Senate MA bill calls for net-zero emissions – NBC Boston

The steps Massachusetts must take to reach its goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 were debated Thursday by the state Senate as part of a sweeping climate bill.

The bill sets out a series of strategies: Permit solar panels on agricultural and horticultural land. Support emerging energy technologies such as nuclear fusion, grid geothermal and deep geothermal. Update the process of bringing more offshore wind power online.

For people looking to buy zero-emission passenger cars and light trucks, the bill would increase the rebate to $3,500 — up to $1,000 — for qualifying purchases and leases of these vehicles, s ‘they cost $50,000 or less. The bill would also offer an additional $1,000 to buyers who trade in an internal combustion vehicle.

To help ensure all of these electric cars can keep rolling, the bill aims to deploy car charging stations in a fair and accessible way across the state and requires new developments to allocate 10% of parking spaces. charging electric vehicles.

Democratic state Sen. Cynthia Creem said during Thursday’s debate that the extra money could provide needed incentive for people considering making the switch and putting more electric vehicles on the road.

Creem, chairman of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, said the legislation builds on past efforts to address climate change — and will set the stage for future steps.

“We have to keep moving forward,” she said.

Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft would face electrification and emissions-reduction requirements under the proposal, which would also require new Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority bus purchases and rentals to be zero-vehicles. emission by 2028 and for the entire MBTA fleet to become zero emissions by 2040.

Another proposal included in the bill would allow a handful of communities to participate in two demonstration projects.

A project would allow the construction of all-electric buildings by local option. A second would restrict the use of fossil fuels in new construction projects.

The bill would also prevent biomass facilities that are not currently in operation from receiving state incentives for clean energy as a source of renewable energy generation.

The Senate proposal comes a year after Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed a climate change bill that sets the goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

The Massachusetts House last month passed its own bill to modernize the power grid and improve the procurement process for offshore wind.

The Democratic-controlled House and Senate must ultimately agree on a single compromise bill to send to Baker for his signature. The official session of the Legislative Assembly ends on July 31.

Norman D. Briggs