|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 6, 2004
Phil Hailer (OCD)
ROMNEY UNVEILS CLIMATE PROTECTION PLAN FOR MASSACHUSETTS
Comprehensive Strategies Designed to Improve Air Quality and Boost State’s Economy
Governor Mitt Romney today unveiled the state’s comprehensive Climate Protection Plan, taking action to reduce pollution, cut energy demands and nurture job growth in the Commonwealth.
“Economic success and environmental protection go hand in hand,” said Romney. “The steps we are taking today will ensure a cleaner environment and a brighter future for generations to come.”
Romney said the climate plan is one of the nation’s strongest to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and represents a commitment to implementing the regional climate change plan adopted by the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers in August 2001.
“EPA New England applauds Governor Romney for his strong environmental leadership,” said Robert W. Varney, Regional Administrator of EPA’s New England regional office. “We look forward to working with the Governor to implement many of these recommendations, especially through EPA programs such as Energy Star, Green Power Partnerships and Climate Leaders, which will help reduce emissions, lower energy costs, save taxpayer dollars and strengthen our economy.”
The plan urges all sectors to partner with the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2010. It further calls for an additional 10 percent reduction by 2020 through strict standards for old coal-fired power plants, promotion of renewable energy, encouraging green building technology, energy efficiency, cleaner vehicles and public awareness.
Business leaders from Bank of America and Polaroid lauded the Romney plan.
“We, at Bank of America, recognize that climate change and atmospheric pollution represent a risk to the ultimate stability and sustainability of our way of life,” said Eugene M. McQuade, President of Bank of America. “We support Governor Romney’s Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan and stand ready to work with the state to fulfill its goals.”
“Polaroid is pleased and honored to join with the Governor in his initiative to help reduce harmful green house gas emissions in our environment,” said Bill Kennedy, Corporate Energy Director at Polaroid Corporation. “At Polaroid, we have been working for several years with private and public organizations to reduce our own emissions and we feel the Governor’s program will provide vitally needed momentum to this critical worldwide effort.”
“This plan will significantly improve public health, environmental safety and stability, and the overall quality of life in Massachusetts, and they will prepare the way for our state to prosper well into the 21st century,” said Commonwealth Development Secretary Douglas Foy.
Some of the plan’s highlights include:
- The commitment of state government to “Lead by Example.” To this end, the state has completed its first inventory of the greenhouse gas emissions generated at state facilities and pledged to reduce them 25 percent by 2012, saving the state millions of dollars per year in energy bills;
- Reducing CO2 from cars through aggressive implementation of the California Low Emission Vehicle program;
- Creating partnerships with cities and towns, businesses, colleges and universities to reach climate protection targets;
- A program to assist low-income residents to upgrade old, inefficient oil burners to reduce their energy costs;
- Reducing emissions and soot from diesel vehicles, including trucks, buses, locomotives and construction equipment;
- Including carbon pollution as a criteria when making state decisions on transportation funds;
- Allowing the purchasers of clean cars to have access to the High Occupancy (HOV or carpool) lanes;
- Encouraging the construction of “green” schools and green buildings;
- Purchasing only fuel-efficient vehicles and energy efficient computers and copiers for state use to save on fuel and electricity bills for current and future taxpayers;
- Removing barriers to and encouraging the development of renewable energy;
- Improving efficiency standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and
- Developing an emissions banking and trading market in Massachusetts.
“The potential for economic growth in Massachusetts extends even further through implementation of this plan,” said Romney. “More efficient use of energy resources will keep manufacturing costs down, allowing local businesses to stay competitive in the world marketplace.”
For more information or to read the report, look online at www.mass.gov/ocd