Chairman Aiello, Members of the Board, General Manager Poftak, Secretary Pollack, thank you for the opportunity to submit public comment. This testimony speaks to Item H, 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap and Draft 2030 Clean Energy and Climate Plan.
A Better City appreciates the Administration's commitment to identify cost-effective and equitable strategies to ensure Massachusetts reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 85% by 2050 and achieves net-zero emissions.
The organization also appreciates that both the Roadmap and Clean Energy Climate Plan (CECP) are readable and user-friendly, and we will be submitting comprehensive comments on the CECP before the February 22nd comment deadline.
However, the CECP strategies for reducing emissions from the transportation sector are inadequate and almost exclusively focused on subsidizing zero emission vehicle purchases, dismissing the potential of reducing emissions through proven mode shift strategies, including investment in expanded transit service, smart roadway pricing strategies, and transit-oriented development policies.
A Better City is honored to sit on the Global Warming Solutions Act Implementation Advisory Committee (IAC) and to help lead the Transportation Working Group. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the IAC Transportation Working Group's recommendations are not reflected in the CECP, including the recommendation to increase investment to expand public transit and enhance muli-rider mobility programs.
The Commonwealth will not achieve its climate, equity, public health, and economic recovery goals without a substantial reduction in VMT catalyzed in part by substantial, strategic investment in the stabilization, expansion, and decarbonization of the MBTA and RTAs.
We look forward to providing additional comments to the EEA. At this juncture, we urge the FMCB to submit comments of their own to highlight the deficiencies of the CECP transportation strategies and to call for increased investment in public transit as a critical emissions reduction strategy. Thank you for your time and consideration.
We also want to thank Secretary Pollack for her service to the Commonwealth and to wish her well in Washington. In addition, we congratulate Acting Secretary Tesler and look forward to working with him in the coming weeks.