A Mother's Perspective on the new Massachusetts Omnibus Energy Bill

Thoughts on the Omnibus Energy Legislation H4568 from a Mother Out Front:

The Massachusetts State Legislature’s joint committee members worked late into the night on Sunday, July 31, to craft a final energy bill. While it doesn’t include everything that we and our allies at Mass Power Forward wanted, we have much to give thanks for! 

The bill includes 80% of the offshore wind power that we wanted. 1600 megawatts is the biggest commitment to offshore wind so far in the country. This robust endorsement should enable more development of our region’s unique potential as well as offshore wind elsewhere.  

For me, the real coup was the inclusion of provisions to fix “environmentally significant” gas leaks.  This rather vague language refers to super emitters, or leaks that are gushing the most methane, and requires utilities to repair more than just the grade one hazardous leaks. This was not a high profile issue, so our efforts on its behalf made a real difference.

Early in the process, I heard from a senate staff member that Mothers Out Front had a significant voice that was heard by his boss and by others. And we did not quit! With our allies, we emailed, called, and even visited. We paid attention, and our elected officials noticed. In addition to communicating with my own representative and senator, I was impressed with the responsiveness of the Joint Committee staff, in particular with Senator Bruce Tarr. He and his fellow committee members deserve our thanks and our ongoing input.

- Sue Swanson, Mothers Out Front Bedford

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