Massachusetts sets stringent emissions curb plans

By Paromita Pain - 31 Dec 2010 21:6:36 GMT
Massachusetts sets stringent emissions curb plans

Recently the state of Massachusetts has announced plans that would cut emissions of greenhouse gases by cars, business establishments and homes by state by 25 percent below 1990 levels over the next decade. This has been greeted with enthusiasm by environmental activists who say that the state has now set targets at the highest levels mandated by the Climate change Legislation passed in 2008. President Obama had promised to push legislation that would reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by the United States.

The plans are also among the most stringent targets decided on by the state. Massachusetts now joins the ranks of New Mexico and California and other states who have taken affirmative action to curb the ravages of climate change. Differing from California in its approach, Massachusetts's plan of action is based on programs that are at already are in place like constructing energy efficient buildings, renewable energy sources and checks in the electricity sector carefully spelled out in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate agreement. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first mandatory, market-based effort in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Incentive programs

California is more dependent on industry based regulations to meet its targets. Introducing the plan the secretary of energy and environmental affairs, Ian A. Bowles, said the measures would increase jobs. The transportation sector has been proved the worst offender in the emission of greenhouse gases. Data revealed say that 33 million metric tons in 2007 came from the transportation sector.

The state will look into starting programs like a sort of a “Pay As You Drive” program giving drivers an incentive to cut back on unnecessary travel by linking car-insurance premiums to miles driven.

To prevent lower-income drivers from suffering costs the Congress has authorized $15 million in federal Transportation Department grants for such programs. Stricter fuel efficiency standards will also help the state. Importing more hydro powered electricity from Quebec, improving home heating tactics and replacing oil furnaces with energy efficient models were some of the other methods suggested to cut back on emissions.