To the Editor,
As we all cope with the “new normal” of today, leaving behind many vestiges of our previous lives, we must ensure that we are still pushing for a better future. We cannot afford to forget the important issues that threatened us before COVID-19 upturned our lives, and that will continue to plague us long after this has passed.
The problem I speak of is the danger of fossil fuel usage. Not only do fossil fuels contribute to high carbon emissions that devastate the environment, but they adversely affect our own health.
As a college student, intern for MASSPIRG (a nonpartisan student advocacy group), and hopeful future healthcare provider, I cannot be silent on this public health issue. The lining of our lungs is susceptible to damage by the air pollution from fossil fuels, increasing the risk of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. And unfortunately for my generation, we were born at a crossroads where we will be impacted by the long-lasting effects of COVID-19 and the worst consequences of climate change. Action must be taken soon.
Luckily, the key to a brighter future is at our fingertips. The Decker/Garballey 100% Renewable Energy Act (H.2836) is currently in the House and is the Commonwealth’s best option for a clean, renewable future. This Act sets Massachusetts up to eliminate all fossil fuels for electricity, heating, and transportation as soon as possible. It establishes stronger interim targets to ensure real progress is made towards 100% renewable energy, and includes environmental justice committees and organized labor in this transition. Passing this Act benefits us all.
Today, I call upon House Speaker Bob DeLeo and Energy Committee Chair Chair Tom Golden to determine if the Act will come up for a vote so it can be passed before the end of the legislative session on July 31. We need them to step up for our health and climate to pass a bill that will eliminate fossil fuels and address the practically limitless renewable energy potential of Massachusetts.