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Mass. Senate ‘Clean Energy Future’ report seeks smorgasbord of climate change solutions  

Credit:  By Mary C. Serreze, Special to The Republican | January 30, 2018 | www.masslive.com ~~

BOSTON – The people of Massachusetts want more renewable energy, a price on carbon, climate adaptation, natural gas leak repair, electric transportation, environmental justice, and an end to new fossil fuel infrastructure, according to the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change.

The committee expects to issue “a substantial piece of legislation” in the coming days to reflect those priorities, said Sen. Marc R. Pacheco, D-Taunton.

The recommendations appear in a “Massachusetts Clean Energy Future” report released Monday by the committee following ten listening sessions held in communities across the state.

During the sessions, people “made their desire clear for a cleaner and more environmentally friendly Massachusetts,” said Senate President Harriette L. Chandler in a statement. She said the report will serve as a “public policy blueprint” in pursuing “a clean energy future for all.”

“This report shows us the priorities of Massachusetts citizens, and they couldn’t have been clearer,” said Pacheco. “We need to increase our renewable energy, cut down on carbon emissions, protect our public health and fortify our state against the severe effects of climate change.”

It’s unlikely any omnibus clean energy bill will sail through the Legislature unscathed. Stephen Dodge, executive director of the Massachusetts Petroleum Council, on Monday derided the report and said its authors “cherry-picked misleading data” to back their assertions.

“Consumers deserve straight talk from the Massachusetts Senate, not a bogus, biased report that could have been written before their questionable ‘listening tour,'” said Dodge. He said the state needs more natural gas pipeline capacity, not less, to ensure grid reliability and keep prices down.

The role of natural gas in the state’s energy future has been hotly contested in recent years. The Senate report comes as Massachusetts readies to import large amounts of offshore wind and Canadian hydropower to slash its carbon emissions.

Tour listening sessions were held in Mashpee, Sudbury, Melrose, Taunton, Weymouth, Springfield, Pittsfield, Danvers, Winthrop and Groton.

Source:  By Mary C. Serreze, Special to The Republican | January 30, 2018 | www.masslive.com

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