CABA’s Executive Director Michael Green was recently featured in Commonwealth Magazine:
MASSACHUSETTS HAS BEEN A CASE STUDY for the positive relationship between economic growth, renewable energy procurement, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction. As a leading state on climate change policy, Massachusetts set bold greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, while supporting strong energy efficiency programs and a robust renewable energy procurement strategy. While this has made Massachusetts the nation’s leading state on progressive climate policy, the policies in place will not be enough to reach the state’s own mandates on greenhouse gas reductions. Currently the State House is debating an important renewable energy procurement bill focused on offshore wind and hydroelectric power. Solar legislation that passed in April left many unanswered questions, and left the growing solar industry in the state looking for clearer answers. The current “omnibus” legislation voted on by the House continues this patchwork approach, providing lukewarm support to a promising offshore wind industry, while not going far enough to make Massachusetts offshore wind as cost-competitive as it could be.
There are two crucial flaws in the current approach to reaching long-term emissions reduction: general market uncertainty and a lack of focus on the transportation sector, which at 40 percent represents a significant component of the Commonwealth’s GHG emissions. A cleaner and much simpler solution to both problems is to put an economy-wide cost on GHG emissions in the state, thereby providing incentives to all market participants to reduce such emissions and shift towards cleaner technologies.