Landmark ruling will shape MA energy policy: The Climate Minute Podcast

In a landmark ruling, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (the SJC) clarified the definition of the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), and ordered the state to impose a limit on greenhouse gas emissions, not just attempt to do so! This is a big deal, with implications and ramifications that will take years to work out. It is a great start for Massachusetts to become a clean energy leader!

The important conclusion is from p38 of the ruling:

Although the department [of Environmental Protection]'s cited regulatory initiatives are important to the Commonwealth's overall scheme of reducing greenhouse gas emissions over time, they do not fulfil the specific requirements [of section] § 3 (d.)  The purpose of [the GWSA]  is to attain actual, measurable, and permanent emissions reductions in the Commonwealth, and the Legislature included [section]  § 3 (d) in the statute to ensure that legally mandated reductions are realized by the 2020 deadline.  Accordingly, we vacate the judgment of the Superior Court and remand the matter for entry of a judgment declaring that  [the GWSA, section] § 3 (d), requires the department to promulgate regulations that address multiple sources or categories of sources of greenhouse gas emissions, impose a limit on emissions that may be released, limit the aggregate emissions released from each group of regulated sources or categories of sources, set emission limits for each year, and set limits that decline on an annual basis.

So ordered.

The reading list:

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Because we recognize the necessity of personal accountability for our actions, because we accept responsibility for building a durable future and because we believe it is our patriotic duty as citizens to speak out, we must insist that the United States put a price on carbon.

Thanks for listening.

…Ted McIntyre

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