Fact Sheet: Upcoming Transportation Emissions Listening Tour
Prep yourself to give input at the Baker Administration’s upcoming transportation sector emissions listening tour, beginning on October 31st. Here’s what you need to know.
State emissions mandates mean Massachusetts must drastically reduce transportation sector emissions in the coming decades.
- The Baker administration is hosting a series of public listening sessions to gather input on the best way to reduce transportation emissions.
- Two carbon pricing bills before the legislature are an efficient way to achieve lower transportation and heating sector emissions.
If you’d like to attend a listening session in person, see the bottom of this page for the schedule. If you can’t make it, you can submit written comments here.
State Emission Mandates
- The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008 (GWSA) set an 80% emissions reduction requirement for Massachusetts by the year 2050.
- To stay on track to reach the mandated 80% cut in GHG emissions by 2050, the state must cut emissions at least 45% below 1990 levels by 2030.
- Assuming we will reach our 2020 mandate, we still must cut an additional 20% of emissions between 2020 and 2030.
GHG Emissions in Massachusetts: A Brief History
- Most of emissions reductions to date have come from the electricity sector, where Massachusetts has the most well-developed policies.
- Emissions in the electricity sector have dropped 65% (from 1990 levels) since 2008, and are now only 18% of our total emissions.
- Examples of these policies include:
- Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS)
- Energy efficiency programs for electricity
- Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
- Currently the transportation sector accounts for the largest share of carbon emissions in the state, with heating of buildings and industrial use a close second.
- In 2014 (the most recent figures available), 39% of state GHG emissions came from transportation and 33% from heating and industrial use.
- Massachusetts policies in transportation and in heating/industry are far less developed than in electricity, and will need to be focused on if the state is to achieve the large emissions cuts required by the GWSA.
- The Baker-Polito administration is aware of this, but is focusing only on transportation for the listening tour.
Carbon Pricing: The Best Solution
- The most powerful policy to cut emissions is an economy-wide price on carbon pollution, focused mainly on fuel used in transportation and heating.
- Massachusetts carbon pricing bills S.1821 and H.1726 are an effective and efficient means of reducing emissions in transportation and heating.
- Putting a price on carbon pollution can do two things:
- Establish a price incentive to cut fossil fuel use.
- Provide funds to invest in measures that will yield emissions cuts — such as mass transit, electric vehicle infrastructure, and efficiency and renewable energy in buildings. (H.1726 reinvests 20% of the fees into a Green Infrastructure Fund, yielding about $400 million a year for these types of projects when the carbon price matures)
How to Participate in the Listening Tour
- If you are interested in submitting written comments you can do it via this link.
- To have the most impact, consider attending a listening session and speaking in support of carbon pricing as a tool to cut transportation sector emissions.
- The four listening tours scheduled are:
- Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 9:00am, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA (register here)
- Thursday, November 2, 2017, 6:00pm, MassDEP Central Region Office, 8 New Bond Street, Worcester, MA (No Registration Required)
- Monday, November 6, 2017, 11:00am, UMass-Amherst, Student Union – Cape Cod Lounge, 280 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA (register here)
- Thursday, November 9, 2017, 6:00pm, West Middle School, 271 West Street, Brockton, MA (No registration required)