Friday, September 16, 2016

Governor Baker Supports My Energy Plan in His Executive Order on Climate Change

I was invited to speak at and witness a State House signing ceremony at which Governor Charlie Baker signed an Executive Order which directs his administration’s new Climate Change Strategy.

I have repeatedly sought passage of legislation requiring Massachusetts to have a comprehensive energy plan that is revised every five years. With the retirement of thousands of megawatts of electric generation, and the need to meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, our state must have a comprehensive plan to meet projected demand with environmentally sound, reliable and cost-effective supply. I was pleased that the Governor incorporated in his order vital elements of my proposal.

This critical provision for energy planning will make a real difference in the way the state deals with meeting its demand for electricity and other related issues.

The executive order doesn’t have the force of law, but it will jumpstart the process of putting together this plan that we need. Importantly, it will bring together the many resources of state government, and coordinate a serious effort to focus on our energy consumption and emissions, energy needs and the best way to manage them.

Most recently, I worked with Senator Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) to secure an amendment in the senate version of the comprehensive energy bill passed by the legislature and signed into law by Baker on August 8, 2016. Unfortunately, the comprehensive energy plan component was not a part of the final version of the bill.

We must not wait until the lights are flickering to plan for electricity generation and transmission. And today the governor took a big step towards lowering our greenhouse gas emissions and raising the likelihood that we can responsibly secure our future energy needs.