Many bills were crushed during the Legislature’s 19-month session but environmentalist have racked up win after win at the Statehouse, helped along by a sympathetic governor. AP compiled a list of some of the biggest wins.
The Oceans Act of 2008
The new law ensures Massachusetts becomes the first state in the nation to create a single document to cover a myriad of ocean activities, from wind farms and ocean fishing to whale watching and environmental conservation.
Green Jobs Bill
The bill would spur the growth of jobs in the green economy in part by funneling $13 million a year over the next five years into a new Massachusetts Clean Energy Technology Center to develop the renewable energy sector.
Green Communities Bill
The initiative is intended to help Massachusetts wean itself off fossil fuels and other polluting forms of energy while cutting down on emissions that lead to global warming in part by requiring utilities and other electricity suppliers to procure an increasing percentage of their energy from renewable sources.
Global Warming Bill
The bill requires the state to reduce GHG emissions to 20 percent below 1990 level over the next dozen years. By 2050, the goal is to have emissions drop 80 percent below 1990 levels.
The measure gives preferential tax treatment to non-corn-based alternatives to ethanol. It also requires biofuel content in all the diesel and home heating fuel sold in the state.
Environmental Bond Bill
The bill authorizes the state to borrow $1.7 billion in part to help conserve green spaces and rebuild parks. It also includes tax credits to private landowners who permanently protect their farms or forest lands from development.