Despite the setback, Wu will continue her anti-fossil fuel agenda.
Earlier this year, my colleague Mike LaChance reported that Boston Mayor Michelle Wu was advancing a plan to reduce the use of fossil fuels in new buildings in the city.
In the summer, that plan came to fruition for new municipal buildings.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu on Monday signed an executive order banning the use of fossil fuels in new construction and major renovations of city buildings.
“This is a major undertaking,” Wu said during a ceremony at City Hall. “It’s many, many school buildings, and public housing units, and boilers, and appliances, and that is part of why it’s taken us until this point in our administration to be sure that we could deliver.”
The executive order eliminates the use of common energy sources such as natural gas and heating oil in new municipal buildings. It also bars their use in renovations that affect 75% or more of a building’s square footage.
Wu was also looking to be included in a pilot program that banned fossil fuel use from any new construction. That plan has gone up in smoke.
The city of Boston will no longer be pursuing inclusion in a program that would allow it to ban fossil fuels from new construction.
The program was open to 10 Massachusetts municipalities, and nine of those spots have already been taken. Mayor Michelle Wu told The Boston Globe last week that she had received “clear indications that Boston would not be chosen for the one available spot,” and that it “breaks [her] heart.”
Boston was unlikely to be accepted because it is “electrically similar” to a few other communities that have already been selected, such as Cambridge, Brookline, and Arlington, a spokesperson for the state Department of Energy Resources told the Globe. This means that their infrastructures are of a similar age and face similar demands. The pilot program was designed to collect data from a diverse group of municipalities.
It will be interesting to see how many communities still embrace these plans between the upcoming frosty El Niño winter and escalating energy prices.
Despite the setback, Wu will persist in her anti-fossil-fuel agenda.
Wu reiterated that she still very much intends to transition the city away from fossil fuels.
“Truly, the decision was not about whether we want to move forward and be a fossil fuel-free city or not,” she said. “We are doing it, one way or the other.”
Wu’s current term will end in 2026. We will see how much Bostonians appreciate light, warmth, and reliable energy at a reasonable price.DONATE
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