BOSTON – 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.
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.
For the bill to become law, Gov. Baker must take action by August 1.
Ben Hellerstein, state director of Environment Massachusetts, said:
“There’s a lot to like in this bill. 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.”
Johanna Neumann, senior director of Environment America’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, said:
“Now is a time for leadership. 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 step in 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.”
Jess Nahigian, state political director for Sierra Club Massachusetts, said:
“This bill takes important first steps towards achieving essential state climate goals. With deadly heat already impacting millions across the United States, the next couple of years are critical to accelerating our use of clean, renewable energy and running it through our buildings, cars, and transit. This bill begins to do just that while creating good jobs for Massachusetts residents in the process. We urge the Governor to rapidly sign this bipartisan legislation into law.”
Janet Domenitz, executive director of MASSPIRG, said:
“It’s not often you get a win-win-win, but this bill does exactly that: it gives us a cleaner environment, better choices for consumers and a way to improve public health through cleaner, greener sources of energy and transportation.”
Leigh-Anne Cole, acting executive director of Community Action Works, said:
“We know that environmental threats are big, but the power of well-organized community groups is even bigger. Communities from the Berkshires to New Bedford to Salem and more have been clamoring for reduction of greenhouse emissions that are eroding our beaches, causing droughts, threatening our fisheries and disturbing our forests and wetlands as well as harming our health. The show of support from community members and local groups should serve as a strong message to Governor Baker.”