Governor Charlie Baker Returns Climate Bill With ‘Major Rewrite’ July 29th, 2022 --- WBZ News Radio

“This looks to be a major rewrite,” Barrett texted a News Service reporter. “Hard to know what the two legislative branches will manage to agree on, in the time we have left.”

“This was already a tough negotiation,” Barrett added.

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Legislature to Pass Major Clean Energy Bill July 26th, 2022 -- Patch.com

“The changes we’re after make for an unusually long list, because they track the lengthening list of concerns our constituents bring to us,” said Senator Michael J. Barrett (Lexington), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. “The climate problem takes many forms, and with this bill we respond in kind. People worried about the issue will find grounds for hope here.”

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Senators want Mass Pike EV chargers at Natick, Charlton rest stops fixed June 9th, 2022 --- MetroWest Daily News

Frustrated by a pair of Mass Pike electric vehicle charger stations that have been inoperable for more than a year, two state senators pressed Transportation Secretary Jamey Tesler to fix the problem by next month and make clear how the administration will expand EV infrastructure.

Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Creem and Sen. Michael Barrett, who co-chairs the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee, wrote to Tesler this week voicing “disappointment” that vehicle charging stations at I-90 rest stops have been broken for a year-plus.

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Understanding the role Massachusetts played in both developing and resisting eugenics June 7th, 2022 --- Boston Globe

Beacon Hill now has the opportunity to take steps that will make it possible for educators, students, and the general public to understand the role Massachusetts played in both developing and resisting that idea.

The Senate has passed a budget amendment based on legislation put forward by Senator Mike Barrett and Representative Sean Garballey to fund a first-of-its kind commission that will study the history of state institutions for those with disabilities. If created, this commission, which would be led by disabled people, will undertake historical human rights work, including identifying the names of thousands of people buried anonymously in institutional graves.

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Senators blast Baker administration over broken EV chargers on Mass. Pike June 7th, 2022 --- Boston Globe

On Monday, in a letter to Secretary of Transportation Jamey Tesler, state Senators Cynthia Creem and Michael Barrett demanded that the broken chargers be fixed by July 1 and asked for information about who was responsible for their operation and maintenance.

“The continued inoperability of these chargers hampers the Commonwealth’s ability to reach its EV goals, not only because it makes it more difficult for EV drivers to travel across the Commonwealth, but also because it feeds into an inaccurate yet prevalent narrative that EVs are not reliable for long-distance travel,” the pair wrote to Tesler.

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As blades get longer, Charlestown testing center seeks to expand May 22nd, 2022 -- CommonWealth Magazine

State Sen. Michael Barrett, Senate chair of the Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy, said having the testing center gives Massachusetts a competitive advantage in becoming a national center for offshore wind. Already, Charlestown is the premier testing site for the East Coast offshore wind industry, and he said the expansion is necessary to maintain that advantage. We’ve got to have a facility here in Massachusetts that can accommodate the largest products out there,” Barrett said. “You’ve got to keep modernizing just to keep pace.” 

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Baker, negotiators eye path to energy bill compromise May 5th, 2022 -- GBH

During a State House News Service event in Boston on Thursday morning, Roy and Sen. Michael Barrett, the Senate chairman of TUE, each pitched their chamber’s bill and looked ahead to how the two approaches might be reconciled. The House bill is essentially a deep dive on offshore wind policy while the Senate’s legislation is a more broad climate and energy bill that touches upon offshore wind but also deals with topics like climate resilience, solar policy and electric vehicles.

“Despite the significant difference in emphasis, there’s much that Jeff and I agree with … we’re going to have no difficulty discussing all of these things,” Barrett said. “But this is going to be hard, all kidding aside, because the Senate has views … on solar, on the relative importance of offshore wind, on how to approach transmission … so this isn’t going to be a simple matter of everything the Senate wants to do on electric vehicles being traded for an important offshore wind piece and everything we hope to do for cities on clean buses being traded for another offshore wind piece.”

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Senate passes climate bill to advance net-zero efforts April 21st, 2022 --- The Daily Free Press

The bill — titled “An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward” — includes 45 amendments such as putting $50 million toward electric vehicle charging stations, banning non-electric vehicle sales by 2035, increasing off-shore wind energy to 5,600 MW by June 2027 and investing $100 million toward renewable energy, among other policies.

The climate action bill comes as a follow-up to last year’s law, introduced by Senator Michael Barrett, that outlined short-term climate goals and authorized 1,600 MW of offshore wind energy less than the current goal for mid-2027.

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Massachusetts behind on efforts to shift to electric cars April 19th, 2022 -- The Suffolk Journal

According to The Boston Globe, cars make up for about one-fifth of carbon emissions in the state. Cutting down on the reliance of gas powered cars would greatly reduce emissions in the state, and if instituted more broadly could play a major role in fighting climate change.

While the State House has passed a few climate bills, experts feel that the government is not doing enough to solve this issue.

“The state is not trying hard enough,” said Senator Mike Barrett, lead author of the state’s landmark climate law. “Nobody has chosen to own this.”

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Senate OKs climate change bill over objections April 18th, 2022 --- The Eagle Tribune

In remarks ahead of the vote, state Sen. Mike Barrett, D-Lexington, co-chair of the Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy and the bill’s primary architect, acknowledged that the proposal includes “tough decisions” to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the impacts of climate change.

“We’ve reduced our options as a world in dealing with climate change, and we all know that our choices are narrower and more difficult,” Barrett said.

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Road To Net-Zero Emissions: Mass. Lawmakers Approve Climate Bill April 15th, 2022 -- WBZ News Radio

Senators took a major step Thursday toward achieving the net-zero emissions target they already set for Massachusetts by approving a policy-heavy bill aimed at expanding the clean energy industry and reining in emissions from the transportation and building sectors.

Nearly 12 hours after they kicked off debate, senators voted 37-3 on legislation (S 2819) that faces an unclear future as negotiators prepare to reconcile it with a smaller-scope bill that cleared the House (H 4515). All three of the chamber’s Republicans, who unsuccessfully pushed an alternative proposal, voted against the final measure.

Along the way, the Senate adopted 45 amendments — including one that calls for attempting to nearly double the amount of offshore wind energy generated for Massachusetts over the next decade-plus — leading to what Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee Chair Sen. Michael Barrett called “a product here that is much better than when we started.”

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Senate passes climate bill, adds offshore wind boost April 15th, 2022 -- CommonWealth Magazine

“Last year’s climate bill was about laying out a plan for tackling this formidable challenge of climate change. This year, in this legislation, we propose to begin to execute on the plan. If you like metaphors, last year was about laying out a roadmap, today we start traveling down the road. That’s why this is all about implementation,” Barrett, a Lexington Democrat, said on the Senate floor. “I am happy beyond measure, I am so happy, that this Senate has the courage to move beyond roadmapping and beyond laying out a template and is in favor of getting to the question of implementation and execution.”

The bill focuses on three main areas: electricity, transportation and buildings, all of which play major roles in existing greenhouse gas emissions.

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With climate bill, Senate starts ‘traveling down the road’ to net-zero April 15th, 2022 --- Boston Globe

Along the way, the Senate adopted 45 amendments — including one that calls for attempting to nearly double the amount of offshore wind energy generated for Massachusetts over the next decade-plus — leading to what Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee Chair Sen. Michael Barrett called “a product here that is much better than when we started.”

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Massachusetts Senate Passes Major Climate Legislation To Address Clean Energy, Transportation, & Buildings April 14th, 2022 --- Framingham Source

“We know climate change is relentless, so we think Massachusetts needs to be relentless, too,” stated Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington), Senate Chair of the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee. “No one’s around to give out ‘A’s’ for effort. What matters are results. An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward pushes back against global warming on multiple fronts, and with an emphasis on innovation and smart experimentation. It’s about thinking long-range but executing now, in the short term.  It’s about problem-solving, confidence, and even optimism.”

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State climate bill would let 10 communities ban natural gas hookups. Business groups say that’s a bad idea. April 13th, 2022 --- Boston Globe

Senator Mike Barrett, a Democrat who co-chairs the Legislature’s energy committee, said the Senate adopted this language because the Baker administration’s interpretation of the net-zero legislation from last year didn’t match the Legislature’s intent. The reason he cited: These rules, as drafted by the administration, would bar communities from going all electric for new construction. Barrett’s hometown of Lexington is among the communities that have sought legislative approval to limit gas hookups. So are Concord and Lincoln — also in his district.

“We’re going to what the original legislative intent was, which was to permit communities to go all-electric,” Barrett said.

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Massachusetts needs at least 750,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030. We are nowhere close. April 9th, 2022 --- Boston Globe

“The state is not trying hard enough,” said Senator Mike Barrett, lead author of the state’s landmark climate law. “Nobody has chosen to own this.”

Converting large numbers of the state’s 4.3 million gas cars to electric is one of Massachusetts’ most urgent climate tasks as it stares at the 2030 deadline for slashing emissions by half from 1990 levels, which was set by the Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy law. Cars account for about a fifth of all carbon emissions in the state, and advocates, legislators, and other experts say that if Massachusetts doesn’t quickly address its problems, including by improving mass transit and discouraging driving altogether, it may not reach the targets set for the end of the decade.

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