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 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.

Accelerate the Renewable Portfolio Standard: Mass Power Forward supports increasing the Renewable Portfolio Standard by 3% each year, driving demand for renewable power and growing our local clean energy industries. We also support a statewide solar target of 25% solar by 2030. Additionally, we support a proposal by Rep. Khan to accelerate the RPS by 2% per year while incorporating municipal light plants into the state’s clean energy goals.

  • HD2157/SD1632 An act relative to solar power and the green economy - Rep. Mark / Sen. Eldridge
  • HD2103/SD1372 An Act to Increase the RPS and Ensure Compliance with the GWSA - Rep. Khan / Sen. Pacheco
     

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.

  • HD3418/SD841 An Act relative to solar power in environmental justice and urban communities Reps. Holmes / Sen. Chang-Diaz
     

Keep Ramping Down on Fossil Fuels: We cheered the August ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court that pipeline taxes are illegal, but we know the fight against new gas pipelines is not over. We support legislation filed 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.

  • HD3204/SD1727 An act clarifying authority and responsibilities of the department of public utilities - Rep. Kulik / Sen. Eldridge
  • HD2527/SD1674 An Act protecting ratepayers from gas pipeline expansion costs - Sen. Jehlen / Rep. Gordon

 

Environmental Justice: (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.

  • HD3117/SD1956 An Act relative to environmental justice and toxics reduction in the Commonwealth - Rep. Dubois / Sen. Eldridge

 

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.

  • SD1222 An Act relative to the prompt decommissioning of nuclear power stations - Sen. deMacedo - Plymouth
  • HD149    An Act increasing nuclear power plant protections to a twenty mile radius - Rep. Cantwell - Marshfield
  • HD59    An Act relative to radiological emergency response funds - Rep. Cutler - Duxbury
     

Other Supported Legislation:

  1. Comprehensive Energy Legislation: SD2049, Sen. Pacheco - Expands RPS, solar, offshore wind, storage, grid modernization, climate adaptation, and sets binding 2030 and 2040 climate targets

  2. Community Empowerment: HD74/SD1294, Rep. Haddad/Sen. Cyr - Enable municipalities to contract directly with renewable energy projects. Bill endorsed by former Chair of Department of Public Utilities.

  3. Modernize the Electric Grid, HD1497/SD.1371, Rep. Benson/Sen. Pacheco - Modernize electric grid, prioritize local clean energy over expensive transmission, & enact new consumer protections  

  4. Stop Charging Customers for Lost Gas: HD2253/SD1113, Rep. Barber/Sen. Eldridge - Minimize or eliminate consumer charges for lost and unaccounted for gas, as has been done in Texas, Pennsylvania and numerous other states.