Massachusetts Gubernatorial Candidate Calling For Green New Deal In The State

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The federal government won’t pass a Green New Deal anytime soon. 

However, if the Commonwealth of Massachusetts elects state Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Jamaica Plain) as its next governor, it will be a priority for her.

Chang-Diaz supports a Green New Deal for Massachusetts, according to her campaign’s web site.

Here are the core tenets of her plan:


Establishing a 100% renewable, carbon-free electric grid by 2030

Eliminating all carbon emissions from new buildings by 2030 and transitioning existing buildings to become zero-carbon by 2045

Expanding, electrifying, and making fare-free public transit systems across the state, including establishing East-West rail and robust regional transit networks

Blocking the development of new fossil fuel infrastructure projects


Explaining her support for this kind of a Green New Deal, Chang-Diaz said that Massachusetts has the resources available to power its own electrical grid without fossil fuels.

Chang-Diaz explained her support for the proposal in a statement emailed to NewBostonPost from her campaign.

“The fight against climate change isn’t about just one issue — it’s an existential threat to our state and our world,” Chang-Diaz said. “But we have the tools and resources to not only meet this crisis, but grow our state’s economy through the transition by creating tens of thousands of new, good paying jobs. I’ve released my plan for a Green New Deal, because we need a Governor who will do a lot more than spout the right platitudes on climate change. I’m running to take the action we know our families and our communities need.”

Chang-Diaz also said that Massachusetts can’t depend on other states to cooperate in lowering emissions, and that it can act alone to get it done.

“Today, Massachusetts continues to incentivize the construction of fossil fuel infrastructure with ratepayer dollars, while we slow-walk renewable energy adoption,” she wrote in an opinion piece for GBH News. “And our most promising efforts to transition away from fossil fuels, like the recently imperiled TCI compact and Canadian hydro-power project, have failed because they staked our energy future on the decisions of other states and countries around us.

“We can determine our own future here in Massachusetts, but we must act with urgency. We must use every tool at our disposal — to both hasten our arrival at a carbon-zero economy and to create prosperity in the communities most threatened by climate change.”

As Chang-Diaz notes, the Transportation and Climate Initiative imploded last year. While the proposal initially had 12 states on board in 2019, they had all backed out by November of last year. The proposal called for charging fees to fuel providers based on their carbon emissions. That revenue was then supposed to go towards improving public transportation, with the idea of reducing the need for people to drive their own car. The theory was that higher fuel prices provide a disincentive for consumption and therefore reduce carbon emissions, and that if more people use public transportation then fewer people will drive and that carbon emissions will decrease. 

Additionally, Chang-Diaz correctly pointed out that Mainers blocked Bay Staters from importing clean hydropower from Quebec; it happened in November 2021, weeks before Baker dropped his support for the Transportation and Climate Initiative.

Mainers voted 60 percent to 40 percent on November 2, 2021 to reject allowing 53 more miles of a 145-mile conduit to be built in the woods of Maine so that it could reach the Canadian border. The project would have allowed the New England Clean Energy Connect to supply New England’s power grid with up to 1,200 megawatts of Canadian power. 

Chang-Diaz’s campaign told NewBostonPost she would pay for the Green New Deal proposal using three mechanisms:  infrastructure funding from the federal government, carbon pricing, and the Fair Share Amendment — a ballot initiative that, if successful, will tax income exceeding $1 million at 9 percent at the state level instead of 5 percent.

Critics of Green New Deal proposals argue they are too costly for both the government and consumers and that they would result in job displacement. Supporters argue that they create jobs in the green energy sector and that the financial burden is lower than that of the consequences of climate change.

One other Democrat in the race for governor also has a plan to drastically reduce carbon emissions, her campaign told NewBostonPost: Harvard professor Danielle Allen.

Clare Donohue-Meyer, communications director for Allen’s campaign, told NewBostonPost in an email message: “Prof Danielle is a climate leader and she is pushing for a 100% renewable economy and deep decarbonization by 2040, including our grid, our infrastructure, and our public funds. Good jobs and a dynamic, inclusive economy are core parts of her strategy for climate resilience and climate justice.”

It’s unclear if Healey supports a Green New Deal; her campaign could not be reached for comment on Wednesday this week.


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