Boston city councilors agreed today to look at getting Boston into the bulk purchase of electricity from sustainable sources for resale to local residents and businesses.
Council President Michelle Wu said consumers could opt out of any such system, but said the main goal would be to help Boston dramatically reduce its contribution to climate change by maximizing the amount of energy the city consumes from renewable-energy sources. The proposal would be made possible by a state law - one of seven in the country - that lets cities and towns buy electricity on behalf of residents and businesses.
Wu said she didn't want to get dramatic, but said nothing less than the fate of the planet is at stake. She pointed to record-setting average global temperatures over the past three years and said that despite the bile from Washington, scientists around the world agree we're close to a tipping-point temperature beyond which lies "famine and mass extinction."
"Boston is one of the most vulnerable American cities," because climate change appears to be having effects faster here, she said. "Our window for avoiding this type of catastrophe is closing very quickly."
Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury), said this sort of municipal system has been in place on the Cape for several years.
"This is a new world we're living in and now, more than ever, this city needs to lead on environmental issues," he said, pointing to a nominated EPA administrator who doesn't believe in climate change
O'Malley added that consumers would see no difference in what happens when they turn on their lights - Eversource would still funnel electricity to consumers - but that done right, municipal electricity would be cleaner and possibly even cheaper.