Medford’s legislative delegation announced the recent passage of two bills aimed at promoting environmental responsibility and growing the Commonwealth’s green energy industry. The Green Jobs Initiative and Global Warming Solutions Act place Massachusetts at the forefront in the fight against global warming and in support of renewable energy technologies.
“The cost of inaction in the fight against global warming is too great,” said Representative Carl Sciortino. “With passage of the biofuels bill, the green communities act, and now the green jobs initiative and the global warming solutions act, this legislature has taken bold steps to address this critical challenge.”
The Global Warming Solutions Act mandates a reduction in the amount of emissions put out in Massachusetts of 25 percent of 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent those levels by 2050. The bill sets interim targets for 2030 and 2040 to facilitate hitting the 2050 level. Tough new penalties will meet violators under the bill, with civil penalties of up to $25,000 per day for emission violations.
“Massachusetts has a unique opportunity to lead the way in green energy technology,” Senator Pat Jehlen said. “This bill will allow us to provide the carrots and sticks necessary to encourage businesses to be more efficient and to encourage creativity and innovation. This is a win-win for the state as we work to reduce green house gases, improve energy efficiency and develop emerging green technologies.”
The legislation would also charge the Secretary of Environmental Affairs with mapping a plan to achieve the 2020 emissions limit by creating new regulations for electricity generation, fuel supplies, heating and cooling of buildings, and vehicle emissions. The Secretary would also be required to establish an emissions registry and reporting system to monitor emissions in the Commonwealth by 2014.
“The evidence is clear that the burning of fossil fuels continues to take a dramatic toll on our environment, and pain at the pump will only worsen,” said Representative Paul Donato. “These environmental and consumer costs demand solutions and the House voted to make Massachusetts a part of the clean energy solution.”
The Green Jobs Initiative establishes the Massachusetts Clean Energy Technology Center to serve as the state’s lead agency to promote and develop the clean energy sector. The Center will promote workforce training in the clean energy sector and provide support to existing clean energy companies in the Commonwealth through the establishment and administration of job growth grants.
“We have a shared responsibility to make the world a better, healthier place to live for the next generation and for every generation that follows,” said Representative Sean Garballey. “Addressing Global Warming is a logical first step.”
The bill establishes two types of job growth grants to be administered by the Center: Clean Energy Seed Grant and Green Jobs Initiative Grant. The Clean Energy Seed Grant will award funding to clean energy researchers and companies, non-profit and community-based organizations that seek to expand their organization and grow jobs. The Green Jobs Grant Initiative will award funding to higher education institutions and vocational technical schools to facilitate workforce development efforts.
Submitted by Representative Carl Sciortino’s Office