Looking underground for renewable energy

One promising alternative to fossil fuels is networked geothermal — connected systems of ground-source heat pumps that use underground heat to warm buildings. At a panel event, I joined Rep. Steve Owens and DPU Chair Jamie Van Nostrand to speak with experts about making the switch from gas to geo. Big thanks to HEET for hosting.

Senator Barrett stands beside Rep. Steve Owens, DPU Chair Van Nostrand, and experts

Massachusetts Democrats pitch energy transition to union workers: ‘This is a huge construction project’

Boston Globe

Massachusetts has an ambitious goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050, which will require a massive buildout of electricity infrastructure, retrofits to buildings, new transportation systems, and more. The plan could require what would essentially be a tripling of the electric grid and dozens of new substations.

“Basically, this is a huge construction project,” Massachusetts state Senator Michael Barrett told a crowd on Friday.

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Massachusetts legislation seeks to build on state order to phase out natural gas

Energy News Network

On constraining gas, the ideas are in place, the support, not so much. We need help communicating a simple message: Massachusetts needs to downsize the gas grid as we upsize the electric grid.

A new gas pipe has a useful life of 30-50 years and takes us years to pay off. We need to put our money into clean electric power. We can’t do both, because monthly bill payers will have a fit.

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Senate bans “competitive energy suppliers” from the market

Third-party suppliers of electricity promise to save people money. But they don’t. Instead, they rip off low-income consumers. 25 years to prove themselves is enough: It’s time to bar “competitive suppliers” from the market. We gave them a chance. They don’t provide real competition.

Here’s what I had to say in Senate debate

Collins: Developers greenwashing private jet expansion

Boston Herald

Private jet owners are doubling down on their Hanscom investments. Insulting our intelligence as they injure our environment, they claim they’re doing us a favor!

From Chuck Collins and the Boston Herald: “I know the destruction you folks intend to wreak on Massachusetts and I resent it,” said state Senator Mike Barrett, who represents the four towns where Hanscom is located.

“Please don’t erect these bogus environmental rationales for something that has nothing whatsoever to do with relieving the crisis that faces us in terms of climate,” Barrett said at the developers’ public hearing. “Just be honest about it. This is all about becoming a little richer yourselves by helping people even richer than you.”

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America’s big birthday is less than a year away!

The countdown to mark 250 years since of the start of the American Revolution has begun. Nothing like a giant calendar — which I unveiled in Lexington alongside the Lt. Governor and local leaders — to remind us how quickly the celebration is approaching. The calendar will be flipped by community groups each day leading up to April 19, 2025.  

Sen. Barrett joins Lt. Gov Driscoll and local leaders to unveil the countdown calendar
Senator Barrett speaks to a crowd at Lexington's countdown event

With climate change, it’s not all doom and gloom

One unexpected result of the climate crisis: the creativity it’s inspired. At the Umbrella Arts Center in Concord, I introduced a panel of artists and scientists whose climate-centered art pieces are part of an installation curated by the Umbrella. Heartened by the prevailing sense of optimism and growing determination to tackle the enormous problem in front of us.

Sen. Barrett introducing a panel at the Umbrella Arts Center

Finally, women’s stories are being told

This week Lexington and Concord marked the 249th anniversary of the start of the American Revolution. Finally, the key roles women played are in sharp focus. Their stories have been overlooked. Now they’re being told. Major shoutout to planners of the local events for making everything happen.

Read the full story

Sen. Barrett marching in the Concord Parade

Boeing Reveals Executives Got an Extra $500,000 in Private-Jet Perks

Wall Street Journal

Reducing ferry flights, my ____. Here’s what more private jets out at Hanscom will mean. Massport, put up or shut up on being climate-conscious. Just say no to the Hanscom hangars.

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April is Organ Donation Month

More than 1,400 life-saving organ transplants occurred in New England last year, according to New England Donor Services. To kick off Organ Donation Month, marked each April, I joined organ donation recipients at Waltham City Hall to raise a banner encouraging donor registration. You can register to become a donor here: www.mass.gov/OrganDonor

Senator Barrett and others hang a banner on Waltham City Hall