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Massachusetts Bill Wants 100 Percent Renewable Energy By 2035

This might be a message to the president.

by Madison Margolin
Jan 25 2017, 7:50pm

Image: MaxPixel

In President Trump's America, all mention of climate change may already be taboo in the White House, but the state of Massachusetts wants to rely totally on renewable energy resources by 2035.

Three state lawmakers in Massachusetts proposed a bill that would mandate that the state shift to 100 percent renewable energy within the next 18 years. The bill also mandates that by 2050, the state phase out the use of fossil fuels from the heating and transportation sectors, and instead require them to run on renewable energy like wind or solar power.

This is not the first time the state of Massachusetts has attempted to reduce its carbon footprint. The Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act already mandates a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. And the state also provides incentives to residents to use wind energy or solar power.

"As President Donald Trump takes office, this bill sends a clear message to officials in DC: Massachusetts is determined to keep moving forward on clean energy," said Ben Hellerstein, state director for Environment Massachusetts, an advocacy group.

According to his "America First Energy Plan," Trump pledges to do away with Obama's Climate Action Plan, which aimed to reduce carbon emissions to address climate change. Trump's plan states that he wants to save the coal industry, permit application for the Keystone Pipeline, lift moratoriums on energy production in federal areas, and revoke policies that impose "unwarranted" restrictions on drilling.

Representative Sean Garballey, one of the bill's sponsors, called the measure a "bold step" to put the state on a "path to a cleaner and more sustainable future." Garballey added that eliminating the use of fossil fuels could lead to job creation, as well as health and environmental benefits. "More importantly, it signals to the country our commitment to long-term solutions in meeting the very real challenges of climate change," he said.

If the bill passes, Massachusetts' Department of Energy Resource would set targets to meet carbon-free energy requirements in major economic sectors to make sure the state stays on track for its 2050 goal.

The bill would also increase Massachusetts' renewable portfolio standard, a policy requiring that utilities purchase a certain amount of their electricity from wind, solar, or other renewable resources.

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