Patrick's on point on going ‘green'
Gov. Deval Patrick is right about one thing. The state needs a strategy to promote clean-energy solutions and the good-paying jobs that come with "green" companies locating here.
The alternative-energy industry, still in its infancy, is rising high on America's radar screen. And there are opportunities galore for states seeking to attract leading-edge companies.
Patrick wants to seize the advantage. He wants to develop initiatives that would make Massachusetts the welcome home of green industry.
It's a good idea, and the Legislature should get behind the governor and push hard for a comprehensive alternative energy strategy.
On Monday, Patrick addressed 200 business, environmental and labor leaders in Washington. Here's what he said:
"I don't just want wind farms. I want companies that build turbines. I want hybrid-vehicle companies to consult us on conservation strategies. I want companies that design solar panels. The whole integrated industry can have a place in Massachusetts and in the U.S.," Patrick said. "If we get this right, the whole world will be our customer."
Give Patrick credit. He supported the wind farm project off Cape Cod despite opposition from Not-In-My-Backyard millionaire loudmouths. He is resolved to promoting 21st century solutions to the nation's energy crisis and pollution woes.
With its higher institutions of learning and proliferation of high-tech companies, Massachusetts is primed for an industry explosion that is bound to take place over the next five years. There are only two problems. First, these companies must be recruited. Second, the state's arduous and complex permitting process must be fast-tracked for these companies to locate here quickly.
America 's future rests on reducing its dependance on foreign oil. Massachusetts has a chance to become part of the solution and reap huge dividends from new economic activity and a cleaner environment.
Of course, it won't be easy. Soon after Patrick's remarks in Washington, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter threw down a competitive challenge. "Gov. Patrick talks about bringing jobs to Massachusetts. We're going to arm wrestle you for those jobs because we want those same manufacturing plants," he said.
The game is on. There's no time to waste.
The Editor of The Sun is James Campanini. The newspaper won the New England Associated Press for Editorial Writing in 2001. This Editorial in The Sun on February 28, 2007 i reprinted here with Mr. Campanini's permission.