Legislative Agenda 2017-2018

The Mass Power Forward coalition is pleased to announce our 2017-2018 legislative agenda. Download the agenda here.

Our progress to date should be celebrated, but it’s clear that we cannot rest on our laurels. In 2017, Massachusetts needs to be bolder than ever on climate and energy policy. We are still falling behind states like HI, NY and CA that have committed to at least 50% clean energy by 2050 and taken steps toward 100% renewable power. At the national level, we’re facing an unprecedented attack on critical laws that protect our climate and environment, making leadership at the state level more vital than ever.

As a coalition, we are calling for bold and historic commitments to clean energy over the coming legislative session. At the same time, we need to make sure that we continue to reduce  our use of fossil fuels and support communities in the transition from dirty energy and towards clean power.

 

Energy Justice and Equity

Solar Access for All:  Mass Power Forward urges the legislature to ensure all communities can benefit from solar energy. This legislation ensures fair compensation to low-income solar and to community shared solar net metering with a minimum threshold of low-moderate income customers, incentivizes projects that expand access to communities facing barriers, and directs the Department of Energy Resources to address barriers like income, housing type and language in their program design.  

 

Environmental Justice (EJ): EJ is based on the principle that all people have a right to be protected from environmental pollution and to live in and enjoy a clean and healthful environment. EJ is the equal protection and meaningful involvement of all people with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws. We support codifying environmental justice definitions and protections into law as this law would do, and altering the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act to incorporate environmental justice concerns into its reviews.

 

Community Empowerment: H1745/S1834, Rep. Haddad/Sen. Cyr - Enables municipalities to contract directly with renewable energy projects. Bill endorsed by former Chair of Department of Public Utilities.

 

Accelerating Renewable Energy

Mass Power Forward supports movement toward 100% renewable energy and achieving at least 50% clean energy by 2030. To do so, we must accelerate the Renewable Portfolio Standard by at least 3% each year, driving demand for renewable power and growing our local clean energy industries.

We also support eliminating the solar net metering caps and incorporating municipal light plants into the state’s clean energy goals.

Ramping Down on Fossil Fuels

We cheered the August ruling by the MA SJC that pipeline taxes are illegal, but we know the fight against new gas pipelines is not over. We support bills by Rep. Kulik and Senator Eldridge to ensure the public’s ability to intervene at the DPU and hold local distribution gas contracts to high standards regarding the capacity they are allowed to buy. We also support legislation filed by Sen. Jehlen and Rep. Gordon to ensure that electric and gas consumers can never be forced to subsidize new interstate gas pipelines.

 

Just Transition at Pilgrim Nuclear

We support efforts by legislators on the Cape and South Shore to (a.) require the owner/operators of any existing or future nuclear reactor in the Commonwealth to pay into a post-closure trust fund until decommissioning is complete so these activities will not end up being paid for by Massachusetts taxpayers, (b.) expanding the Emergency Planning Zone beyond the current 10 mile radius, and (c.) requiring licensee to maintain offsite emergency management until removal of all spent fuel from cooling pool.

 

Other Supported Policies and Legislation:

  1. Comprehensive Energy Legislation: S1880, S479 and H.2149, Sen. Pacheco, Rep. Smizik - Mass Power Forward supports comprehensive proposals to expand the RPS, solar, offshore wind, storage, grid modernization, plan for climate adaptation, set binding 2030 and 2040 climate targets and provide for nuclear decommissioning

  2. Carbon Pricing: Mass Power Forward supports pricing carbon emissions to reflect the cost to society from climate and public health damages, and the coalition will prioritize equitable investment and rebate programs that protect consumers and encourage communities to thrive regardless of income, geography, density or dependency on transportation.

  3. Modernize the Electric Grid, H1725/S1875, Rep. Benson/Sen. Pacheco - Mass Power Forward supports policies that modernize our electric grid, prioritize local clean energy over expensive transmission, & protect consumers.