Rather not too soon for a guy who lives on a tiny peninsula on the coast, the Speaker has announced spending $1 billion over 10 years on climate resiliency and infrastructure. This sounds good, though not enough for the massive, daunting challenge. Gov. Baker has filed separate legislation to raise another $1 billion for resiliency.
What I fear is that this will take up all the time and effort reps are willing to spend on climate, without dealing with emissions at all. They will pat themselves on the back and say at the end of the session, well, bringing down emissions was just too big a lift. Translated from Beacon Hill cant, that means it went against the wishes of fossil- and fossil-related interests, like the New England Power Generators Association and gasfan Gordon Van Welie of our grid operator, ISO-NE.
While welcome, DeLeo’s proposal is no substitute for hard emissions targets, with interim targets in the years 2030 and 2040 to keep us on track; a 3% Renewable Portfolio Standard increase to continue to clean up the power sector; addressing climate justice and economically/socially vulnerable communities; strong action on transportation emissions — and that means funding the MBTA so that it may thrive, not just crumble more slowly.
In other words, pass the Senate’s very good energy bill from last year, and fix the T already. Same old same old. I’ll believe DeLeo has gotten religion on this when I see it. It’s one thing to give communities tools to deal with the fallout from climate change. The necessary and harder part is to transform our economy to zero emissions. DeLeo’s shown little interest in that.