Watch Sen. Barrett's interview with Cheddar News here. ...
The administration needs to get with the program quickly. “Next-Gen” sets a number of deadlines:
• On July 1, Gov. Baker will have three new vacancies to fill — green building experts, all — on a reconstituted Board of Building Regulation and Standards, a low-profile entity with enormous sway over energy use in new construction.
• By July 15, 2021, the administration must set a first-ever greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal for Mass Save, the popular home energy efficiency program.
• No later than July 1, 2022, the administration must adopt emissions limits and sublimits for the year 2025, together with a “comprehensive, clear and specific” plan for operating within them.
• By 21 months from now, the administration must develop and promulgate a new “municipal opt-in specialized stretch energy code” that includes “net zero building performance standards” and a definition of “net zero building.”
– State Sen. Mike Barrett
It’s no secret the governor vetoed an earlier version of the climate bill on the prodding of builders and developers. Taking note of the increasing urgency of global warming, we responded to the pushback by doubling down on net zero in the version of the bill that became law.
My constituents have been instrumental in seeing to it that Massachusetts passed the most ambitious climate bill in the country, which is cause for celebration. Now we need to make sure it gets implemented well.
– State Sen. Mike Barrett
Sen. Mike Barrett, D-Lexington, a co-chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, who co-authored the bill, says up-to-date data is crucial for the plan to succeed.
“We’re taking note of the incredible lag time that has been involved in reporting back to the Legislature on whether we are curbing emissions,” Barrett said during a recent Joint Way and Means Committee hearing. “We need to provide that data in a much more time-relevant way than has been the case.”
Barrett said the the new climate law requires the state Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to provide lawmakers with an update on emissions levels every 18 months “so that we’re not looking at 2017 numbers in 2021.”
After months of pressing Baker to sign the climatebill, Barrett said he’s now focusing on ensuring his administration implements it.
He has threatened legal action if the administration seeks to “evade legislative intent and substitute the weaker preferences of the executive branch.”
“It’s going to be a tough slog,” he said. “There’s no silver bullet here.”