The time is long over due for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to take control of its energy destiny. We must declare war on energy right now.
The current federal administration has turned its back on solving the energy crisis. We desperately need a State Administration and Legislators who will push the energy agenda on Beacon Hill. The concerted agenda must include the use of solar, wind, water, geothermal energy sources, recycled materials and the introduction of higher levels of energy conservation to new and existing buildings.
Solar panels have come a long way in efficiency since their first introduction as an energy source in Massachusetts in the late 1970’s. While they will never provide us with a complete energy source in Massachusetts, they certainly do work and should be incorporated into building design.
Wind power has already shown itself to be very effective. I am proud to look at the forward thinking of the Town of Hull as an example of a community taking charge of its destiny. Street lights and homes powered by the two windmills in place make a difference in the cost of living in Hull and the toll on the environment. I envision the Town of Hull one day providing its entire electrical needs from harnessing wind.
No one seems to be looking to closely at adding more hydroelectric power plants (ocean and river) as potential sources of energy. Tide and river flow was used as energy sources in Massachusetts dating back to the earliest times of the Colony. The water is always there, lets use it for our benefit.
Geothermal energy should be used for heating and cooling many small and mid-size buildings as the ground temperature 15 feet below the surface is always at 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Geothermal heating and cooling use essentially a well chamber dug into the ground where a pipe filled with fluid is continuously run through the ground in a loop and is run back into a buildings heating equipment. Heating or cooling is extracted from the fluid in the pipe. Geothermal heat works and uses less energy than conventional heating and cooling systems.
A very high percent of everyday materials can be recycled into reusuable building materials. Wood and plastic waste make composite flooring. Old gypsum wallbaord can be re-constituted and reused as wall finish material. We need to look at requiring that a percentage of recycled materials be used in building construction.
A major part of making Massachusetts energy independent is for us to ensure that all existing buildings are as energy conserving as possible. We need to actively push for retrofitting existing buildings insulation, glazing and heating systems. We need to strengthen building codes so that we not only keep pace with the national energy codes as they change, but that we mandate alternate forms of energy to be incorporated into new and substantially remodeled buildings.
Another key part of a fighting the war on energy is charging our Massachusetts colleges, universities and engineering companies with developing new systems and products that will reduce or eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels. We have the best and brightest teaching, studying and working in Massachusetts. Lets give them the charge. One only needs to look at what a major part academia and industry took in the development of materials and products during any war declared by the United States. When we put our thinking caps on, our track record suggests we produce results.
The only humans we will be fighting in our war on energy are the special interests that choose to see the economy bled dry buying their energy before anything changes.
Declaring war on energy is good for our economy and the envirnment. The public will benefit from an organized program to make Massachusetts independent of fossil fuel.
Matthias J. Mulvey Candidate for State Senate
Plymouth and Norfolk District
28 Edgeworth Street
Weymouth, Massachusetts 02189
Telephone: (781) 331-0043
Facsimile: (781) 331-0855