Massachusetts

Local Chambers respond to House Speaker DeLeo's Call to be Part of the Solution

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STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, APRIL 11, 2019

Responding to the House speaker's call for the business community to involve itself in the debate over the needs of the state's transportation system, two dozen business groups have banded together to promote a statewide agenda for transportation.

The Massachusetts Business Coalition on Transportation (MBCT) said its formation comes as traffic and congestion get worse and riders demand more reliable public transportation service. The group was also formed in response to "the business community's dissatisfaction with the current pace of improvements to our state's transportation systems and services."

Jim Rooney

Jim Rooney

Tim Murray

Tim Murray

Wendy Northcross

Wendy Northcross

The coalition, which includes about two dozen organizations, will be chaired by Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce CEO Jim Rooney, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Tim Murray, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross and Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council CEO Richard Sullivan.

"Transportation, and particularly public transportation, is a critical component to Greater Boston's, and indeed the state's, talent and workforce strategy, housing crisis strategy, economic opportunity efforts, climate resiliency, and our commitment to improving the overall quality of life for the people who live and work in Massachusetts," Rooney said. "It's time for a united voice from the business community that can be a powerful driver of progress."

Business groups have increasingly decried the Boston area's public transportation woes as a hindrance to business growth. Traffic and congestion on the roads make for long and frustrating commutes by car, and the unpredictable nature of public transportation frequently makes workers late to their jobs.

In February, A Better City released a report detailing a $8.4 billion shortfall in revenues needed to ensure state roads, bridges and MBTA infrastructure are in a state of good repair over the next 10 years.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo has been beating the drum to get chambers of commerce and other business groups more involved in discussions around transportation infrastructure and financing, and has said he is open to tax hikes or just about any other prescription to address the state's critical transit needs.

The MBCT said its work will build off of the work of the Commission on the Future of Transportation launched by Gov. Charlie Baker and that its "conversations around new revenues for transportation initiatives will be coordinated with the efforts of Senate President Karen Spilka's working group charged with examining the state's revenue sources."

Murray, the former Worcester mayor and lieutenant governor, said the MBCT's goal is "to provide pathways including possible funding mechanisms on how to create a state-of-the-art transportation system across Massachusetts."

The group said its members feel a responsibility to engage with government and to help identify possible solutions to transportation issues, "particularly when it comes to issues like public/private partnerships, workforce scheduling and applications of technology as well as sharing expertise on complex issues of financing, governance and management, contracting, and project delivery."

In its announcement, the MBCT said it has already met twice to formulate its mission and to discuss transportation policy as it works to set a more concrete agenda.

By Colin A. Young
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

https://www.statehousenews.com/email/a/2019643?key=56fb26

Metro South Chamber Was an Early Leader in the Electric Vehicle Revolution

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Now the City of Brockton is:

  • Recognized by MA Department of Environmental Protection

  • Adding its 14th EV to the municipal fleet

We wanted to make sure our community is always part of the innovative wave of the future,. We organized a ride and drive event with our partner to share the excitement of this new technology. Our city council member participated in the ride and drive event,embraced electric vehicles, and the rest is history. The city of Brockton is now adding its 14th electric car to its municipal fleet.

- Chris Cooney, President and CEO of the Metro South Chamber of Commerce

 
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Chris Cooney, President and CEO of the Metro South Chamber of Commerce, embraced Electric Vehicles (EVs) early. He partnered with Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy to introduce EVs to his community and businesses through a ride-and-drive event back in 2015.

Massachusetts DEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg joined Mayor Bill Carpenter at Brockton City Hall last week to celebrate Brockton's leadership. See the Video and News Article

DEP's statewide program provides up to $7,500 per vehicle to purchase or lease plug-in electric vehicles, and up to $7,500 for charging stations. Suuberg said Brockton has received $120,000 in total under the EV Incentive Program (for municipalities).

If you would like to learn more about MA's incentives for EVs and charging stations please contact us at info@chambersforinnovation.com.

See other stories about Local Chambers and Electric Vehicles:

Chamber Executives Line Up to Drive New EVs

Chambers Learn About Rebates for EVs

Local NC Chamber Innovates w EV Charging Stations

Orlando Chamber Drives Toward the Future

Dearborn Chamber Makes Energy Connection Henry Ford Would Appreciate


Blackstone Valley Chamber Tackles Workforce Skills Gap and Sustainability with Innovative Educational Programming

Blackstone Valley Chamber Tackles Workforce Skills Gap and Sustainability with Innovative Educational Programming

Located in the historic Linwood Mill, which is geothermal, the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce (BVCC) is definitely walking the walk when it comes to innovation and clean energy.

MA Chambers Get High-Powered Briefing from Energy Secretary Matt Beaton and State Senator Marc Pacheco

MA Chambers Get High-Powered Briefing from Energy Secretary Matt Beaton and State Senator Marc Pacheco

Lots of information was shared on the recent briefing call with MA policymakers, here's a re-cap:

Chamber Recognized for Helping Members Save through Energy Efficiency

Chamber Recognized for Helping Members Save through Energy Efficiency

The NNBE$ program connects local businesses to available energy saving programs and incentives offered through Mass Save which is run by the local utilities. (Businesses receive free energy audits, financing for upgrades, and rebates on recommended energy improvements.) It has already increased small and medium business participation by 30 percent.

Offshore Wind Projects Would Benefit MA for Decades, Cape Cod Chamber CEO Says

Offshore Wind Projects Would Benefit MA for Decades, Cape Cod Chamber CEO Says

"Given the promise of [the proposed projects,] it is critical for Massachusetts to show its seriousness by supporting the nascent industry's growth, so it does not become overshadowed by development activity under way in New York and other states on the Eastern Seaboard," Northcross wrote.

New Initiative Helps Businesses with No-cost Energy Audits and Easy Access to Millions in Incentive Money

New Initiative Helps Businesses with No-cost Energy Audits and Easy Access to Millions in Incentive Money

The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce -- in partnership with the City of Gloucester, National Grid, and Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy -- launched a new energy-saving initiative last month; and several news outlets took notice.

MA Senators Brief Local Chambers on New Energy Legislation

MA Senators Brief Local Chambers on New Energy Legislation

“Clean energy is a $11.4 billion part of Massachusetts’ economy—and growing,” Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) told Local Chambers of Commerce the day after his committee introduced new energy legislation to help Massachusetts diversify its energy sources and satisfy corporate demand for more renewable energy.

Chambers Learn About Numerous Rebates for Electric Vehicles

Chambers Learn About Numerous Rebates for Electric Vehicles

At the recent annual meeting of the New England Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (NEACCE), more than 40 local chamber leaders had the opportunity to put their foot to the pedal of Chevy Bolts and Volts—marking the conference’s second annual EV Ride-and-Drive.

Local Chambers Seizing the Economic Opportunities in Clean Energy Featured at World Chambers Congress

Local Chambers Seizing the Economic Opportunities in Clean Energy Featured at World Chambers Congress

Wendy Northcross, President and CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber, spoke about Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy before more than 1,000 CEOs and chamber leaders from more than 100 countries in Sydney, Australia, this September.

Largest Clean Energy Convening of Local Chambers at MA Statehouse

Largest Clean Energy Convening of Local Chambers at MA Statehouse

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), Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton), 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.

Newton-Needham Chamber Program Helps Businesses Receive More than $2.7 Million in Energy Incentives

Newton-Needham Chamber Program Helps Businesses Receive More than $2.7 Million in Energy Incentives

The Newton-Needham Regional Chamber recently announced that almost 200 Newton-Needham area businesses received more than $2.7 million in incentives to fund energy-saving upgrades in the first year of the chamber’s Business Energy $avers Program.

New Bedford Chamber Hosts Dialogue on Growing Job Potential of Offshore Wind

New Bedford Chamber Hosts Dialogue on Growing Job Potential of Offshore Wind

“New Bedford should absolutely be the national cluster for offshore wind” as a center of operations and workforce training, said Derek Santos, Executive Director of the New Bedford Economic Development Council. “There should be no reason why folks aren’t trained in New Bedford for projects all over the eastern coast of the United States.”

Energy Storage Technology Gets Local Chamber Support

Energy Storage Technology Gets Local Chamber Support

Massachusetts legislators are calling energy storage facilities like the one that broke ground in Sterling, Mass., last month a “game changer” in the effort to modernize the electric grid.

Energy storage, or the capture of energy produced through solar or wind power that will be used at a later time, is a key component of a 21st century energy systems. The Sterling facility will be the largest energy storage installation of its kind in New England.

MA Lawmakers Discuss New Energy Legislation with Local Chambers

MA Lawmakers Discuss New Energy Legislation with Local Chambers

Massachusetts chambers and their member companies had an engaging dialogue with Rep. Golden (D – Lowell) and Sen. Pacheco (D – Taunton) on a Sept. 20th briefing call to learn more about the recently passed energy legislation, An Act to Promote Energy Diversity (H4568). Both legislators played key roles in the new legislation and are preparing for additional steps in 2017.