Our legislative campaign
Updates on 2017 legislative campaign coming soon!
We MADE important visits to legislators in district IN March and ApriL 2016
Massachusetts congregations and faith organizations have come together to work for a clean and just energy future for our Commonwealth! We want our legislators to live up to their commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, as outlined in the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008, and we want an energy transition that lifts and includes all our communities. We support the MA Power Forward agenda for an overall energy plan that relies on local renewable energy sources and energy efficiencies.
Above: MAICCA members meet with our state representatives to advocate for our climate justice priorities in the energy omnibus bill.
To help achieve this, we have championed five specific priorities that we believe are a necessary part of any future energy plan for Massachusetts. These priorities underscore the important moral and social justice challenges that must be addressed to ensure that all our communities share in the benefits of a clean and just energy future. We ask that these priorities be reflected in the comprehensive energy legislation.
1. Lift the caps on solar energy and expand community solar: We support lifting current MA limits on the amount of credit that solar power producers can receive for the solar power they generate -- referred to as “net-metering caps.” We also need to make sure that the benefits of solar reach everyone in our state with energy policies that protect and strengthen incentives for the development of community shared and low-income solar projects. We support a solar policy that accomplishes these goals. We oppose H3854, which threatens solar development in Massachusetts and would cripple community solar.
2. Invest in robust offshore wind development: We support development of local, renewable offshore wind as a valuable, sustainable, cost-competitive energy source for Massachusetts. MA has the opportunity to launch a clean, local jobs-producing US offshore wind industry -- one that can particularly benefit communities that have suffered from the siting and closing of coal-fired power plants. We support a policy that carves out a substantial commitment to offshore wind, such as the language in H2881 (Rep. Haddad) and H2851 (Rep. Cabral).
3. Reject rate-payer subsidy of new fossil fuel infrastructure: We cannot support an energy bill that would require ratepayers to subsidize new gas pipelines that we do not need and that will contribute to global warming. The recent study commissioned by Attorney General Maura Healey’s office makes it clear that we do not need new fossil fuel infrastructure to maintain reliability and affordability in our energy grid. Most of the gas to be carried in the proposed pipelines is intended for export -- we should not be forced to pay for this! We oppose the inclusion of any ratepayer subsidy of new fossil fuel pipeline in the comprehensive energy legislation.
4. Maximize energy efficiency programs and ensure that they are serving all MA communities: Improving energy efficiency is the most cost-effective means to maintain reliability in our energy grid and reduce carbon emissions, as demonstrated by the recent energy study commissioned by Attorney General Maura Healey’s office. We support an energy policy that both improves incentives and subsidies for making homes and buildings more energy-efficient and that ensures that incentives and subsidies are accessible to low- and moderate-income communities, renters, and non-English speakers. We support H2912 (Rep. Smizik) and strengthening related provisions in the Green Communities Act.
5. Fix existing methane gas leaks: There are about 20,000 potentially dangerous methane gas leaks in MA—many located in densely populated neighborhoods. Consumers pay millions for this wasted gas; the most affected communities suffer health and safety consequences; and massive amounts of gas are sent into our atmosphere, contributing to global warming. In 2014, legislators enacted an important public safety bill related to gas leaks but it didn’t go far enough. We support H2871 (Rep. Ehrlich), which requires utilities to coordinate with municipalities and fix leaks when roads are being repaired, and H2870 (Rep. Ehrlich), which protects consumers from paying for lost gas and encourages timely repairs.