Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Clean Energy and Climate Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 25 percent by 2020
Comprehensive plan to lower energy costs, increase energy independence and create clean energy jobs will meet the most ambitious emissions limit in the country
"Massachusetts has already taken great strides in energy innovation, sparking a clean energy revolution in the Commonwealth and getting us two-thirds of the way toward 25 percent lower emissions by 2020," said Secretary Bowles. "I am confident we will meet the 25 percent limit I set today with a portfolio of policies that build on reforms made to date, launch practical new initiatives on a pilot basis, and generate cost savings and jobs."
"The clean energy plan file size 1MB ( <em>executive summary</em> ) released today lays out an ambitious but practical framework to continue - and accelerate - the Commonwealth's transition to clean energy," said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs-designate Rick Sullivan. "I look forward to maintaining this momentum as our state distinguishes itself as the national leader on clean energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions."
The Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), signed by Governor Deval Patrick in August 2008, mandates the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, and requires the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs to set a legally enforceable GHG emissions limit for 2020 of between 10 percent and 25 percent below 1990 levels by January 1, 2011, and to issue a plan for achieving those reductions while growing the clean energy economy. Secretary Bowles set the limit today at the statutory maximum of 25 percent and released the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020, which contains a portfolio of policies designed to meet the limit.
In his formal determination of the 2020 emissions limit, Secretary Bowles noted that "established state policies to promote energy conservation and cleaner energy sources are expected to produce GHG reductions of 18 percent below 1990 levels by 2020," and that the remaining question before him in making the determination was "where in the remaining statutory range of 18 to 25 percent reduction it is practical and appropriate to set the 2020 limit. Central to that question is what additional actions of policy, regulation, and legislation could be pursued that would achieve additional emissions reduction by 2020 and beyond." Though he considered "a wide range of measures," Secretary Bowles included in the implementation plan for 2020 "only those additional measures that provide significant energy cost savings and create clean energy jobs," but those he found sufficient to support the maximum emissions reduction requirement of 25 percent.
"This limit, together with the portfolio of GHG mitigation measures presented in the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020, is a substantial step forward in the Commonwealth's ongoing efforts to grow our clean energy economy, reduce energy costs, become energy independent and minimize climate change impacts to the citizens, environmental resources, and economy of Massachusetts," wrote Secretary Bowles.
The 136-page Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 contains a "portfolio" of established and new measures that reduce energy waste, save money, and stimulate the adoption of clean energy technologies, thereby creating jobs at the same time that they reduce GHG emissions. It is estimated that 42,000 to 48,000 jobs would result from full implementation of the plan in 2020, both jobs that fill every niche in the clean energy supply chain - electricians, installers, researchers, architects, manufacturers, plumbers, energy auditors, technicians, and scientists - and jobs throughout the economy as lower fossil-fuel energy expenses lead to more spending on in-state goods and services.
Existing policies include the Green Communities Act requirement of capturing all cost-effective energy efficiency, which has given Massachusetts the most far-reaching energy efficiency program in the country, projected to yield $6 billion in customer savings from $2 billion of investment over three years. Continuation of these energy efficiency efforts, plus additional building-related measures such as deep-energy improvements in buildings; advanced, flexible building energy codes; and a new energy rating and labeling system that will be the equivalent of miles-per-gallon auto fuel efficiency ratings for buildings, beginning as a pilot program in western Massachusetts will reduce GHG emissions statewide nearly 10 percent by 2020.
In electricity supply, established programs like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Renewable Portfolio Standard will be supplemented by efforts to obtain additional clean energy imports such as Canadian hydropower and a proposed Clean Energy Performance Standard, which would require electricity suppliers to favor lower- and no-emissions sources in the mix of electricity delivered to their customers, will reduce emissions 7.7 percent by 2020. In transportation, MassDOT's recently announced GreenDOT sustainability program and other efforts to limit growth in driving, federal fuel efficiency standards, lower-carbon fuels, and potential incentives for clean cars to be studied and piloted are expected to produce 7.6 percent GHG reductions. And in non-energy related sources of emissions, new and expanded programs will address leaking refrigerants that are more powerful greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide, for additional reductions of 2 percent.
"This is wonderful news," said Senator Marc Pacheco, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. "This target is not only good for the environment, but is also good for our public health and security, and will put us on the path to revolutionizing our economy by spurring job growth and sparking innovation in renewable energy and green technologies. This emissions reductions target demonstrates the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to fully implementing the intent of the Global Warming Solutions Act. As the author of this legislation, I always knew it was possible to implement such strong measures and I applaud Secretary Bowles and the rest of the Administration for taking this bold step toward combating climate change."
"I commend Secretary Bowles and the Advisory Committee's hard work and dedication to set the Commonwealth on track for reducing emissions and fostering development of clean energy," said Representative Frank Smizik, Chairman of the House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. "It is imperative for the strength of our economy, our national security, and our health to address the harmful impacts of greenhouse gases and climate change. I look forward to working with the Administration to continue to push the envelope with new innovations and strong standards, so that the Commonwealth can continue to be a national leader and achieve the ultimate goal of an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible"
Secretary Bowles's determination, and the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020, were both informed by a series of eight public hearings held around the state and by input from the Climate Protection and Green Economy Advisory Committee, a body created by the Global Warming Solutions Act that includes representatives of the following sectors: commercial, industrial and manufacturing; transportation; low-income consumers; energy generation and distribution; environmental protection; energy efficiency and renewable energy; local government; and academic institutions.
"It has been a privilege to collaborate with such a representative group of stakeholders in determining ways to build a clean energy economy," said co-chair Susan Avery, President and Director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. "I look forward to continuing this effort and helping to support the important goals of this ambitious plan."
"The Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 is a big step forward towards moving Massachusetts towards a Green Economy," said co-chair Martin Madaus, former CEO of Millipore Corp. "This comprehensive plan is the result of about two years of outstanding work by many experts and has received thorough input from all stakeholders through the Climate Protection and Green Economy Advisory Committee."
"The vision presented in this report is both bold and well-grounded in the facts and opportunities we face," said Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) President John Kassel. "It will serve the citizens and economy of Massachusetts, and New England, well. It took a lot of courage to put this out there. It will take even more courage, and determination, to make it happen. We at CLF look forward to helping it become a reality."
"These strong and realistic goals for GHG reductions in the Commonwealth are welcomed by the rapidly growing Massachusetts clean energy industry," said Peter Rothstein, President of the New England Clean Energy Council. "The GHG reductions achieved in the last few years, and the combination of clear policies and new private sector innovations and investments are laying a path to cost-effectively meet these environmental goals while providing sustainable, economic growth."
"This Clean Energy and Climate Plan is the latest example of Governor Patrick's commitment to growing clean energy jobs in Massachusetts," said Marty Aikens of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103. "It is a practical roadmap that shows that measures to decrease emissions can lead to thousands of new jobs."
The Secretary's 2020 Greenhouse Gas Limit Determination, the full Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020, the Executive Summary of the Plan, and a letter to EEA Secretary Bowles from the co-chairs of the Climate Protection and Green Economy Advisory Committee can be viewed here.