The Senate Global Warming and Climate Change Committee, of which I'm a member, just released an energy bill that includes my proposal to "put a price on carbon." I am quite pleased. Carbon pricing is the single most effective step a state government can take to combat climate change.
The language in the proposal is flexible; it does not identify the specific tool the Executive branch must use. The Governor and his administration are held to specific deadlines instead -- carbon pricing of some kind for the transportation sector by 2020; for commercial and industrial buildings by 2021; and for residential buildings by 2022.
I want to tip my hat to my colleague, Senator Marc Pacheco, proponent of the larger energy bill of which my ideas are part. In addition to laying out a carbon pricing roadmap for Massachusetts, the Pacheco proposal
new overall limits on greenhouse gases, remove caps on payments for
solar energy, and impose new clean energy procurement quotas on electric utilities. I
t would also expand MA's offshore wind power goals and
impose a 10-year moratorium on any fracking that might be attempted within Massachusetts.
The legislative process is complicated; next stop for these initiatives is the Senate Ways and Means Committee. We're getting there.
On a much more personal note ... amid the swirl of legislative work, and after convincing myself that my body was doing strange and painful things that I could tough out, I have quite suddenly found myself diagnosed with APL or APML, a rare form of leukemia. One day I was at the State House; the next day, at Emerson Hospital; the day after that, transported by ambulance to the Cancer Center at MGH, where I'm in semi-isolation until my blood cells respond to two miracle medicines.
Which they're doing, thank goodness. My particular cancer is highly curable. I'm writing this from a high-rise hospital room overlooking the golden dome of the State House, and expect to be back at full strength soon.