A Roundup of New England Legislative Action on Clean Energy

Aug 7, 2017

When the U.S. withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord in June, it marked a pause in federal action on clean energy. But individual states have already been taking the lead in this area for some time.

The Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC) has just put together a wrap-up of legislation that has come out of the 2017 sessions in the six New England States.

In Massachusetts, about 100 energy-related bills were filed in the last legislative session.  

“This magnitude of activity reflects a shared interest in, and urgency around, states’ action on clean energy,” said NECEC policy analyst Jamie Dickerson.

One of the most important bills would expand the Massachusetts Clean Energy Portfolio standard, known as the RPS.

Other bills seek to:

·      Increase the net metering cap.

·      Expand clean energy storage capability

·      Encourage electric cars and trucks

·      Improve grid modernization and energy efficiency.

Despite putting forward so many bills, the Massachusetts legislature didn’t take action on many of them. But Dickerson said that’s normal.

“The Mass. legislature has fallen into a pattern or recent practice of reserving most of the actual passage of legislation for the second year of their bi-annual session,” Dickerson said.

That session will begin this fall.