Dozens of Businesses Line up Behind Climate Tech Investment Proposal

Gov. Maura Healey's plan to inject $1.3 billion of public dollars and tax incentives into climate tech over 10 years will get its hearing before the Joint Committee on Economic Development next Tuesday as part of the governor's economic development bill (H 4459). In a letter being sent to chairmen Rep. Jerald Parisella and Sen. Barry Finegold on Thursday, a wide array of businesses will urge the Legislature to support "at least" the level of climate tech investment that the governor has proposed.

"Ambition on this scale will signify to companies, venture capitalists, and innovators that Massachusetts is the place to be for climatetech. Fifteen years ago, the Commonwealth competed – and won – the life sciences industry by going bold and big, and we can't afford to miss the chance to do the same with the growing green economy," the 81 companies and organizations wrote. "Leveraging the capacity of public investment to catalyze growth is the kind of creative policymaking that the moment requires, and we look forward to the Commonwealth's continued leadership to meet this global challenge with historic action."

Signatories include Takeda, Mass General Brigham, Associated Industries of MA, Eastern Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, Boston Medical Center, Encore Boston Harbor, Lyft, Mass. Business Roundtable, Siemens USA, Uber, and UMass Lowell. The Environmental League of Massachusetts, Ceres, Healthcare Without Harm, NECEC and Second Nature were among the letter's organizers.

Healey's climate tech proposal includes $700 million for the Mass. Clean Energy Center, broken down into $400 million in capital funding and $300 million in operating money. It also incorporates $300 million in tax incentives. The business groups said that should be the starting point as lawmakers tweak the governor's bill (the economic development bill generally passes close to the July 31 end of formal lawmaking).

Healey will visit Via Separations on Thursday, a Watertown company that develops ways to eliminate energy use in industrial manufacturing processes, to highlight a report coming from the the UMass Donahue Institute that she says will show that her proposal would generate $16.4 billion in economic activity and create nearly 7,000 jobs.

"That's a return on investment of more than 12 to 1," Healey said when she previewed the report for business bigwigs at a New England Council breakfast Tuesday. Drawing applause, she added, "I like that. Do you?"

Based on Thursday's letter, at least 81 of the state's most visible businesses and organizations like it too, governor. — Colin A. Young

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