Environmental Group Praises Passing of Climate Bill

Massachusetts State House.

HYANNIS – An environmental group praised the recent approval of a climate bill in the Massachusetts State Senate.

State director for Environment Massachusetts Ben Hellerstein expressed support for the bill’s passing.

“This legislation will gather a treasure trove of data on energy use in large buildings and help inform efforts by building owners, state leaders, and local officials to reduce global warming pollution,” Hellerstein said.

Environment Massachusetts works to support a livable climate. The group reports that 40% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions are caused by buildings, specifically through the burning of fossil fuels for heating purposes.

Hellerstein promotes replacing these energy sources with clean alternatives like heat pumps that will reduce harmful pollution.

The environmental official also expressed gratitude for State Senator Rebecca Rausch (D – Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex) who led an amendment to the bill that will require owners of buildings over 25,000 square feet to report their energy usage every year.

According to Hellerstein, the amendment will allow for the Department of Energy Resources to analyze that information and make it available to regulators and the public.

In addition to the sections of the bill that focus on building emissions, the legislation also supports clean energy initiatives like wind and solar power, as well as promoting electric vehicles.

Differences between the bill, called the Drive Act, and a previous climate bill passed by the State House of Representatives would need to be worked out before the bill can head to Governor Charlie Baker. 

By Brian Engles, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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