Energy & the environment

Senator Friedman is taking the lead on the following bills that were originally filed by the late Senator Ken Donnelly at the start of the 2017-2018 legislative session:

S1191 An Act relative to the disclosure of toxic chemicals in children’s products

  • Summary: This bill would require manufacturers who make children’s consumer products that are for sale in the Commonwealth to notify the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in writing if the product contains toxic chemicals at a level above a “de minimis level”, as defined in the bill. DEP is then responsible for using the Interstate Chemical Clearinghouse (IC2) database to log this info and make it available to the public via DEP’s website.

S1513 An Act relative to exemptions from taxation of structures and buildings essential to the operation of agricultural and horticultural lands

  • Summary: Currently, land used for agricultural or farming purposes that is occupied by crops is exempt from local property tax. This bill would additionally exempt from local property tax the land that includes the buildings that are essential to the operation of the farm and production of the crops.

S1839 An Act relative to home energy efficiency

  • Summary: This bill would require the seller of a residential dwelling to complete a home energy assessment and an associated residential energy performance label prior to the time of sale.

Senator Friedman has co-sponsored the following bills relative to energy and the environment in the 2017-2018 legislative session:

S419 An Act to protect the natural resources of the commonwealth

  • Summary: This bill would make certain changes to the Article 97 land transfer process, with Executive Office of Environmental Affairs review before the Legislature votes on whether to allow conservation land to be converted to another use.

S436 An Act relative to public space recycling

  • Summary: This bill would require, by January 1, 2019, that that every agency and court of the Commonwealth recycle glass containers, metal containers, paper and plastic bottles and provide recycling receptacles for gathering said materials in public buildings that currently provide waste disposal services to tenants and the general public.

S1821 An Act combating climate change

  • Summary: This bill would propose a carbon pricing scheme in the Commonwealth. The price of carbon use would start at $10 per ton of CO2, rising $5 per year until it hits $40 per ton.

S1846 An act relative to solar power and the green economy

  • Summary: This bill would increase the statewide renewable energy portfolio by 3% each year, driving demand for renewable power and growing our local clean energy industries.

S1847 An act clarifying authority and responsibilities of the department of public utilities

  • Summary: This bill would enhance the oversight of pipeline capacity contracts and address other needed reforms identified over the course of previous and ongoing proceedings related to gas infrastructure projects. It would also codify the Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling prohibiting electric ratepayer financing of gas pipelines, ensure the public’s ability to intervene at the Department of Public Utilities, protect ratepayers against self-dealing by energy conglomerates, enhance protections for landowners and conservation areas, and hold gas utilities to high standards regarding the capacity they are allowed to contract for.

S1849 An Act transitioning Massachusetts to 100 percent renewable energy

  • Summary: This bill would require the Department of Energy Resources to set binding targets for renewable energy growth in all major sectors of the economy, and issue regulations to ensure that Massachusetts stays on track towards 100% renewable energy by 2050.

S1855 An Act protecting ratepayers from gas pipeline expansion costs

  • Summary: This bill would prohibit approval of any contract for the purchase of gas, gas pipeline capacity, or liquefied gas storage where any contract costs would be recoverable from the ratepayers, if such contract requires any construction or expansion of interstate gas infrastructure.

S1871 An Act relative to net metering

  • Summary: This bill would remove the existing caps on solar net metering, which are currently set at 7% of a utility’s peak load.

S1876 An Act Relative to Enhancing RPS Standards

  • Summary: This bill would increase the annual percentage of renewable energy that utility companies must obtain for their customers. Current statute requires that utilities increase by 1% each year the amount of renewable power they provide. This bill would increase that percent from 1% to 2%.

S2164 An Act protecting Massachusetts pollinators

  • Summary: This bill would require licensing for those applying “neonic” pesticides associated with bee population decline. It would also place restrictions on non-agricultural uses of neonics, and would require labeling of any nursery products or seeds offered for sale that have been treated with neonics.