Baker signs major climate bill into law August 12th, 2022 --- Boston Globe

As the state recovers from two record-breaking heat waves, Senator Michael Barrett, a Democrat from Lexington and one of the bill’s architects, noted that the passage of the state legislation — along with the expected passage of the federal Inflation Reduction Act, with its $369 billion in energy and climate financing — should give people hope. “There’s plenty more to do, but nothing motivates like success,” he said.

Read More —>

Big MA Climate, Clean Energy Bill Signed By Gov. Baker: What’s In It August 11th, 2022 -- Patch.com

The law, An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind, emerged from conference committee on July 20 and was passed on July 31 after Baker submitted several of his own amendments. One of those amendments was the elimination of the 10-community fossil fuel development ban, but lawmakers left the provision in.

According to bill coauthor state Sen. Mike Barrett, the law contains dozens of items aimed at reducing carbon emissions, and numerous items aimed at economic development.

Read More —>

Baker Punctuates Formal Session’s End By Signing Clean Energy Bill August 11th, 2022 -- State House News Service

Sen. Michael Barrett, who has co-chaired the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy for most of Baker’s time in office, said Thursday that it “has been a nail-biter” waiting to see what the governor would do with a bill that included sections he had already indicated he was no fan of.

“I believe the governor is really committed to the housing issue in the suburbs and wanted to figure out if there was a way to join climate and housing together. I am grateful to him that he isn’t holding one hostage to the other,” Barrett said. “The good news is that the state does have a working bipartisan consensus in favor of efforts to push back on climate change. How many other places can say that?”

Read More —>

Massachusetts just passed a massive climate and clean energy bill August 11th, 2022 --- Washington Post

Described as a “landmark bill,” the Massachusetts climate legislation notably includes a provision — the first of its kind for the state — that would allow 10 municipalities to legally ban fossil fuel infrastructure in new and major construction projects. With this policy, certain cities and towns in Massachusetts could soon join others across the country that have taken similar steps to change local building codes to block the use of fossil fuels, such as natural gas — meaning many people who want gas stoves or furnaces are probably out of luck in these places.

“It’s a great day for Massachusetts,” tweeted state Rep. Jeffrey N. Roy (D), who, along with state Sen. Mike Barrett (D) and others, helped move the bill through the legislature.

Read More –>

Legislature amends climate bill, leaving its fate in Governor Baker’s hands August 1st, 2022 --- Boston Globe

“The Legislature’s original bill would have allowed 10 communities — Cambridge, Newton, Brookline, Lexington, Arlington, Concord, Lincoln, Acton, Aquinnah, and West Tisbury — to adopt bans. To implement the bans, communities would first have to ensure at least 10 percent of their housing is considered affordable under state law. All life sciences labs and health care facilities would also be exempt from the bans — a response to concerns from NAIOP Massachusetts, a lobby for developers and building owners, said Senator Mike Barrett.”

Read More —>

Mass. Senate adopts expansion of dangerousness law August 1st, 2022 --- Lowell Sun

“Barrett, who was first elected to the Legislature in 1979, argued his colleagues were focusing too closely on a handful of harrowing anecdotes that would lead them to “overlegislate just as we did during the Bill Clinton years.”

Read More —>

Climate Bill Sent Back to Baker with Gas Ban Pilot Largely Intact August 1st, 2022 --- Banker and Tradesman

“When the climate issue came up in the Senate, Sen. Michael Barrett played the good cop to Roy’s bad cop and instead focused on the ways that Baker and his amendments “influenced our thinking and our approach” in the latest edition of the climate bill.”

“Barrett, who drafted much of the pilot program’s language, said it was important for the state to help multifamily developers show their products weren’t climate-killers.”

Read More —>

Massachusetts climate bill heads to Gov. Baker’s desk after last-minute Senate, House approval August 1st, 2022 --- Utility Dive

“Lawmakers “agreed to a common disposition of several amendments proposed by Gov. Baker to a groundbreaking new climate bill for Massachusetts,” Sen. Mike Barrett, D, said in a statement. “Important ideas of his are included, the most notable of which is abolition of the so-called ‘price cap’ on what developers of offshore wind farms can charge for the electric power they produce.”

Read More —>

Lawmakers Preparing to Send Updated Climate Bill Back to Baker July 31st, 2022 --- 7 News Boston

“Sen. Michael Barrett, who co-chairs the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy with Rep. Jeff Roy, said just before noon that he and Roy had agreed on a way to respond to the governor’s concerns. He said the House would take the matter up first.”

Read More —>

Baker in take-it-or-leave-it position on climate bill July 31st, 2022 --- CommonWealth Magazine

“Sen. Michael Barrett of Lexington, his branch’s energy expert, was the lead champion of continuing the price cap, a provision that requires that each successive procurement come in at a lower price than the previous one.

Barrett had argued that a price cap was needed to protect utility customers, but on Sunday he accepted Baker’s proposal to do away with the cap entirely. “We’re willing to take the chance that even more jobs can come if we do away with price controls,” he said.”

Read More —>

Governor’s Climate Change Bill Amendments Make Passage Uncertain July 30th, 2022 --- New Boston Post

“This looks to be a major rewrite. Hard to know what the two legislative branches will manage to agree on, in the time we have left,” state Senator Michael Barrett, a lead climate change negotiator, said in a text message to State House News Service. “This has already been a tough negotiation.”

Read More —>

More Work to Do on Major Mass. Climate Bill as Baker Makes ‘Major Rewrite’ July 30th, 2022 --- NBC Boston

His Senate counterpart, Sen. Mike Barrett, was a little less optimistic.

“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 has already been a tough negotiation,” Barrett added.

Read More —>

Massachusetts should require gun liability insurance July 29th, 2022 --- Boston Globe

“Mandatory liability insurance for gun owners, requiring them to absorb the full costs associated with their gun ownership, would be a giant step forward in the Commonwealth to combat gun violence. “An Act to Require Liability Insurance for Gun Ownership,” sponsored by Representative David Linsky and Senator Michael Barrett, is currently up for debate in the next legislative session.”

Read more —>

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.

Read More —>

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.”

Read More —>

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.

Read More —>

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.

Read More —>

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.

Read More —>

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.” 

Read More —>

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.”

Read More —>