BOSTON UNIVERSITY NEWS SERVICE
THE BOSTON GLOBE
Governor Charlie Baker says one of the biggest issues he faces is climate change. He told the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce last week that he’s not alone. The issue, he said, is “top of mind for every governor I talk to.”
Yes, Baker still gets some flak from environmentalists for not doing more to stop the expansion of natural gas in the state. For example, activist Craig Altemose penned a piece that CommonWealth Magazine published on Friday, saying Baker’s record on climate change “has been sadly mixed at best.” And Weymouth resident Andrea Honore continues her frequent visits to the governor’s office during her lunch hour, to underscore her unhappiness with a gas compressor station planned for her hometown.
But Baker didn’t get into that in the chamber speech, of course. Instead, he touted the big clean-energy projects that are underway, thanks to the work of the Legislature and his administration: a power line to bring hydropower here from Canada, and an offshore wind project that will be built south of Martha’s Vineyard.
During his speech, he referred to his trip to Washington, D.C., the previous weekend to attend a National Governors Association meeting. He rattled off the meteorological challenges this state has faced during his time as governor: an unusually snowy winter in 2015, a subsequent summer drought that ruined many crops, nor’easters, tornadoes, storm surges.
“We’ve had our fair share of issues,” Baker told the chamber. “The governor of Hawaii made it look like we’ve been at the beach for the last four years, and the governor of Louisiana, same thing. By the time it was my turn to speak, I literally said, ‘We shouldn’t be debating this anymore.’ . . . The message about frequency and intensity with respect to climate and weather is pretty clear at this point.” — JON CHESTO
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
Activist Andrea Honore has gained attention for hosting regular sit-ins in Gov. Charlie Baker’s office lobby to highlight opposition to a natural gas compressor station planned in Weymouth. On Tuesday afternoon, Honore and some of her allies will have the eyes and ears of Baker administration officials during a private meeting.
According to Honore, plans call for a 3 p.m. meeting with Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton and others on the ninth floor of the Saltonstall Building, a state office tower in Boston.
The list of attendees includes Alice Arena, Margaret Bellafiore and Lori Hayden of Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station, and concerned citizens Wendy Cullivan and Rev. Betsy Sowers, according to Honore, along with Beaton and his chief of staff, legal counsel, and the head of the state Office of Coastal Zone Management.
It’s the latest private meeting on the project, which is still in the regulatory and permitting phase.
After coming under fire from South Shore officials because his administration approved air quality permits for the project, Baker and Beaton met privately with the mayors of Weymouth, Quincy, and Braintree, as well as Congressman Stephen Lynch, who all oppose the project, in an unpublicized gathering to discuss the project.
Project opponents in recent days have used Twitter to highlight emails that they say raise questions about the health impact assessment conducted before the air quality permit was approved.
– Michael P. Norton/SHNS 2/19/2019 8:37:15 AM