Friends, the following news update came to us from our Massachusetts counterparts and we wanted to share with all of you.
Brookline Becomes First Town in Massachusetts to Ban Fossil Fuel Use in New Construction & Major Building Rehabs
Despite opposition from MEMA, the gas utilities and some Realtors and restaurant owners, voters in the Town of Brookline last night overwhelmingly approved a bylaw that bans the installation of “fuel gas or fuel oil piping” in all new construction and in any building that undertakes “significant rehabilitation” defined as “more than 50% of the building floor area.”
“After attending two public meetings on this proposal last summer and presenting the heating oil industry position that we’re a partner in reducing fossil fuel use through heating system efficiencies and clean, renewable BIOHEAT, it was apparent to me that this proposal would eventually be approved by Brookline voters,” said MEMA’s Michael Ferrante.
Werner Lohe, one of the measure’s sponsors and co-chair of Brookline’s climate action committee told the Boston Globe, “We need to do something about climate change. We need to stop burning fossil fuels inside our buildings. This is the first step in Brookline toward an all-electric, all-renewable-energy world.”
The replacement of older, existing heating oil, natural gas and propane systems or repairs to these systems are not impacted by the bylaw.
The new bylaw must still be approved by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. “MEMA is exploring what options might be available to us to challenge this ruling through the Attorney General’s office,” Ferrante said.