Federal energy policies with a new president in the White House may be in for a bumpy ride, according to many environmental groups, but the State of Massachusetts is headed for a clean slate with a law mandating 100 percent of all electricity be generated by renewable sources by 2035, a state-wide advocacy group announced.
Environment Massachusetts announced they had launched a campaign to whip up support for bill SD. 1932, HD. 3357), filed by State Senator Jamie Eldridge and State Representatives Sean Garballey and Marjorie Decker that would mandate the nation’s toughest carbon-free goals in the country. All other energy sectors in the state, such as heating and transportation, would need to switch to renewable power by 2050, according to the law that already has 53 co-sponsors in the House and the Senate.
That’s more than a quarter of all the members of the state’s legislative bodies, the group noted.
“Massachusetts has been a leader on alternative energy policy for over a decade, and now with federal assaults on efforts to combat climate change, it will be up to individual states to protect the environment and health interests of the public,” said State Senator Eldridge, D-Acton.
“Massachusetts, more than ever, needs to be a leader on energy policy,” the senator said. While the bill that seems likely to pass would be the first of its kind for a state, EcoWatch noted this week that Pueblo, Colo., and Moab, Utah, this week became the 22nd and 23rd U.S. cities to pass 100 percent carbon-free energy laws.
On Tuesday, the Moab City Council approved a law committing the city to renewable energy sources by 2032. This occurred a day after Pueblo City’s council approved a target of 100 percent renewable power by 2035, committing the city to a path towards all wind and solar power.
The victory for environmentalists is also a victory for social economics, as more than 7,000 people in Pueblo live without any electricity, having had their service cut off due to high costs. “Pueblo, for example, has a sizable low-income population that has been suffering from the high cost of electricity due to the local utilities’ decision to build a new gas infrastructure and saddles the cost with ratepayers,” EcoWatch said.