Newton’s representatives in the State House have been active on environmental issues. Representative Kay Khan notes that she is pleased that in the last session, the legislature sent a Renewable Energy bill to the Governor’s desk that included the increase in the Renewable Portfolio Standard legislation that she successfully filed. She notes that the successes are a testament to constituents who met with and sent thousands of messages to their legislators. In the current session, she has co-sponsored the Environmental League of Massachusetts, Sierra Club, 350 Massachusetts and Mass Power Forward legislative priorities, including:
- HD2370, Act to Promote Green Infrastructure and Reduce Carbon Emissions, sponsored by Representative Benson
- HD3092, Act Re-powering Massachusetts with 100% Renewable Energy, sponsored by Representative Decker and Representative Garballey
- HD3719, Act for utility transition to using renewable energy (FUTURE), sponsored by Representative Ehrlich
- HD1248, Act to secure a clean energy future, sponsored by Representative Balser
- HD2206, Act relative to multi-state offshore wind procurement, sponsored by Representative Rogers
- HD3891, Act relative to home energy efficiency, sponsored by Representative Madaro
- HD3577, Act to create a 2050 roadmap to a clean and thriving commonwealth, sponsored by Rep. Meschino
Khan will also continue to work on better access to com- muter rail stations, and more bike paths in Newton. For more information on Khan’s legislative priorities, visit www.kaykhan.org or call her office at (617) 722-2011.
State Senator Cynthia Creem has filed new legislation, including SD1953 (“The FUTURE Act”) For utility transition to using renewable energy. This bill calls for new policies on natural gas safety, require faster repair of dangerous leaks, including those affecting trees and those near schools, and the bill will also create a path for gas utilities to begin to participate in renewable energy, including geothermal and other district energy projects to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and reach our goal of 100% renewables. The bill gives cities, towns, and the public more of a voice at the table in planning our energy future.
Creem also filed SD1643 (NEW) To establish rate options to reduce customer costs and lower peak demand. This bill will require electric companies to offer ‘time-of-use’ rates to give consumers the option to save money by using more electricity at off-peak times (for appliances like washer/ dryers and dishwashers). The public will save money, and overall peak demand will be reduced through this simple conservation policy.
Creem has also refiled her bill SD1573 banning flame retardants in home furnishings and children’s products, which the Governor unfortunately vetoed at the beginning of the year.