Massachusetts could become the first state in America to be powered entirely by renewable energy. Lawmakers recently introduced a bill that would require an economy-wide transition to obtaining power via clean sources like wind and solar, and 53 state legislators from both the House and the Senate have shown support for the measure.
The bill, SD. 1932, also known as the 100 Percent Renewable Energy Act, would set targets of electricity generation via 100 percent renewables by 2035; other sectors like transportation and heating would have until 2050 to make the switch. Over a quarter of legislature members in Massachusetts have now cosponsored the bill, which has been promoted by environmental advocacy group Environment Massachusetts. The organization’s state director Ben Hellerstein said in a statement, “Now is the time for Massachusetts to go big on clean energy. Getting to 100 percent renewable energy is 100 percent possible – and it’s 100 percent necessary.”
State Senator Jamie Eldridge, one of three legislators who first filed the bill, pointed out that even if the Trump administration refuses to act on climate change, states can wage their own war. He said in a statement, “Massachusetts has been a leader on alternative energy policy for over a decade, and now with federal assaults on efforts to combat climate change, it will be up to individual states to protect the environmental and health interests of the public.”
The bill would launch a Clean Energy Workforce Development Fund to provide employment in renewable technologies; part of the fund would go towards shifting fossil fuel workers into clean fuel jobs. SD. 1932 would also complement Massachusetts’ 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act, which calls for the state to lower carbon emissions by 80 percent under 1990 levels by 2050.
The bill’s not law yet, but with so much support from Massachusetts lawmakers, a 100 percent clean energy commitment appears promising.