State lawmakers and environmental advocates welcomed the proposal, which was required by the state’s landmark climate law that took effect last year and mandates that the state cut its emissions by 50 percent below 1990 levels by the end of the decade and effectively eliminate them by 2050. But they hoped regulators would make changes to the proposal before the law requires it to be enacted by the end of the year.
“There’s real progress here, and yet I’m disappointed,” said state Senator Michael Barrett, a Lexington Democrat and one of the climate bill’s lead negotiators. “What is missing is significant. This proposal gives permission to put new natural gas infrastructure into the ground, when we know those assets will have to be abandoned to meet our climate goals.”