Massachusetts Governor Introduces Long-Term Energy Plan; Focus on Conservation and Renewables, Including Biofuels
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney on Friday outlined a long-term energy plan that seeks to better manage the energy needs of the state, which faces billions of dollars in new federally mandated energy surcharges, potential issues with energy reliability at extremely hot and cold times of the year and a small and slow-growing renewable energy sector.
Romney said the four steps necessary to take control include becoming more energy efficient, diversifying and increasing the energy supply, fixing the inadequate energy infrastructure and leading the nation in developing advanced energy technologies.
First, to become more energy efficient, the Governor proposes to create new electricity energy efficiency programs for homes and business as well as implement new electricity rates that encourage energy efficiency at peak times. He will also issue directives requiring energy efficiency measures for current and future state buildings. Romney supports state tax incentives for the purchase of fuel efficient vehicles, a measure currently pending in the legislature.
Second, Romney supports diversifying and increasing the energy supply through renewable wood, hydro and wind power developments as well as the use of biofuels in state vehicles and buildings.
Third, the Governor proposes a reduction of utility rates on companies that install their own clean, on-site power generation capabilities.
Finally, Romney advocates an expansion of the emerging energy technology sector and energy research in the state’s research universities. The Governor proposes creating new partnerships between business and universities to speed the commercialization of these technologies to create new jobs in the advanced energy marketplace.
The Governor has instructed several agencies, including the Executive Office of Economic Development and Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, to begin implementing these steps.