I don't know about you, but I've got a bit of Olympic fever. While most of us are focusing on whether the U.S. can get more medals than China, Mass Sierra Club and Environmental Entrepreneurs have been taking stock of how Massachusetts stacks up against the competition when it comes to climate and environmental policies.
No, they're not objective news sources. What Michael Phelps sees as a victory, Ryan Lochte would probably call something else altogether. But they can both tell you who took home the gold. But enough of the analogy; you get the idea. Here's the rundown:
On their news blog, Massachusetts Sierra Club tallies legislative victories and defeats from the legislative session that ended Tuesday. I'll warn you right now, it's not an uplifting read. The list of defeats - topped by the failed bottle bill update and plastic bag ban - is much longer than the list of victories. And the post starts with a disclaimer that most of the victories are not as much steps forward as action to prevent steps backward.
And, in their most recent newsletter, Environmental Entrepreneurs recaps a MassINC report published earlier this year that takes a critical look at where Massachusetts stands relative to the goals set by the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008. Bottom line: the 2008 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 25% below the 1990 level by 2020 (let alone to 80% below 1990 levels by 2020) is looking like a stretch. MassINC concludes that, while the Commonwealth has done an excellent job addressing energy efficiency issues, progress is lagging in many other areas. But Rick Sullivan, Secretary of Energy and Environment Affairs, has recently appointed a Global Warming Solutions Act Implementation Advisory Committee (what a mouthful!) to ensure that Massachusetts meets its emissions goals. We'll just have to wait and see.