Climate change is a profound environmental issue that affects people and ecosystems worldwide. Many factors directly or indirectly contribute to climate change. One of these factors is the overuse of fossil fuels. We urge the Massachusetts legislature to pass the 100 Percent Clean Act in order to address this overuse, and eventually to help mitigate climate change.
Our country is currently powered by dirty fossil fuels. While these fuels undoubtedly contributed to the success of our economy, it became apparent over time that they contribute to climate change. Using energy sources like coal and oil are extremely detrimental to the environment, contributing to land degradation, water pollution, emissions and more. Moreover, fossil fuels are unhealthy for people. 12.6 million Americans are exposed to toxic pollutants daily due to the generation and processing of fossil fuels. It is clear that we have to take steps to mitigate these pressing environmental issues.
While we may argue over the best way to combat this problem, nearly all agree that something must be done. A crucial first step is to reduce fossil fuel use by transitioning to clean sources of energy like wind and solar. Renewable energy is a continuously growing industry and it is working to make clean energy cheaper and more efficient than fossil fuels. So, why haven’t we made the switch?
We urge Massachusetts to pass the 100 Percent Clean Act in order to take the first step in combating the climate crisis statewide. The 100 Percent Clean Act would transition Massachusetts to 100 percent clean energy for electricity by 2035 and 100 percent clean energy for building and transportation by 2045.
The bill is currently being co-sponsored by over 70 Massachusetts state senators and representatives. Not only would passing the bill show that Massachusetts is becoming more sustainable, it would also prove to other legislators that renewable energy is a priority and could help us advance federal legislation in the future.
We deserve a future that includes clean water and air. Clean energy is one of the most important steps to achieving that goal. The 100 Percent Clean Act would help Massachusetts, and by extension the United States, to get there.
Abigail Farrell and Melissa Chook
MASSPIRG Student Interns