A new Massachusetts Legislature is in session. Acadia Center is ready and focused on a slate of policy initiatives developed to propel the state’s transition to a broadly electrified energy system that is low-carbon, efficient, and consumer-friendly. Massachusetts has made great strides to embrace an energy future that offers lower costs, greater consumer control and significant progress toward state and regional greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals. Now it is time to pick up the pace.  With advocacy action, stakeholder collaboration and in-depth economic and emissions analysis, Acadia Center is working to ensure success of these proposals, adopt forward-looking policies, uproot outdated technologies and apply new ways of thinking about energy options. Acadia Center calls for action to accomplish the following:

Accelerate Clean Energy Uptake: Ensure clean energy supply, reduce over-reliance on natural gas, and drive regional economic development by supporting proposals that use clean, distributed indigenous energy resources; enable utilities to pursue large-scale competitive procurement of renewable generation; lock in a state target to deploy 1600 megawatts of solar energy by 2020 with a “Value of Solar” utility rate structure; increase the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard growth rate to attain 20% renewable energy supply by 2020 and 80% by 2050;  direct the Department of Public Utilities to promote energy storage technologies.

Advance Electric Vehicles (EVs): With the current mix of energy generation, an EV produces less than half the GHG emissions of a comparable gasoline car. And, EVs provide cost savings for consumers — only 6 cents per mile to drive at current electricity prices — while boosting the regional economy, supporting energy independence, and improving public health. Acadia Center is working with partner organizations and policy leaders to remove barriers to EV adoption: provide incentives, develop a utility framework to increase EV adoptions, build-out charging infrastructure, increase consumer and business education about EVs, and adopt targets for state fleet EV purchases.

Price Carbon Emissions: Markets react quickly and cost-effectively to price signals. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) drove deep reductions in emissions for the power sector more quickly than expected and the economies of participating states grew faster than the rest of the country. Acadia Center is advocating that carbon pricing in Massachusetts should include fossil fuel importers and large emitters (other than power plants currently covered by RGGI) and return revenue to businesses/consumers through refunds or energy efficiency investments.

Acadia Center is engaged now with state leaders and representatives from consumer, labor, business, and other stakeholder groups to advance these priorities through state processes, legislative proposals and policy analysis.

Acadia Center’s full Legislative Agenda for Massachusetts is available here. Please check back at this blog and at our website for updates and related materials.