Massachusetts on the Path to 100% Clean Energy: A Deep Dive into Battle Against Natural Gas

Massachusetts has been at the forefront of the clean energy revolution, setting ambitious goals to reduce emissions and transition to renewable energy sources. The journey began in 2008 when the state aimed to cut emissions by 80% by 2050. Fast forward to 2023, and the Commonwealth has intensified its commitment, now striving for net-zero emissions by 2050. A crucial player in this green energy movement is House Bill 2836, also known as the 100 Percent Renewable Energy Act. Simultaneously, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is spearheading investigations into natural gas and battling fossil fuel interests to ensure a smooth transition to a sustainable future.

House Bill 2836: A Blueprint for a Green Tomorrow

Massachusetts towards a future powered entirely by renewable energy

House Bill 2836

House Bill 2836, filed in 2019, is a landmark legislation designed to propel Massachusetts towards a future powered entirely by renewable energy. The bill sets a bold target of achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2035 and extending that commitment to all energy needs, including heating, cooling, transportation, agriculture, and industry, by 2045. The sources identified in the bill encompass solar photovoltaic or thermal, wind, ocean/wave/tidal, fuel-cell using renewable fuels, landfill gas, waste to energy, naturally flowing hydro, low emission biomass, and geothermal.

Elias Franzen of Environment Massachusetts emphasizes the state’s untapped potential, stating that Massachusetts has enough offshore wind potential to power the state 19 times over, with rooftop solar alone capable of providing 47% of electricity. The bill outlines a phased approach, requiring 50% renewable energy by 2030, escalating to 80% by 2040. To ensure progress, the legislation mandates a yearly increase in renewable electricity, starting with 3% in 2020 and steadily rising thereafter.

The bill aligns with tangible efforts on the ground, including the deployment of 2 gigawatts of solar power and plans to expand solar volume, encourage energy storage growth, and add another 1.6 gigawatts of offshore wind.

AG Maura Healey’s Battle Against Fossil Fuel Interests:

AG Maura Healey's Battle Against Fossil Fuel Interests:

Maura Healey’s Battle Against Fossil Fuel

Concurrent with Massachusetts’ push towards clean energy is Attorney General Maura Healey’s persistent efforts to curb the influence of fossil fuel interests. Healey has been actively investigating Exxon’s role in climate denialism, revealing that the company was aware of the climate impacts of burning oil decades ago while simultaneously funding efforts to mislead the public and conceal information from shareholders.

In response to the state’s binding commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, AG Healey’s office filed a petition urging the Department of Public Utilities to ‘Launch a Regulatory Proceeding to Proactively Manage the State’s Transition Away from Natural Gas.’ The petition underscores the declining demand for natural gas in the face of increased electrification and decarbonization of heating. Healey points out that other states like New York and California have initiated similar proceedings and highlights the Department of Public Utilities’ obligation to Massachusetts residents.


Massachusetts is undeniably on a trajectory towards a greener, more sustainable future. House Bill 2836 serves as a comprehensive roadmap, outlining the state’s commitment to achieving 100% renewable energy across all sectors. Simultaneously, Attorney General Maura Healey’s investigations and regulatory petitions demonstrate a commitment to holding fossil fuel interests accountable and ensuring a just transition away from natural gas. The intricate dance between legislation, clean energy deployment, and legal battles paints a vivid picture of Massachusetts’ determination to lead the charge towards a cleaner, more environmentally responsible future.