The Merrimack Valley gas explosions last Fall were a tragedy, robbing one young man of his life and forever changing the lives of many people living in that region. After years of changes pushed for and accomplished by reformers including Rep. Ehrlich, the time has come for a more comprehensive approach to public safety and sustainability. Having spearheaded two landmark laws that included the establishment of the uniform gas leak grading system, gas leak repair requirements, and pipe replacement acceleration Rep. Ehrlich this session is filing several gas-related bills.
Working closely with both the advocacy group Mothers Out Front and alongside State Rep. Christina Minicucci (N. Andover) and State Senator Cynthia Stone Creem (Newton), Rep. Ehrlich has filed An Act For Utility Transition to Using Renewable Energy (FUTURE). The FUTURE bill is a multi-faceted approach to transitioning our state towards renewable thermal energy by 2048 and away from the explosive fossil fuels we use now. The bill also puts the public back in public utilities, empowering cities, towns, and citizens with information and a voice at the table in planning our energy future. And finally, the bill takes aggressive action in regards to gas leaks and gas safety.
Natural gas was only ever meant to be a bridge fuel to renewables. It is time for the Commonwealth to cross the bridge and finish the job by converting to non-explosive, renewable energy sources. The FUTURE bill begins that process in a comprehensive, transparent, and bold manner.