Democratic candidate for governor will announce his support on Tuesday beneath Hull's town-owned wind turbine
Patrick: "I will support renewable energy projects whenever the benefits for all of us outweigh he disadvantages. I believe the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound is just such a project." Mr. Patrick will meet voters in Provincetown, Orleans or Brewster, Marstons Mills and Falmouth this coming Saturday to elaborate his plan.
Exclusive to cctoday by Jack Coleman
Standing in front of the town-owned wind turbine in Hull on Tuesday morning, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deval Patrick will become the first statewide candidate to endorse the Nantucket Sound wind farm as a key element in his environmental proposals for the state.
In a telephone interview earlier today, Patrick said he did not come to his endorsement of the project lightly.
"I took a similar path as I have with all the issues," Patrick said after an appearance in Springfield. "Initially I expected there would be two sides. It turns out there are four or five sides."
Patrick said he took spoke at length with at least a dozen people connected to the proposal, including Cape Wind CEO Jim Gordon, members of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound and Clean Power Now, environmental advocates and elected officials, such as Senator Edward Kennedy.
While Cape Wind's opponents have often been characterized "as wealthy beachfront property owners who don't want their views impaired," Patrick said, much of the criticism he heard from them was "thoughtful" and well-stated.
Ultimately, Patrick said, "the state has to show the proper leadership with this issue" and Massachusetts is in a unique position to do so through a confluence of "brain power, venture capital and entrepreneurial experience."
Patrick will formally announce his support for Cape Wind and outline the other important elements of his environmental policies when he speaks at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the municipal wind turbine in Hull.
Patrick also plans to make four appearances on the Cape on Saturday, in Provincetown, Orleans or Brewster, Marstons Mills and Falmouth, to further elaborate on his environmental proposals.
"Moving Massachusetts Forward, Energy Independence and Environmental Stewardship"
In a new seven-page document titled "Moving Massachusetts Forward, Energy Independence and Environmental Stewardship," to be released Tuesday, Patrick describes the rationale for his decision to support Cape Wind in the first of nine specific proposals he makes. This first propsosal falls under the heading, "Leadership in Renewable Energy."
"I also believe that we must develop a regulatory framework for managing ocean resources, and that we can do so in the context of advancing Cape Wind project."
- Deval Patrick
"My administration's Climate Protection Plan will not only set goals, but take actions to meet them. I will support renewable energy projects whenever the benefits for all of us outweigh the disadvantages. I believe the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound is just such a project. "I believe that well-designed renewable energy projects - both large and small - that pass strict environmental and ecological scrutiny deserve our support and encouragement. I also believe that we must develop a regulatory framework for managing ocean resources, and that we can do so in the context of advancing Cape Wind project."
Cape Wind President Jim Gordon said he appreciates Patrick's support and praised "his plan of positioning Massachusetts as a world leader in conservation, renewable energy and smart growth will create good jobs and a better quality of life."
"He recognizes that the energy choices we make define our economic vitality, environmental quality and national security," Gordon said. "We are gratified that he recognizes and supports Cape Wind as a project that can contribute to our energy independence and environmental stewardship goals."
"I am impressed with his vision and leadership," Gordon said.
But Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound spokesman Ernie Corrigan said Patrick's endorsement "is more of a pro-renewable energy position than it is a pro-wind farm position."
"This project has always seemed more attractive at a distance than it does up close," Corrigan said, citing polls showing a correlation between opposition to the project and proximity to where it would be built.
"For us, it is very specifically about Cape Wind," Corrigan said. "We don't have the luxury of taking a statewide position."
Earlier today Patrick formally announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2006. With more than a year to go before the election, the race on the Democratic side appears to have narrowed to Patrick and state Attorney General Thomas Reilly, an adamant foe of the Cape Wind project.
On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey is expected to run for governor if Gov. Mitt Romney decides against seeking re-election to run for president instead. Romney or Healey face a possible challenge from former Turnpike Authority board member and Yarmouth summer resident Christy Mihos, who was recently named co-chairman of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.
Clean Power Now Executive Director Matt Palmer praised Patrick's endorsement, saying that "in our view, it shows some real leadership that is largely lacking at the state and national level, and a recognition of the vital importance of developing our domestic energy resources."
Patrick's endorsement also drew praise from State Rep. Matt Patrick, D-Falmouth, who said the Democratic candidate "is putting the Commonwealth's interests ahead of the mostly well-to-do conservative, non-resident oil moguls and millionaire industrialists that don't care a bit about the growing unaffordability of energy for working families living in Massachusetts."
The rest of Patrick's Environmental Plan for Massachusetts
Deval Patrick served President Clinton as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. He will visit four towns on the Cape on Saturday, Oct. 22 to explain his environmental proposals for the state.
In his nine-point environmental plan to be released tomorrow, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deval Patrick describes why he supports the Cape Wind project in the very first point, titled "Leadership in Renewable Energy." But what else is Patrick suggesting when it comes to the environment? His other eight proposals are:
- "Encourage conservation: My administration will give excise and sales tax credits for consumer purchases of energy efficient cars and appliances, or the use of energy-smart construction materials."
- "Clean Up Power Plants: Power plants are essential sources of electric power and good jobs, but they can run with fewer emissions. We will enforce regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, and work with all operators to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants across the entire region. The Commonwealth will get an A on the annual Report Card on Climate Change Action."
- "Protecting Water and Wetland: Repairing sewers and storm drains, treatment wastewater, and modernizing our water infrastructure are essential responsibilities of government. My administration will get those jobs done. We will also restore the Commonwealth's leadership among the states in protecting coastal and inland wetlands."
- "Environmental Health and Justice: My administration will not sideline poor communities and communities of color when it comes to addressing the use of toxic chemicals and the clean-up of polluted sites. The Department of Environmental Protection will have appropriate resources to run the state's clean-up program. Massachusetts has made an important start on reducing toxic mercury emissions from power plants, but my administration will go further, and will also work to phase out the use of mercury in consumer and household products."
- "Develop Businesses in Energy Efficient Products and Services: I will work to make Massachusetts the world's capital for businesses that develop alternative sources of energy and the next generation of energy-efficient products and technologies. In partnership with local authorities, my administration will create areas with environmental pre-approval for industrial and commercial development of these businesses."
- "Invest in Public Transportation: Public transportation is good for the environment, for our communities, for our quality of life and for our economy. I will invest in high quality, efficient, convenient, safe, and attractive public transportation across the state."
- "Truly Smart Growth: Welcoming business and increasing jobs also means creating affordable housing. My administration will make transportation policy a centerpiece of 'smart growth,' and will work with local governments and developers on incentives to redevelop under-used parcels of land near public transportation. We will work closely with local and regional l! and trusts and other partners to protect and manage natural habitats, provide high quality recreational opportunities, support tourism, increase property values, and improve the quality of life."
- "Practice What We Preach: As a major owner of buildings and land, and as the owner of fleets of vehicles, the Commonwealth will model the behavior we ask of our citizens. My administration will replace our state fleet with hybrids or other fuel-efficient vehicles, wherever practicable. We will also require energy-saving products and services in all state-sponsored construction. The state will lead the way as a purchaser of energy generated from renewable sources."
Overcame poverty and segregated childhood
Patrick was interviewed at length by PBS NewsHour when he stepped down as the nation's top civil rights enforcer in the Clinton Justice Department, where he oversaw the work of 250 Justice Department lawyers who enforced federal statutes and executive orders that prohibit unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender or disability.
After growing up in a poor and segregated neighborhood on Chicago's South Side, Patrick went on to graduate from Milton Academy outside Boston after a seventh grade teacher recommended him for a scholarship. He earned a bachelor's degree and law degree at Harvard and worked at a law firm in Boston before going to the Justice Department (a transcript of the NewsHour interview is available here.
Patrick offers a blog for supporters and voters at DevalPatrick.com/Blog. His web site offer ample opportunities for supporters to get involved in his campaign.