With the swearing in of new members last week, the Massachusetts legislature, not unlike the U.S. Congress, is receiving an infusion of brand-new state representatives who already are pushing an aggressive agenda focused on addressing climate change and transitioning to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2050.
So far, 14, or over half of the 24 new recruits, have formed an informal but unified group known as GreenTeamMA. Their initiatives are straightforward. They’ve agreed to refuse campaign contributions from fossil fuel PACs, they support carbon pricing, and they’ll be working with constituents to drive higher demand for wind, solar, and hydropower in the Bay State, where today almost one-sixth of electricity comes from renewable sources.
“It’s a bottom-up approach that may well work,” said newly elected State Rep. Patrick Kearney of the South Shore’s 4thPlymouth District. “It’s a bipartisan effort we’re undertaking because the climate affects the health and well-being of every community.”
Graduation Day at New Legislators Academy for newly elected Massachusetts State Representatives, sworn into office on January 2, 2019. Credit: Patrick Kearney
Building Grassroots Support for Climate Action
GreenTeamMA members view climate change as a clear and present danger that requires an energy recalculation.
With one of the richest offshore wind reserves in the world and the capacity to build onshore wind and solar power plants to meet the growing energy needs of Massachusetts, the commonwealth is “poised to embrace a clean energy economy,” says State Rep. Tommy Vitolo of Brookline’s 15th Norfolk District.
To catapult that economy, GreenTeamMA members plan to target Massachusetts voters who rank health and climate change as key issues and call on them to make a consumer switch to renewable electricity.
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