Before the backdrop of the State House golden dome, environmental advocates and legislators gathered on Tuesday calling on Gov. Charlie Baker to sign a climate bill into law.
“There’s a lot to like in this bill,” said Ben Hellerstein, state director of Environment Massachusetts. “It will require the owners of large office and apartment buildings to disclose the amount of energy their buildings use each year. This will help to identify the biggest opportunities for energy efficiency improvements. The bill will also ensure that all new cars sold in Massachusetts are electric by 2035. And it will allow up to ten cities and towns to require new buildings to be built with clean, all-electric heating and appliances, paving the way to safer, healthier homes and businesses for all of us. This bill could be the defining piece of Gov. Baker’s climate legacy. I hope he’ll do the right thing and sign it into law.”
The House and Senate voted to approve the bill (H.5060) last week, a day after President Joe Biden visited Somerset to speak about the need for, and his commitment to, clean energy to combat climate change.
“Now is a time for leadership,” said Johanna Neumann, senior director of Environment America’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy. “Drought is shriveling up our state from Pittsfield to Provincetown. Extreme weather like this will become more frequent and intense unless we act quickly to reduce the pollution that’s warming our planet. With Congress paralyzed on climate action, states must fill the void and take action to cut pollution and advance renewable energy. Signing this bill into law means cleaner air and a more stable climate for our kids. Signing it also signifies real political leadership in a time of need. Governor Baker: Please lead on climate and sign the bill.”
For the bill to become law, Gov. Baker must take action by August 1.
Senior Director, Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, Environment America
Johanna directs strategy and staff for Environment America's energy campaigns at the local, state and national level. In her prior positions, she led the campaign to ban smoking in all Maryland workplaces, helped stop the construction of a new nuclear reactor on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and helped build the support necessary to pass the EmPOWER Maryland Act, which set a goal of reducing the state’s per capita electricity use by 15 percent. She also currently serves on the board of Community Action Works. Johanna lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her family, where she enjoys growing dahlias, biking and the occasional game of goaltimate.