Today the Conference Committee on Climate is pleased to issue its report, An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy.

The bill:

Keeps our attention riveted on the climate, by setting statewide emissions limits every five years instead of every ten; compiling "comprehensive, clear, and specific" plans for reaching each limit; and producing regular reports on how well the plans are doing. (2/29)
Drills down from the general to the specific, by mandating emissions sublimits for 6 sectors of the economy: electric power, transportation, commercial & industrial heating & cooling, residential heating & cooling, industrial processes & natural gas distribution & service (3/29)
Writes environmental justice into Massachusetts law, defining environmental justice populations and providing new tools and protections for affected neighborhoods. (4/29)
Each roadmap plan must improve or mitigate economic, environmental, and public health impacts on environmental justice populations and low- and moderate-income individuals. (5/29)
Codifies the statewide greenhouse gas limit for 2050 at net zero emissions. Stipulates that the statewide emissions limit for 2030 shall be at least 50 per cent below the 1990 level, and that the limit for 2040 shall be at least 75 per cent below the 1990 level. (6/29)
Raises offshore wind to another level, requiring utilities to purchase an additional 2,400 megawatts of generation. This builds on previous legislation action and increases the total to 5,600 megawatts in the Commonwealth, a substantial portfolio. (7/29)
Boosts demand for renewable energy by raising the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 3% each year for 2025-2029, ensuring that at least 40% of the state's electric power will be renewable by 2030. (8/29)
Directs the Department of Public Utilities (DPU), regulator of the state's electric & natural gas utilities, to balance priorities going forward: system safety, system security, reliability, affordability, equity, & significantly, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. (9/29)
Bolsters the finances of the @MassCEC, by providing $12 million in new annual funding for workforce development in the state’s clean energy industry for minority-owned & women-owned small businesses, environmental justice communities & fossil fuel workers. (10/29)
Mandates promulgation of a local option "net zero stretch energy code," including a definition of "net zero building." Authorizes cities and towns to adopt such a code. (11/29)
To get the net zero stretch energy code written, shifts responsibility for energy code development to the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and away from the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS). (12/29)
Adds 4 new seats to the BBRS, to help it with its other important duties. New seats go to an expert in commercial building energy efficiency, an expert in residential building energy efficiency, an expert in advanced building technology, & the Commissioner of DOER. (13/29)
Instructs EEA to set explicit emissions reduction goals for each three-year plan formulated by MassSave, the state’s energy efficiency program. At the conclusion of each plan, requires the DPU to report on reductions actually achieved. (14/29)
To further align @MassSave with climate policy, requires utilities to include an explicit value for greenhouse gas reductions when they calculate the cost-effectiveness of a MassSave offering. (15/29)
To aid in achieving limits and sublimits, sets numerical benchmarks for adoption of electric vehicles, charging stations, solar technology, energy storage, heat pumps, anaerobic digestors, and other breakthrough solutions. (16/29)
(17/29) Updates solar policy and advances solar equity:

-Loosens net metering caps by ending "load zone" restrictions
-Mandates the DOER to prioritize low-income communities in the SMART program
-increases opportunities for low-income individuals to participate in SMART
(18/29) Updates solar policy and advances solar equity:

-Establishes a grant program for nonprofits
-Writes a compromise between local tax assessors and developers on the tax status of clean energy installations
-Enable municipal buildings to host rooftop solar
Gives a boost to hydrogen power by exempting fuel cell systems from local property taxes. (19/29)
Enriches state climate policy by promoting and protecting "natural and working lands," sources of carbon sequestration. (20/29)
Creates a first-time greenhouse gas emissions standard for municipal lighting plants that requires them to purchase 50% non-emitting electricity by 2030 & net zero by 2050. (21/29)
Imposes a moratorium on wood-to-energy facilities of the kind contemplated in Springfield,MA, preventing them from qualifying as non-carbon emitting resources for 5yrs. Directs EEA to conduct a new study of the impact of biomass on greenhouse gas emissions & public health (22/29)
Nudges natural gas utilities to get into new lines of work, by authorizing them to pilot "renewable thermal energy sources, systems or technologies capable of substituting for fossil-fueled natural gas" -- geothermal heating and cooling on a district-wide scale. (23/29)
To help drive down emissions from common household and commercial appliances, sets Massachusetts appliance efficiency standards based on California precedent and future federal standards. (24/29)
(25/29) Addresses natural gas safety:
-Requires the DPU to issue regulations relative to certifying contractors
-Instructs the DPU to set standards for maintaining gas distribution maps &records
-Increases the penalties for failure to restore service after emergencies
(26/29) Addresses natural gas safety:
-Directs gas companies to report disruptions in the provision of electronic data as a service quality metric
-Extends whistleblower protection to utility employees who report violations of law by their employers;
(27/29) Addresses natural gas safety:
-Raises the cap on civil penalties for gas pipeline safety violations, allowing for fines in excess of those set by federal law
-Requires all written complaints regarding gas service to be investigated and responded to in a timely manner
(28/29)Addresses natural gas safety:
-Directs the DPU to establish a public database of such complaints
-Enhances gas company plans to address aging &leaking infrastructure by setting interim targets to reduce leak rate of natural gas & authorizing DPU to fine for non-compliance
(29/29) Mandates transparency with respect to the inputs, outputs, assumptions, and modeling involved in the formulation of state climate policy.

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