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Does your state want to cut carbon emissions? These old laws could be standing in the way

Posted On: 10 Aug 2020   |   Posted By: Grist

Last fall, the town of Brookline, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, tried to solve a climate change problem that's been put on the back burner in many state capitals: reducing emissions from fossil fuels burned in buildings. The fuels burned in boilers and furnaces, hot water heaters, and stoves account for nearly a third of the commonwealth's greenhouse gas footprint. Following the lead of many cities in California , Brookline's government voted overwhelmingly to pass a law restricting gas hookups in new construction. With some exceptions, the bill would force the installation of electric appliances that produce zero direct emissions.
While Brookline was the first community on the East Coast to try and limit gas systems in new buildings, similar plans were also being hatched in neighboring Cambridge and Newton , and earlier this year, New York City mayor Bill De Blasio expressed interest in a building gas ban. But all new bylaws in Massachusetts have to be reviewed by state attorney general Maura Healey...

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