The Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions last Fall were a tragedy, taking a life and devastating the lives of many people living in that region. The time for comprehensive reform of natural gas infrastructure in Massachusetts has come, after years of changes pushed and accomplished by reformers including Rep. Ehrlich. Having spearheaded the establishment of the gas leak grading system and the first gas leak repair requirements, 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 and State Senator Cynthia Stone Creem, Rep. Ehrlich this session 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 to heat our homes 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 finish the job and get to the other side of that bridge by converting to non-explosive, consistent, and renewable energy sources. The FUTURE bill begins that process in a comprehensive, transparent, and bold manner.