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Comments to Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection on Greenhouse Gas Reductions

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (“MassDEP”) has proposed a set of regulations to limit the greenhouse gas emissions from electric power plants, natural gas pipelines, government-owned transportation equipment, and utility-owned switchgear equipment. MassDEP has also proposed a new requirement that retail sellers of electricity purchase gradually increasing amounts of clean energy, along with non-binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

In our comments to MassDEP, we offer three suggestions to ensure these regulations cut global greenhouse gas emissions in a cost-effective way. First, we encourage MassDEP to prevent potential emissions leakage to other states in the Northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (“RGGI”) program. Second, we recommend the regulations should be technology-neutral and use a flexible compliance system. Third, we recommend enforceable emissions limits on the transportation sector rather than non-binding targets, especially considering that the state’s emissions from transportation sector are almost twice those of the electric sector.