Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker yesterday (14 January) rejected a bipartisan compromise climate policy bill that would have reshaped how the state plans to achieve its target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
The new compromise bill (S 2995) would have created statewide emissions limit targets set for every five years – instead of the current ten-yearly review and increased its offshore wind target by an additional 2.4GW.
However, in his letter vetoing the bill, Baker stated that analysis carried out by his own department suggested it would cost Massachusetts $6 billion more to reduce carbon emissions by 50% below 1990 levels by 2030, as set out in the bill, rather than the 45% in his plan.
In his letter, he also stated that bill could create new “risks” by “imposing undue expense and unnecessary economic impact on Massachusetts households and businesses” at a time when Massachusetts needed “more affordable housing”.
Baker said said his administration's 2050 decarbonisation roadmap, provided a “balanced clean energy supply anchored by offshore wind”, which would be able to help the state achieve net zero by 2050 “in a cost-effective manner while supporting job creation in Massachusetts”.
The bill was passed shortly before the end of the two-year legislative session. "Had this bill been presented to me with more time while the legislature was still in session, I would have returned it with amendments to address the concerns set out in this letter," Baker wrote.
The bill is expected to be resubmitted at a later date.
So far, Massachusetts utilities have agreed to purchase more than 1.6GW of offshore wind power, made up of 804MW Mayflower Wind Mayflower Wind (804MW) Offshoreoff Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, USA, North America Click to see full details project and the 800MW Vineyard Wind site – 400MW Vineyard Wind 1 phase I Vineyard Wind 1 phase I (400MW) Offshoreoff Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, USA, North America Click to see full details and 400MW Vineyard Wind 1 phase II Vineyard Wind 1 phase II (400MW) Offshoreoff Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, USA, North America Click to see full details – although permitting delays have slowed down construction of the latter.