Climate Bill Passes in State Senate

Photo courtesy of Alexius Horatius

HYANNIS – A climate bill aiming to help Massachusetts reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 recently passed in the State Senate.

Legislators debated several issues in the Act Driving Climate Policy Forward, also known as the Drive Act, before it was approved with amendments, some of which were led by State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro).

Those changes included expanding offshore wind energy produced in state waters and making sure the rights of Indigenous Peoples are respected as wind projects are developed. 

Chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Brian Weeden commented on the amendment.

“This is the first step towards making sure that the original inhabitants have a voice and seat at the table in the legislature,” Weeden said.

The Drive Act also promotes solar energy initiatives, potentially allowing for agricultural lands to host solar panels and supports other non-fossil fuel sources like nuclear fusion and geothermal power.

Additionally, the bill hopes to lead the state in a switch to electric vehicles. It would possibly allocate more funds for Massachusetts’ MOR-EV program that gives rebates to people who buy EVs.

The act incorporated elements of a climate bill that previously passed in the State House of Representatives. Both branches will work out the changes before the bill goes to Governor Baker.

By Brian Engles, NewsCenter.

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