Environmentalists urge state leaders to be more aggressive with pollution

Massachusetts has a goal of reducing pollution by two-and-a-half percent each year through 2020

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BOSTON (WWLP) — It was a sunny afternoon, as environmentalists released a new report on the State House steps urging Northeast states to be more aggressive in their efforts to reduce pollution over the next several years. The group Environment Massachusetts wants the state to rely more on clean energy, not fossil-fueled power plants.

“By cutting the emissions from these power plants and transitioning to renewable energy – really going to see us transitioning to 100-percent renewable energy future, which is what we want, right? It’s going to help with public health and it’s going to help save money,” said Jacqueline Meyncke Risch of Environment Massachusetts.

Massachusetts has a goal of reducing pollution by two-and-a-half percent each year through 2020.

Environment Massachusetts wants the state to double its efforts to 5-percent by relying more on solar, wind and hydro power. The new report claims these initiatives are saving businesses and communities money—all while making the air you breathe cleaner.

“When you do things to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, you’re also reducing emissions of other air pollutants and when you do that you improve air quality, and improve people’s health,” said Dr. Jonathan Buonocore of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Critics argue that expanding renewable energy is too expensive, and that natural gas is a cheaper alternative.

Governor Charlie Baker signed a comprehensive clean energy law last month that requires utility companies to research and buy renewable energy.

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