BOSTON – State Representative Jennifer Benson introduced a new bill this session, An Act to promote green infrastructure, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs, which is gaining support in the Legislature from her colleagues. With 58 cosponsors, the bill aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the Commonwealth, and will help the state meet the greenhouse gas emission mandates set by the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008.
“I filed this bill because I have followed carbon pricing initiatives across the country and around the world, and know that this is the most strategic way to reduce pollution and hit our reduction targets,” said Representative Benson.
“We’re excited but not surprised about the growing support for carbon pollution pricing among our public officials,” said Cindy Luppi, coordinator of the Massachusetts Campaign for a Clean Energy Future, a coalition backing carbon pollution pricing, and Clean Water Action Regional Director. “Massachusetts is serious about tackling the climate crisis and we can’t meet our pollution reduction mandates without creating a price incentive to reduce carbon pollution and invest in our local clean energy economy.”
Representative Benson’s bill would establish a fee and rebate system on carbon to encourage reduced use of these fuels, and focus on energy efficiency and increased reliance on clean energy sources. Benson’s bill would protect low-and-moderate-income and rural households to ensure that these populations see adequate rebates and come out even or ahead. It would also require that a percentage of the household fund is invested in the state’s fuel assistance program. Additionally, the legislation would refund employers based on their number of employees, allowing businesses to remain competitive.
“We took a very thoughtful approach to drafting a comprehensive piece of legislation that not only works to reduce emissions and create jobs, but would reinvest funds back into transportation, resiliency, and clean energy projects, and offer protections to low-and moderate-income households,” said Benson. “Many of my colleagues have shown interest in the bill, and I am truly looking forward to working on it this session.”
Three other energy issue bills were introduced, which also include carbon pricing provisions, including a An Act combating climate change filed by Senator Barrett (D-Lexington), An Act relative to 2030 and 2040 emissions benchmarks filed by Senator Pacheco (D-Taunton), and An Act relative to creating energy jobs filed by Representative Goldstein-Rose (D-Amherst).