Policy Developments Related to Clean Heat

Resident Advocacy Will be Needed:

Please check back for updates and calls to action!

  1. Department of Public Utilities (DPU) Process update/timeline:
    • On March 18, 2022, Massachusetts gas utilities submitted business plans to the Department of Public Utilities that show how they are planning to comply with the Next Generation Climate Bill, signed into law in March 2021. Those plans should have included a swift, just retirement of the current gas system to reduce emissions and should not have included explosive or carbon-emitting fuels. But perhaps not surprisingly, the plans issued by the gas utilities did not eliminate fossil fuels or explosive gases. Read this one-page analysis of the utilities’ plans. In sum:
      • Our gas utilities are quietly working to get government approval to lock us into decades of toxic, explosive fuel use. They have submitted plans to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) for how they will supposedly meet the decarbonization timeline of the Roadmap Climate Law. They are greenwashing methane, a potent greenhouse gas, calling it “renewable” natural gas and claiming that that it can be blended safely with explosive hydrogen for delivery through pipes to our homes Capping off this travesty, they propose to raise consumer utility rates so that we the consumers will pay for new infrastructure and research and development costs required to implement these plans.
  2. Status of Arlington’s Home Rule Petition:
    • Arlington’s Home Rule Petition became a bill in the legislature (H.3750), filed by Rep. Sean Garballey and Sen. Cindy Friedman. There was a dynamic and positive hearing on it and 4 similar Home Rule Petitions in the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (TUE) Committee on January 19th. We are waiting to see if they will be reported favorably out of committee before the May 2nd deadline.
  3. Kahn bill for electrifying all new buildings after 2023:
    • Representative Kay Kahn (D-Newton) has filed HD4755, which would require that all new construction and major renovations in the state (including public buildings, hospitals, and labs) be built with no fossil fuels starting in 2023. Here is a Fact Sheet on the bill.  The bill picks up Arlington’s Home Rule Petition Fossil Fuel Restriction idea and brings it to the whole state! If this bill moves ahead in the legislature, it will need advocates’ support.


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