Governor Charlie Baker and Democratic challenger Jay Gonzalez were both invited to a town hall focused on environmental issues in Jamaica Plain on October 1. Gonzalez agreed to come, while Baker declined. Gonzalez used the opportunity to explain his energy platform, and QCAN was there to hear it.
- pledged to take no fossil fuel money for his campaign.
- called for a stop to gas pipeline construction in Massachusetts. (According to Alice Arena of Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station, Jay Gonzalez was the first gubernatorial candidate to speak out against the compressor station planned for Weymouth, which will also impact Quincy.)
- spoke to the latest gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley. He said complaints that there were too few safety inspectors were made to the Department of Public Utilities two weeks before the explosions. Gonzalez called for more focus on safety and has promised to reform the DPU. He has met with Gas Leaks Allies, a coalition of nonprofits, researchers, and activists.
Gonzalez also spoke to the modest clean energy bill passed by the MA House on July 31. He promised to revisit provisions of the senate version of the bill, which passed unanimously and were erased from the final bill. He called for:
- 50% of MA electricity to be sourced from renewables by 2030 (the latest bill calls for just 35%) and 100% by 2050.
- 3% annual increase in the percentage of our electricity drawn from renewable energy sources.
- Actual development of the 3,200 megawatts of offshore wind power included in the recent legislation.
- No caps on solar installations and access to solar by low-income people.
- MA to be the first state to adopt carbon pricing.
Since October 1, Baker and Gonzalez have both pledged to work for more offshore wind.
The candidates discussed environmental issues on October 11 (watch video from the Environmental League of Massachusetts below):
And they will face off in two more debates before the election:
- Oct 17 at 7:00 p.m., hosted by WGBH News and moderated by Jim Braude and Margery Eagan.
- Nov 1, hosted by a consortium including the Boston Globe and WBUR.