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Massachusetts Proposes Aggressive Bill Mandating 100 Percent Renewable Energy by 2035 -- Is it Possible?

Feb 01, 2017 05:00 AM EST

Three Democratic lawmakers based in Massachusetts have proposed a bill that will, if passed, requires the state to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. It even goes as far as to mention that fossil fuels from the heating and transport sectors would have to be eliminated by that time.

The proposal, according to Utility Dive, calls for the phasing out in the usage of fossil fuels in the state by 2050, while requiring the transportation sector to run on 50-percent renewables within the same timeframe.

The state is already following more simple goals with the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act. This requires the state to reduce greenhouse emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.

The new bill will launch the state into the company of states with similar aggressive decarbonization goals. So far, the state has mandated 1,600 MW of offshore wind and is seeking to set an energy storage goal as well.

Rep. Sean Garballey, who is one of the bill's sponsors, said in a statement that the measure will be able to provide a bold step in placing everyone on a path to a "cleaner and more sustainable future."

However, he added that this signals the country to the commitment of long-term solutions in meeting the very real challenges of climate change.The bill is also sponsored by Rep. Marjorie Decker and Sen. Jamie Elridge.

The legislation will require the state's Department of Energy Resources to set binding targets for carbon-free energy growth in major sectors of the economy, as well as issue regulations to ensure that the state stays on track towards 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

The statement, issued via the advocacy group Environment Massachusetts, said the bill will "complement" the Global Warming Solutions Act. Ben Hellerstien, state director for Environment Massachusetts, said the bill will send a clear message to officials in the White House at the advent of a new administrator.

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