BOSTON – the Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday, April 7, introduced An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward, its second major climate proposal this legislative session, and the latest effort to continue the Commonwealth on its path towards reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The bill, also known as the Drive Act, increases investments in the state’s clean energy infrastructure, builds and improves upon existing incentives for homeowners, renters, and consumers to reduce their carbon footprints, and reduces emissions from the building and transportation sectors.
“With the Drive Act, we are taking an all-hands-on deck approach to saving the planet, with a particular
focus on three area that will need significant attention if we are to meet our ambitious goal of having net
zero emissions by 2050: the transportation, clean energy, and building sectors,” stated Senate President
Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “With gas prices fluctuating and our reliance on foreign oil being brought
into question once again by world events, it is in everyone’s best interest to get more Massachusetts drivers into electric vehicles, and this bill will help do that through investing in renewed EV incentives for
consumers and expanded EV infrastructure. I’m proud that the Senate continues to lead on facing the
existential challenge of climate change, and I am particularly grateful to Senate Majority Leader Cream and Chairs Barrett and Rodrigues on their dedicated work to aggressively move this important legislation
“Building off last year’s landmark Next Gen Climate law, An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward is a
comprehensive climate bill focused on boldly confronting our climate challenges and achieving our
ambitious 2050 net zero carbon emission goals as quickly and as equitably as possible,” said Senator
Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “I applaud
Senate President Spilka and her team for their incredible leadership, ensuring the Senate is committed to
prioritizing an all-hands-on deck approach on the issue of climate change, and I applaud Senator Barrett,
Senator Creem, their staffs and the Senate Ways and Means team for their collaboration, dedication and
focus to put forward this comprehensive package to meet this most urgent moment. I look forward to a
robust and energetic debate next week on the Senate floor.”
“We know climate change is relentless, so we think Massachusetts needs to be relentless, too,” stated
Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington), Senate Chair of the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy
Committee. “No one’s around to give out ‘A’s’ for effort. What matters are results. An Act Driving Climate
Policy Forward pushes back against global warming on multiple fronts, and with an emphasis on innovation and smart experimentation. It’s about thinking long-range but executing now, in the short term. It’s about problem-solving, confidence, and even optimism.”
“It seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating the passage of another landmark climate bill, but the climate crisis requires of us to constantly drive Massachusetts’ climate policy forward,” said Senate
Majority Leader Cynthia Creem (D-Newton), Chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming
and Climate Change. “I’m grateful to President Spilka, Chair Rodrigues, and Senator Barrett for
prioritizing climate action, and I’m incredibly proud of the bold steps that the Senate is proposing today to reduce emissions from transportation and buildings and invest in clean energy technology.”
An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward bolsters cutting edge clean energy technologies, updates the
offshore wind procurement process and supports the advancement of solar power. It also incentivizes
consumer adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), electrifies the MBTA bus fleet and builds up the EV charging infrastructure across the state. Finally, it addresses issues regarding building emissions, biomass facilities and the future of gas in the Commonwealth, among other things.
The Senate plans to debate S.2819, An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward on Thursday, April 14, 2022, in advance of the annual celebration of Earth Day.
In coordination with the Drive Act, the Senate will take up H.851, An Act preserving open space in the Commonwealth, and S.676, An Act relative to the remediation of home heating oil releases.
The former bill codifies into law protections for open space covered by Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution, while the latter bill takes action to ensure that homeowner insurers provide crucial insurance coverage to families who are at risk of costly home heating oil spills.