S1565, An Act requiring the timely adoption of greenhouse gas emission limits for the year 2030

Senator Brownsberger submitted the following testimony to the Committee on Telecommunications, Energy and Utilities:

TO:                  Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy  

FROM:             Senator William N. Brownsberger

RE:                   S1565

DATE:              November 12th, 2013 

I am writing in support of S1565, An Act requiring the timely adoption of greenhouse gas emission limits for the year 2030. 

The Massaschusetts Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) requires that the state cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 10% to 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, with the specific cut chosen through development of a plan that shows what percent is feasible. The GWSA also requires that emissions be cut 80% by 2050.

Development of the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 allowed the Patrick administration to have confidence that the 25% reduction could be reached, and so at the end of 2010 the Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) decided on that as the legally mandated cut.

The GWSA further requires that emission limits be set for 2030 and 2040 but does not give a deadline for setting these limits or creating a plan to reach them. This is a significant omission in the GWSA. To get to the 80% reduction requires long-term planning, which the state is not doing now. Having 2030 and 2040 targets would push the state government, as led by EOEEA, to begin planning for fundamental changes to our energy systems. It would also help the state to avoid short-term policies that may help us reach the 2020 target cheaply but would make it harder to get to the deeper reductions needed later.

This bill would amend the GWSA to require that by January 1, 2015 the state adopt an emissions limit for 2030 and a plan for reaching that limit, and allows the Secretary of Energy & Environmental Affairs to set the limit between 45% and 60% below the 1990 level.


As a step forward to reach the targets set forth by the GWSA, I hope the committee will report S1565 favorably. 

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