Mass Power Forward Coalition Passes Clean Energy Law in Massachusetts
This summer, Toxics Action Center Campaigns worked in Massachusetts to pass a law promoting clean energy in our state.
Throughout the two-year legislative session, we mobilized hundreds of grassroots groups through Mass Power Forward, the clean energy coalition we co-coordinate. This summer alone, hundreds of people wrote letters, made calls and visited their representatives. Hundreds more rallied at the State House to demand the changes we need to protect our health and save our climate.
The law includes some important steps forward. We won a significant increase in renewable energy by raising the Renewable Portfolio Standard, which controls how much renewable energy our state is required to use, from 1 percent to 2 percent for 10 years starting in 2020. Our state will see more clean energy from wind power, as the law authorizes an increase in offshore wind. The law also authorizes an increase in energy storage that will help us decrease our reliance on fracked gas.
But the law still doesn’t go far enough to protect our health and climate.
The Mass Power Forward coalition focused on enacting justice in our energy work this session, but this law doesn’t include our top priorities. We still need to reduce barriers to solar energy so that poor communities and renters can benefit from environmental progress. And we still need to make environmental justice law so that people of color and poor communities aren’t disproportionately burdened with environmental harms.
The law also doesn’t go far enough on renewables. We need more clean energy to meet our climate goals and policies to stop new fossil fuel projects, including a ban on public subsidies for fracked gas pipelines.
This work isn’t over. Three years ago, we co-founded the Mass Power Forward coalition to work for clean energy, green jobs and a just transition away from fossil fuels statewide. Today, the coalition is more than 150 community groups strong and more committed than ever to winning the change we know we need.
So now, we’re planning for what’s next. This summer, we came together to gather lessons from this session and strategize for our next steps. Together, the Mass Power Forward coalition has made big strides for clean energy and we’re planning to accomplish even more. We can’t afford to stop if we want to protect our health and our climate—so we won’t.