tuesday (6/22) before the Joint Public Health committee. The bill forces the state to identify air pollution hotspots, requires communities to install filters in schools and other buildings, and updates mold remediation rules.

Also at 10 am on Tuesday (6/22) is a hearing before the Joint Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy Committee focused on bills with impacts on municipalities. It includes multiple bills focused around municipal light plants and green communities. Both committees are hearing testimony virtually, with proceedings live-streamed on the statehouse website.


– “Muni Matters: PAC Thinking Small with Light Board Endorsements” (Meg McIntyre, SHNS) “In the 41 Bay State communities that own and operate their own energy utilities through municipal light plants, it’s not uncommon for light board elections to go uncontested. In 2017, for example, the light commission race in Marblehead drew only one candidate for two open seats… The Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund, which has endorsed two of the hopefuls running in Marblehead this year, is trying to change that. The group began dipping its toes into municipal light board races in 2019, and is now actively recruiting local candidates and providing them with training and support for the campaign trail.” [Paywall]

– “Massachusetts Communities Think Globally, Act Locally on Climate Change” (Holland & Knight, via JD Supra): [read the article]


– “Green Investments Chart a Path Forward, Here’s How Communities Stand to Benefit” by Ruby Wincele, via Climate XChange

– “Less driving = better lives” by Sen. Edward Markey and John Stout, via Commonwealth Magazine

– “Mass. should set 100% clean energy mandate” by Jen Benson, president of the Alliance for Business Leadership, and Peter Rothstein, president of the Northeast Clean Energy Council, via Commonwealth Magazine

– “Transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is necessary, inevitable” by Marty Nathan, Springfield Climate Justice Coalition, via MassLive

– “The American Jobs Plan – good for the environment and economy” by Elizabeth Turnbull Henry, president, Environmental League of Massachusetts, and Steven A. Tolman, president, Massachusetts AFL-CIO, via MassLive


– AG Healey Wants Companies to Disclose Financial Risks of Climate Change (Christian Morris): Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has joined a coalition of states calling for enhanced disclosure of businesses’ financial risks from climate change. Attorneys general from 11 U.S. states — California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Wisconsin — sent a letter to the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) urging them to “mandate with clarity and specificity that companies must assess climate change-related risks affecting their businesses and disclose that information to investors.”

The AGs highlight the immense risks the climate crisis poses to our financial system, and the potential for “systemic shocks to financial markets that imperil investor holdings.” The coalition is requesting the SEC mandate companies’ report their greenhouse emissions and efforts to reduce them; report the impacts of climate change and climate regulation; disclose corporate governance and risk management as they pertain to climate change.

In a statement, AG Healey says, “The climate crisis threatens serious financial harm for U.S. companies, financial markets, and the investments our residents have made to fund their retirements or pay for their children’s college.” [read more]


– “Boston City Councilor Wants Big Buildings To Become Carbon Neutral” (Simón Rios, WBUR): [read the article]

– “Chelsea Residents Already Fight For Clean Air, Green Space — And Now, Protection From Rising Seas” (Roseann Bongiovanni, WBUR): [read the article]

– “Climate change, environment key focus of mayoral forum in Holyoke” (Dusty Christensen, Daily Hampshire Gazette): [read the article]

– “The [Somerville] Council of Energy Use and Climate Change (CEUCC) discusses strategy and policy” (Rachael Hines, The Somerville Times): [read the article]

– “Climate: The Problem, The Path, and a Plan for Medfield” (Colleen M. Sullivan, Patch): [read the article]


– “As Sea Levels Rise in Boston, Stormwater May Have Nowhere To Go” (Miriam Wasser, Earthwhile): [read the article]

– “Seeking to improve accessibility and safety, DCR unveils plan for parkways” (Kate Lusignan, Boston Globe): [read the article]

– “A Conversation With Historian Nancy Seasholes About Landmaking In Boston” (Barbara Moran, Earthwhile): [read the article]

– “Marion Fire Department Awarded Over $20,000 in State Grant Funding to Protect Local Coastline from Oil Spills” (Marion Fire Department): [read the release]

– “8 Wellfleet restaurants to recycle oyster shells” (Denise Coffey, Cape Cod Times): [read the article]

– “30 years of Baywatchers: Meet the volunteers helping to monitor Buzzards Bay” (Anastasia E. Lennon, Standard-Times): [read the article]


– “Massachusetts group tests new model for solar on affordable housing projects” (Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network): [read the article]


– “The Blue Line Was Named For Boston Harbor. Now The Sea Threatens The Service” (Simón Rios, Earthwhile): [read the article]

– “The Seaport Cost Billions To Build. What Will It Take To Save It?” (Jesse Remedios, Earthwhile): [read the article]

– “The 1-2-3s Of Boston’s Rising Sea Level” (Earthwhile): [read the article]

– “Boston’s Commuter Rail System Vulnerable To Climate Change” (Jan Wesner Childs, The Weather Channel): [read the article]


– “Big Shifts Finally Shaking Up Big Oil” (Maria Virginia Olano, Climate XChange): [read the article]



– “Fort Point Channel Sculptures Model How High The Water Could Rise In The City” (Shira Laucharoen, The ARTery via WBUR): [read the article]


– “It’s not easy being green in Massachusetts, but here’s how.” (Jon Gorey, Boston Globe): [read the article] 


– “Biden’s Energy Department Pick Seen As Staunch Environmental Justice Advocate” (Jeff Brady, NPR via WBUR): [read the article]


– “In a Climate Emergency, Pennsylvania City Wants to Stop Burning Your Trash” (Greg Casto, Climate XChange): [read the article]

Featured Image: Photo by Joanne DeCaro via Flickr