25 Jul Boston tops CLEAN ENERGY list — BAKER to debut TRANSPORTATI…
GOOD MORNING, MASSACHUSETTS.
NEW THIS MORNING: BOSTON RANKS #1 FOR CLEAN ENERGY — Boston is the country’s top-rated city for clean energy, according to a scorecard released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy today. The organization is a nonprofit focused on advancing energy efficiency policies and programs, and will announce its findings during a webinar later this morning.
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The report ranks 75 large cities on 50 metrics, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy equity. Boston received high marks for its transportation policies, energy and water utilities, building policies and local government operations.
The council projects that Boston will meet its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030, based on 2005 levels. Boston received top marks for its local government operations — the city set LEED requirements for new public buildings, has retrofitted 14 municipal buildings over the last five years, and converted 75 percent of streetlights to LED lights, according to the report.
Other cities highlighted by the scorecard are Austin, Chicago, New York City, Providence, Washington, D.C. and Worcester. The council suggests Boston improve its community-wide initiatives, and does not project the city will reach its goal of reducing “community-wide” greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent in 2030, though it will make progress toward that marker.
The report comes as transportation advocates call for more funding to improve and expand the MBTA, and new policies to ease traffic congestion and carbon emissions. According to this report, Boston is one of only six cities to report measurable progress toward greenhouse gas reduction goals for transportation through its GoBoston 2030 plan. Additionally, “relative to systems in other cities, the transit system is well-funded and accessible” in Boston, the scorecard found. Today’s webinar will include Christopher Cook, chief of environment, energy, and open space for the City of Boston.
PROGRAMMING NOTE — I’m taking some time off! Massachusetts Playbook will not publish next week, starting July 29. I’ll be back in your inbox Monday, Aug. 5. To reach me in the meantime, email [email protected] or check Rye Beach.
AND ANOTHER PROGRAMMING NOTE — I’ll be at the National Conference of State Legislatures 2019 Legislative Summit in Nashville from Aug. 5 to Aug. 8. If you’ll be there, drop me a line: [email protected].
Have a tip, story, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for the Playbook? Get in touch: [email protected]
TODAY — Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides and MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak announce a new transportation bond bill. Attorney General Maura Healey visits Community Boating Center Inc and the South Shore YMCA’s Camp Quirk. The Senate meets in formal session. Rep. Seth Moulton is a guest on “Radio Boston.”
– “House passes Speaker Robert DeLeo’s $1.3 billion ‘Greenworks’ bill to fund local sustainability projects,” by Colin A. Young, State House News Service: “The Massachusetts House crossed one of Speaker Robert DeLeo’s priority bills off its list Wednesday with the unanimous passage of a bill to establish a new grant program to help cities and towns confront climate change impacts and to borrow more than $1 billion to pay for it. The bill,H 3987, would create the GreenWorks infrastructure program under the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to help communities address things like the threat of rising seas and floodwaters, and the damage that’s already been done. The bill authorizes the state to borrow $1.3 billion and to dole out $100 million for GreenWorks each year for a decade.”
– “Gov. Charlie Baker to seek federal disaster declaration for Cape Cod after tornadoes,” WCVB: “Gov. Charlie Baker says he will seek a federal disaster declaration to support cleanup and recovery efforts on Cape Cod after two tornadoes and high winds caused extensive damage and knocked out power to tens of thousands. The National Weather Service says one tornado touched down in Kalmus, a village in Barnstable, at 11:57 a.m. and lifted in South Yarmouth 10 minutes later. Then another tornado touched down in Harwich at 12:10 p.m. and lifted five minutes later. One tornado ripped off a hotel roof and toppled trees during the peak of tourist season.”
– “Lawmakers call Pollack back next week on RMV,” by Andy Metzger, CommonWealth Magazine: “SETTING THE STAGE for another confrontation with the Baker administration, leaders of the Transportation Committee on Wednesday scheduled a hearing next week in their ongoing probe of the massive procedural failure connected to a fatal crash in New Hampshire last month. Unless something has changed since Monday, that schedule doesn’t mesh with Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack’s insistence on keeping certain information about dysfunction at the Registry of Motor Vehicle’s out of the public view until an investigation commissioned by her office is complete. In their letter, the committee’s co-chairs, Rep. William Straus of Mattapoisett and Sen. Joseph Boncore of Winthrop, requested the appearance of witnesses who were no-shows Monday as well as documents that Pollack has yet to send them.”
– “Lawmakers hike assessment on utilities 50%” by Colin A. Young, State House News Service: “THOUGH LAWMAKERS LEFT a handful of proposed taxes on the cutting room floor when they compromised on a budget, the fiscal year 2020 spending plan being reviewed by Gov. Charlie Baker includes a 50 percent increase in the annual assessment imposed upon gas and electric utility companies. The assessment of a percentage of each utility company’s Massachusetts revenue is meant to be a reimbursement of the cost of overseeing and regulating the gas and electric industries. The budget awaiting Baker’s action would raise the maximum rate of that assessment from 0.2 percent of revenue to 0.3 percent of revenue.”
– “State seeks to reduce wait time for new doctors to be allowed to practice,” by Jessica Bartlett, Boston Business Journal: “Currently, new doctors in Massachusetts must wait as long as a year before they can start practicing medicine, a delay that state regulators would like to shorten to broaden physician access and help reduce health care costs. The state’s Health Policy Commission said in a meeting Wednesday that it wants to reduce what it calls “administrative complexity,” or behind-the-scenes issues that health care systems, insurers and regulators face that add unnecessary costs and difficulty to how health care is delivered. One of those issues revolves around credentialing — the steps a physician who just graduated from medical school, or else just moved to the state, must take to be able to be reimbursed by insurers.”
– “Religious Exemptions To Vaccines In Kindergarten Reach An All-Time High In Mass.” by Molly Boigon, WGBH News: “Just like other parents, Mahala Clivaz of Lexington has to shake off summer vacation and get her kids ready for school each September. But for years, Clivaz’s…