Highlights of MA Local Chambers Legislative Briefing
More than three-dozen local chambers of commerce and member businesses met with legislators last month for the largest convening of local chambers at the Massachusetts Statehouse to discuss clean energy.
Rep. Thomas Golden, Jr. (D-Lowell) and Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton), two of the leading legislators on clean energy, briefed them on what to expect from the remainder of the 2017-2018 session, saying the goal is to build on last year’s work to ensure that Massachusetts remains a clean energy leader.
Among the measures they said the legislature plans to consider supporting:
- An increase in the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to ensure more renewable energy and more clean energy investment and jobs in Massachusetts.
- Increase the caps on solar net metering to allow more businesses and residents who own solar panels to be compensated for providing their excess energy back to the electrical grid. The legislators stated that an increase in the caps will help generate more solar power in the Bay State. See Net Metering explained.
- Energy storage technology, which allows for wind and solar energy to be captured when available and saved for use when needed.
- Increases in energy efficiency statewide.
Offshore wind, they also noted, has strong support since turbines are now placed at off shore distances largely invisible to the naked eye. Several chambers and businesses are eyeing the economic benefits from expected boosts in production and distribution of offshore wind technology in the state.
We also heard that states all along the eastern seaboard and beyond are competing to be the home of the new offshore wind industry. Many legislators want Massachusetts to be the nation’s center for this new industry.
The legislature wants to hear from chambers. Rep. Golden and Sen. Pacheco also said that the Massachusetts legislature wants to hear from local chamber leaders to better understand their members’ experience with clean energy policies and programs—adding that they depend on this to ensure clean energy growth continues.
Co-hosts of the event included the Massachusetts Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, the SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce (formerly the New Bedford Chamber), the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, the Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of and Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE).
Stay tuned for details! CICE will continue to update you on important clean energy discussions with briefing calls, in-person sessions, and more throughout the year. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if your chamber or member businesses would like more information or would like to get more involved in clean energy discussions.