Boston – Today, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold public hearings in Boston and Lakeville on recently proposed regulations under the Global Warming Solutions Act. The Global Warming Solutions Act requires Massachusetts to reduce its global warming emissions by 80 percent by 2050.
Meghan Hassett, Global Warming Campaign Organizer for the Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center, issued the following statement:
"The proposed regulations are a promising step to cut carbon pollution and meet Massachusetts’ commitments under the Global Warming Solutions Act. But the Commonwealth must go further.
Massachusetts is already experiencing climate change, from record droughts to king tide flooding, and our dependence on dirty energy is contributing to asthma and other health problems.
The good news is that a future powered by 100 percent clean, renewable energy is within reach. But in order to get there, the Department of Environmental Protection must strengthen the regulations discussed today to cut pollution from the power sector and gas pipelines. The DEP should also extend these regulations beyond 2020 and establish rules to address emissions from transportation and heating, in order to ensure the state will meet its legal requirement to reduce global warming pollution by 80 percent by 2050.
Imagine how much more we can do to address climate change and improve our health with strong economy-wide emission regulations under the Global Warming Solutions Act. When it comes to fighting climate change, Massachusetts has the responsibility to go above and beyond and set an example for the rest of the country to follow. We can and should take advantage of every opportunity to cut emissions and embrace 100 percent renewable energy."
The proposed regulations come in response to a Supreme Judicial Court ruling in May, which required the DEP to issue regulations limiting emissions in order to meet the goals of the Global Warming Solutions Act.
In recent years, Massachusetts has made progress in cutting global warming pollution from the power sector, while also bringing major health benefits to the state. Since its inception, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a program established by Massachusetts and eight other northeastern states, has halved power plant pollution in our region. The health benefits from cutting pollution with RGGI are huge, with over 8,000 asthma attacks prevented and 5.7 billion dollars in health savings in our region as well.
Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center, a statewide environmental advocacy nonprofit, is testifying at the public hearings to urge the Department of Environmental Protection to strengthen the proposed regulations and accelerate the transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.
The Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center is dedicated to protecting Massachusetts’ air, water and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help Bay Staters make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives.