Posted inOpinion

What you need to know about heat pumps

TECHNOLOGY IMPROVEMENTS likely to reach the market within two years will improve conventional air-to-air heat pump efficiency by perhaps 10 percent or more while reducing the climate risks of refrigerant leaks.  The improvements will involve a shift in the refrigerant chemicals used within the pumps. From an environmental perspective, it may make sense for some […]

Posted inOpinion

Closing a gap in our climate plans

THE RECENT report from the Commission on Clean Heat is short on numbers and, like any “consensus report,” it leaves some important issues unresolved. But it does identify the challenges we face in decarbonizing buildings in Massachusetts and offer an inventory of options. The state’s basic strategy for cutting carbon emissions is to electrify almost everything […]

Posted inOpinion

We should all be wearing masks

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending everyone wear a face covering, particularly in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. CommonWealth recently reported on the “to mask or not to mask” controversy. The following commentary originally appeared on the website of Sen. William Brownsberger of Belmont.   WE […]

Posted inTransportation

Brownsberger: Take two on reducing congestion

MASSACHUSETTS IS CURRENTLY contemplating a program of investments in regional rail expansion that may cost tens of billions of dollars over several decades. Within that program we need to prioritize the highest value investments. All agree that the top priority is to make the existing system reliable. We have a moral obligation to those who already use rail to […]

Posted inCriminal Justice, Opinion

Brownsberger: Criminal justice reform top priority

MY ONGOING TOP PRIORITY as Senate Chair of the Judiciary Committee is criminal justice reform. The criminal justice system is filled with committed professionals – police, prosecutors, judges, and probation, parole and correctional officers. Most of the laws that govern the system made sense when they were enacted and are still individually defensible. Yet, taken […]