“Governor Patrick is committed to making Massachusetts the global center for clean energy innovation – it is both an environmental imperative and a major economic opportunity,” said Ian Bowles, Governor Patrick’s Energy and Environmental Secretary. “Together with the legislative leaders, we have crafted new legislation that will make the Bay State second to none in leadership on energy efficiency and renewable energy. We will continue to work closely with our Congressional delegation to curb energy costs and drive our nation toward a clean energy future.”
Massachusetts is rising to our nation’s energy challenge by taking action to reduce energy consumption and promote clean renewable energy. Speaker DiMasi, Gov. Patrick, and Senate President Murray deserve tremendous credit for helping to lead the nation. While we can and should do even more to meet our energy challenges, our leaders in Washington should start following the lead of our state and other gold star states. If they follow the road map provided by the new energy bill just announced by the Speaker, Governor and Senate President, they ought to pass a strong federal energy bill this year that saves energy, saves oil and moves America toward a new energy future.
“We continue to work very hard on proposed legislation that will make energy reform a reality in Massachusetts,” Senate President Therese Murray said. “Our efforts will put the Commonwealth at the forefront of energy efficiency and alternative fuel practices. New incentives will encourage utilities to provide services more efficiently and promote conservation to bring down soaring energy prices while pushing us forward on a new frontier of opportunity and economic development.”
“Massachusetts is a leader in energy issues and we will continue to work towards advancing clean, efficient, home grown energy sources like solar, biomass, and wind. Through legislation this session we will continue to build on the great strides we have made in renewable energy encouragement while also looking at innovative solutions like efficiency-first energy procurement and ways to advance energy efficiency in our buildings throughout the Commonwealth. Being at the mercy of global market energy forces, we must strive towards more renewable energy development and bio-diesel sources and lessen our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Senator Morrissey, the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy.
In developing the report, Environment America researchers looked at five areas of cutting-edge clean energy policy adopted by the state governments: renewable electricity standards, the Clean Cars Program, utility energy efficiency programs, energy efficiency standards for appliances, and building energy codes.
The energy challenge facing America demands bold action at every level. Here in Massachusetts, we have begun to take action. We need to do more and the current energy bill will move us forward, but we cannot do it alone. We are counting on Congress to join us as we work together to achieve the promise of a new energy future for America.
A number of states, including Massachusetts, were spotlighted for special recognition in the report.
? Seven states – California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington – were highlighted as “gold star” clean energy states for adopting strong policies in at least four of these areas.
? Massachusetts is one of five states – Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Pennsylvania and Vermont – highlighted as “silver star” clean energy states for adopting strong policies in at least two areas and meaningful policies in one to two others. The new energy bill announced last week would bump the state up to “gold star” status.
? Nine states – Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Wisconsin – were highlighted as “rising star” clean energy states in recognition of their strong recent actions to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable sources of energy.
“State leaders have begun to move us in the right direction on energy, but we must do a lot more at every level of government,” said Rob Sargent, Energy Program Director for Environment America, which is Environment Massachusetts’ new national lobbying office. “Congress should pass a strong energy bill that saves oil by increasing fuel economy for cars and light trucks to at least 35 MPG and increases America’s use of clean energy by requiring at least 15% of our electricity to come from renewable energy.”
The report will be available at www.environmentmassachusetts.org/reports and www.environmentamerica.org