Bill strongly supports energy policies that increase the use of clean, renewable sources, such as solar and wind; decrease our reliance on fossil fuels; create hundreds of clean energy jobs throughout Massachusetts; and lead to important cost-savings for our local municipalities. He believes that investments in these sources are critical to our global responsibility to combat the threats of climate change and preserve our community for future generations.
For five years in a row, the Commonwealth has been recognized by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy as the most energy efficient state in the country. The Ninth Congressional District, in particular, is the center of renewable energy initiatives both on and offshore, from solar electricity to wind energy. This directly translates into new jobs at home; already, over 98,000 workers are employed in the clean energy industry in our state. These are well-paying, stable jobs that support 1 gigawatt of overall installed renewable capacity.
Clean energy is critical to the future of our country – economically and environmentally. One of Bill’s first actions in Congress was to introduce an amendment to end subsidies for large oil companies, which are some of the most profitable in the world. Big Oil does not need subsidies; instead Bill believes we should continue to invest in our renewables by eliminating barriers to capital and promoting incentives for small- and large-scale use by residents and commercial facilities.
Bill also understands that the possibilities of clean energy production are endless when invested in by public-private partnerships and federal funding. He has strongly supported the extension of federal tax incentives that will allow renewable energy industries on- and off-shore to grow. The construction of future offshore renewable energy projects will catapult Massachusetts – and the United States - toward reaching and surpassing our aggressive renewable energy goals. Our country should be striving to be a leader in the field of innovation and technology in this sector; currently we are lagging behind international competitions such as China.
Bill believes that hand-in-hand with an increased investment in renewable energy, our country needs a unified, dramatic approach to climate change. This is indisputably one of the most urgent challenges of our generation. Already, we are seeing the consequences of unprecedented and unpredictable weather patterns, ocean acidification, and warming sea temperatures. In a coastal community like Southeastern Massachusetts, the full impacts of these changes will be devastating. It is critical that we invest in the science and research to better understand the extent of these consequences on our communities and ways of life, as well as to best plan and adapt for the years to come.
Locally, Bill is closely monitoring the future decommissioning of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant. As a resident of Bourne who lives only 17 miles from the plant, Bill understands firsthand the safety concerns surrounding Pilgrim. To this end, he introduced the Dry Cask Storage Act, which would make nuclear plants safer by requiring dangerous radioactive waste be promptly moved into storage units known to be less vulnerable to natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and system breakdowns.
Following Entergy’s decommissioning announcement, Bill united a bipartisan group of Members in similarly affected districts to advocate for local communities and ensure that they play a front-and-center role in engaging directly with both Entergy and the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Bill is an active member of the Sustainable Energy & Environment Caucus and House Renewable Energy Caucus.