Democratic front-runner for governor Maura Healey has released an “aggressive” climate plan for the Bay State, as the attorney general vows the state would achieve 100% clean electricity supply by 2030 under her administration.
Healey’s climate agenda on Tuesday drew praise from some local energy providers, while Republicans slammed it as “unrealistic” and costly for taxpayers.
Her plan — described as “aggressive” in the announcement — would end the sale of new passenger cars and light duty trucks powered by gas or diesel by 2035. All public fleet purchases would be electric by 2028. Her agenda includes putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.
The plan features electrifying public transportation so that all modes operate on 100% clean power by 2040, starting with school and MBTA buses by 2030.
“The climate crisis is an existential threat to our state and our residents — but there is also tremendous opportunity in our response,” Healey said in a statement. “We need to meet this moment with innovation, aggressiveness, and urgency. I want Massachusetts to be a national and world leader in combating the climate crisis and driving our clean energy economy — and together we will do just that.”
Her administration would “position Massachusetts as the nation’s offshore wind capital” by permitting the 5,600 megawatts of offshore wind procurements currently authorized by law and more than doubling the state’s target to 10,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035.
“We are encouraged by the Attorney General’s continued focus on advancing clean energy in the commonwealth and recognition of the economic development benefits clean energy brings to the region, including her strong support for offshore wind and further support for an equitable energy system for all customers,” Eversource said in a statement.
Healey would create a cabinet-level Climate Chief responsible for driving climate policy across every state agency.
“Takeaway in a nutshell: the Attorney General wants to increase the size and bureaucracy of government, put more power in the hands of unelected officials, raise taxes, and take away our cars,” a spokesman for Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance said in a statement.
Republican candidate for governor Geoff Diehl called Healey’s plan “unrealistic.”
“It’s implementation would be unaffordable and unfair to Massachusetts residents,” Diehl said in a statement. “And ultimately, it explains a lot about why Maura Healey is unelectable.”
GOP candidate for governor Chris Doughty also ripped Healey’s plan.
“If her plan is implemented, it will add to our high cost of living, which is already the third highest in the Nation,” Doughty said in a statement. “We need a governor focused on affordability not making Massachusetts even more expensive.”
Her administration would ensure that ISO New England markets for buying and selling power do not discriminate against clean power, her plan says.
“ISO New England looks forward to continuing our work with state and federal officials, the energy industry, and other stakeholders on ensuring the region’s transition to a cleaner grid is a reliable one,” ISO New England said in a statement.
National Grid on Tuesday announced it will seek to eliminate fossil fuel from its gas networks, replacing it with renewable natural gas and green hydrogen.
“National Grid supports the Commonwealth in our shared goal of achieving net zero, as demonstrated by our announcement today of a fossil-free future vision for Massachusetts,” the company said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Attorney General and sharing our experience and insights in support of an achievable pathway to a clean energy future.”