January 14, 2021

Statement on Governor Baker’s Veto of the Climate Bill

The Environmental League of Massachusetts is deeply disappointed that Governor Baker has vetoed this path-breaking climate bill and killed desperately needed environmental justice protections. So much of this bill aligns with his own Administration’s recommendations for achieving a net-zero economy by 2050. His Energy & Environmental Affairs team has led strong climate planning efforts. It is unfortunate that the Governor stopped short of codifying those key steps into law.

This bill had broad and deep support from environmental groups, leading businesses, environmental justice advocates, unions, and residents across the Commonwealth. Signing would have put Massachusetts on a path to a cleaner, healthier, more prosperous and more equitable future — and turbocharged a green economic recovery from COVID-19.

We cannot go back to the drawing board after two years spent crafting what would have been the strongest climate bill in the nation. Against the backdrop of his veto, the climate crisis is intensifying and the pandemic is laying bare health disparities in communities overburdened by pollution. Stalling these critical advances is excruciating, particularly when there is vigorous agreement between the Legislature and the Administration on most of the key elements. Furthermore, a veto merely delays the inevitable: Senate President Spilka and Speaker of the House Mariano have expressed unified support for the entirety of this bill. We are grateful to the Legislature for their commitment to passing this crucial bill and thank them for their pledge to refile and pass it promptly.

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