Bob Massie was kind enough to give me a few minutes of time after the balloting at the convention over the weekend. On WGBH Thursday, he was pretty blunt about Charlie Baker’s performance, calling him a “fraud” and an “empty suit”. So with regard to our clean energy economy, I asked him to elaborate: What does a “full suit”, legitimate policy look like, for instance on wind power?
“We are on the verge of totally changing our systems of energy. We simply do not need fossil fuel anymore; we need to start getting rid of it. That understanding has permeated governments and economies and countries all over the world. Here … the incentives are all wrong, the leadership is all wrong. Baker has actually slowed down solar, by putting limitations on how much solar you can have … He also has taken baby steps on wind, when many other countries are racing forward. He is actually slowing us down at a moment when we need to be speeding up … His action on this is incomprehensible if you look at the global economy right now … He does not have the vision to see where the global economy is moving.
… We require many more gigawatts of wind. Countries like Denmark have already hit 50% of their electricity from wind. Sweden, Germany, England, France, are moving forward dramatically. Frankly, this is a little down payment of one contract — we should be doing multiple contracts … When [Baker] released his goal for offshore wind, he said we could reach 10% in 10 years … there are countries that have already reached 50% … We’re just pretending that we’re still global leaders when in fact we are far behind.
… None of this is science fiction. This is being done all over the world.”
[For more context on that last riff, do check out Evan Horowitz in the Globe today: “Massachusetts was a policy trailblazer. Not anymore.” More later.]
Here’s the clip:
And below the fold, I wanted to share a very nice riff from Massie’s convention speech. What do we want? What is life like, when it’s good?
Have we lost the capacity to imagine? Have we lost the capacity to dream? I don’t think so. But just in case, I want you to picture what Massachusetts could be like in ten years, in 2028.
In 2028, the tree-shaded streets of our cities like Lawrence, Greenfield, Haverhill, Holyoke, Peabody, Pittsfield, and many others will be reborn, full of customers for new restaurants and new businesses.
New forms of local capital and banking, of worker and producer coops, of land trusts and co-housing will have caused the expansion of local economies across the state. And because we need tools for a new century, we will have started talking about a Universal Basic Income.
Businesses across the state will have realized that they did not actually want to pay the enormous health care costs of their employees, so they joined with other allies to pass a single payer health care system.
Young families will have settled the state because of innovative public schools and new housing made affordable with new ownership models.
Festivals full of music and dance, colors and light, will be common everywhere, as they are now in Boston and Salem and Fitchburg and my hometown of Somerville.
Our wind-swept New Bedford and Fall River ports will be the bustling centers of off- shore wind construction and a strong fishing industry living productively side by side.
We will have freed ourselves from the broken model of the vampire utilities, who suck money from our wallets to feed today’s Wall Street investors rather than tomorrow’s prosperity.
As a result, we will have saved $18 billion a year in fossil fuel costs and generated $6 billion in new revenue as we begin to export electricity.
We will have created new independent municipal utilities to lower our energy costs and provide broadband access for their communities.
Our rolling green valleys will be prospering because of our commitment to food justice. Massachusetts farmers will work on protected land to provide both rural and urban neighborhoods will fresh local produce. .
Our hubs of great colleges and hospitals will become even greater local economic engines.
Our prosperity will spread across the state through a fully connected rail system that will start with linking North Station to South and Boston to Albany.
We the people will have done this because we did not permit the greed of big oil, big pharma, big real estate, big insurance, big Internet, and big banks to derail us from achieving the future we want and we deserve.
In other words, by 2028 we will see “justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”