Massachusetts to create new climate change plans

This week, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and newly-elected Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced a new series of initiatives that will aim to help the state be better prepared for the impact of global climate change. Governor Patrick pointed to the extreme weather conditions that have gripped Massachusetts – as well as a large part of the country – over this past winter. He took special note of the recent polar vortex that plunged the United States into record-setting low temperatures.

The plan – which will cost $50 million – will asses and then address any vulnerabilities in climate preparedness across the state. The government will look into how extreme weather conditions will effect transportation, business, energy and public health. $40 million of the new plan has already been earmarked to strengthen protections around any energy services in surrounding towns and cities. The money will come from the Department of Energy Resources.

The last $10 million will be dedicated to coastal infrastructure repair, including grants to reduce the risks associated with any coastal storms and the rise of sea levels. At a news conference at the New England Aquarium, Governor Patrick spoke about the October 2011 ice storm that left thousands without power for weeks and that the energy grid must be able to withstand any future storms.

Mayor Walsh – who was inaugurated on January 6th – ran on the issue of climate change while seeking office. He told reporters at the event that his administration will be making announcements over the upcoming weeks and months on the actions that will be taken to make Boston superstorm ready.

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