BOSTON (State House News Service) — There will be a lot of pomp and circumstance for Maura Healey this week as she prepares to ascend to the job of governor in Massachusetts, but climate activists plan to arrange for some protest as well.
Extinction Rebellion Boston, a group that has previously held demonstrations around the State House and outside of Gov. Charlie Baker's Swampscott home, said Tuesday that its members will be on hand for Gov.-elect Healey's inauguration Thursday for a "noisy, colorful rally" to both "celebrate her election and hold her to urgent and aggressive climate action."
"Extinction Rebellion Boston is excited to support Governor Healey, but we know better than to get comfortable. The governor-elect accepted tens of thousands of dollars from fossil fuel companies during her campaign and did NOT commit to a No New Fossil Fuel pledge when asked. She prevented multiple municipalities in Massachusetts from blocking fossil fuel infrastructure during her time as Attorney General, citing rules why they couldn't instead of figuring out how they could!" the group said in a statement. "She may be slightly better than her predecessor, but incrementalism doesn't cut it when we are going to blow by our carbon budget this decade, if we don't take drastic action now."
The grassroots group said its demand is that Healey and her incoming administration "take action to stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure, including halting those currently in development."
Healey's campaign last year said that her climate goals include achieving 100 percent clean electricity supply by 2030 and electrifying public transportation with clean power by 2040. The climate page on her campaign website says that Healey "will work to get rid of the unnecessary fossil fuel infrastructure that plagues so many overburdened communities," that she "will build upon Massachusetts' award-winning energy efficiency programs by ending fossil fuel incentives."
The incoming governor has tapped Rebecca Tepper, the chief of the energy and environment bureau in the attorney general's office, as her first secretary of energy and environmental affairs, and named Melissa Hoffer, a former chief of that AG's office division, as her administration's Cabinet-level "climate chief" responsible for coordinating climate policy across every state agency.
Written by: Colin A. Young/SHNS