Environment Massachusetts launches grassroots push for clean energy in final months of legislative session

BOSTON – With less than three months until the state Legislature concludes its formal sessions, environmental advocates announced Tuesday that they are launching a major grassroots campaign backing a bill that will transition Massachusetts to clean energy for electricity, heating and transportation.

“We can power our lives without polluting our air and water, harming our health, or changing our climate,” said Ben Hellerstein, state director for Environment Massachusetts. “As the end of the legislative session approaches, we want to send a clear message to state officials: Your job isn’t done until you pass legislation that puts Massachusetts on track to 100% clean energy.”

Environment Massachusetts will mobilize the public in support of the 100% Clean Act (H.3288, S.2136), filed by state Reps. Marjorie Decker and Sean Garballey. This bill will require Massachusetts to generate 100% of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2035, set a deadline to phase out the sale of gas-powered cars in favor of electric vehicles, and require new homes and businesses to be built with clean, electric heating.

The campaign, which will include door-to-door canvassing and telephone outreach, as well as advertisements on social media, is expected to generate thousands of emails and phone calls to state legislators.

In April, the University of Massachusetts Amherst announced one of the strongest commitments to clean energy of any U.S. university. Under the university’s plans, 100% of the energy used on campus will come from renewable sources by 2032. That will include replacing the campus’ steam heating system with clean technologies, such as geothermal and solar thermal heating.

“The university’s commitment to 100% renewable energy shows that a rapid transition off of fossil fuels is possible,” said Caroline Sunuwar, a sophomore at UMass Amherst and the 100% Renewable Energy Campaign Coordinator with MASSPIRG Students. “If Massachusetts’ flagship university can use clean energy from the sun, the wind and the ground to heat its buildings and keep the lights on, so can the Commonwealth as a whole.”

So far, nine states — including Massachusetts’ neighbors Maine and New York — have passed laws setting timelines to use only 100% clean energy sources, rather than fossil fuels, for their electric power.

The 2021–2022 legislative session ends on July 31.