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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Baker Administration Pledges to Pursue Green Energy

On April 20, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito released their plans for promoting the use of clean energy and increasing energy efficiency. In total, this new project includes six separate programs that will be implemented in various towns all across Massachusetts. Baker officially announced the plans during a press event at a Housing Authority complex in Newton, MA, which had been updated with clean energy technologies.

As the Massachusetts Governor explained, one of the main goals of these programs is to allow lower income families to be able to access and afford clean energy in their own homes.

In total, Massachusetts will provide $10 million in grant money for the various projects, which will be carried out by non-profits or local administrations.

During the event, Polito stated, “This kind of collaboration between state agencies and regional and municipal partners on the front lines of clean and efficient energy across the Commonwealth will effectively help families gain access to clean energy technology.”

This new effort to move the state toward a higher rate of clean energy usage is part of the overall $15 million plan by the Baker-Polito administration of the Affordable Access to Clean and Efficient Energy (AACEE) Initiative. On April 20, the planning group behind this initiative also released a report which included three recommendations on how to best implement clean energy use among residents and developers in Massachusetts.

For example, $3 million will be directed toward the Affordable Clean Residential Energy (ACRE) project. According to the official press release, this program will be carried out by six non-profit organizations and will support “the installation of solar electric and air-source heat pump systems in homes that contain one to four housing units.”

These installations will result in energy saving for low income households of an estimated total of $4.5 million.

Another program will also provide $300,000 for a solar energy project in a low income community.

This announcement was made right during Earth Week, which celebrates climate and energy awareness leading up to international Earth Day on April 22.

On Twitter, Baker said, “As we celebrate #MAEarthWeek, MA has long recognized the importance of collaboration as a means to preserve parks and open spaces.”

However, this was not the first time the Baker administration has vowed to take action for the environment. Last year, the Governor announced plans to reduce greenhouse gas emission to five percent from 2021 onward. Furthermore, Baker also signed an executive order in 2016 that would direct state official to develop concrete plans to counter greenhouse gas emission, sea level rises, increased wildfires, and other extreme weather changes.

Some experts argue that this increased focus on climate change and environmental protection by the Baker administration comes after the accusations made against the leadership in the administration, stating it hasn’t taken enough steps in the past to protect Massachusetts residents from the consequences of climate change.
Baker was (and is still) heavily criticized for his ongoing support of the natural gas pipelines in the state. Conservation groups in Massachusetts have even sent a letter to Baker’s office only two weeks ago, stating that this pipeline project will destroy all the efforts to counter climate change and greenhouse gas emissions in the state.