State Senate Democrats are using a new report on global warming to prod the incoming governor, Charlie Baker, to embrace many of outgoing Governor Deval Patrick’s environmental initiatives.
The Senate report released Tuesday, “No Time to Waste,” warns of the threats caused by climate change and urges Baker, a Republican, to use his executive powers to enforce and expand policies that cut emissions blamed for accelerating climate change and promote clean-energy programs.
The report, released on the last official day of the 2013-14 legislative session and two days before Baker is sworn in as governor, recommends:
-- Adopting new clean fuel standards that could help spur development of zero-carbon technologies, such as a hydrogen fuel cell. Without new clean fuel standards, the report warned, heavy oil produced from tar sands in Canada could potentially wipe out Massachusetts’ past reductions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide.
-- Enforcing the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act regulations and putting prices on carbon emissions. The report doesn’t endorse a multibillion-dollar “carbon tax” on fossil fuels, but it does say polluters should pay some price for carbon emissions.
-- Encouraging more energy efficiency.
-- Providing incentives to deploy “smart meters,” or devices that allow utilities and consumers to track consumption of electricity on a real-time basis.
“We’re basically saying to the new administration, ‘We’d like you to embrace these environmental initiatives,’” said Senator Marc R. Pacheco, the Taunton Democrat who chairs the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change.
Billy Pitman, a Baker spokesman, said the governor-elect believes the state should continue to develop renewable energy sources and diversify its energy mix. “He will determine which policies will or will not keep Massachusetts a leader in environmental reform once in office.”
Jay Fitzgerald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.