` Representative Pat Haddad
State Representative
Patricia A. Haddad

News
Brayton Point chosen for wind turbine foundation factory
By Jennette Barnes The Standard-Times Posted at 2:18 PM Turbine foundations will be made at Brayton Point in Somerset if Bay State Wind receives a Massachusetts contract for offshore wind, a company spokeswoman said Thursday. NEW BEDFORD — Turbine foundations will be made at Brayton Point in Somerset if Bay State Wind receives a Massachusetts contract for […]

Turbine foundations will be made at Brayton Point in Somerset if Bay State Wind receives a Massachusetts contract for offshore wind, a company spokeswoman said Thursday.

NEW BEDFORD — Turbine foundations will be made at Brayton Point in Somerset if Bay State Wind receives a Massachusetts contract for offshore wind, a company spokeswoman said Thursday.

German steel maker EEW and Houston-based steel company Gulf Island Fabrication, which will provide foundations for the project, have selected the former Brayton Point power plant as their manufacturing location, according to Lauren Burm, a spokeswoman for Ørsted.

Bay State Wind is a joint venture between Danish energy company Ørsted and New England energy company Eversource.

The steel companies are negotiating to buy the large turbine building at Brayton Point, she said.

Bay State Wind is one of three projects competing in a state-supervised bidding process. Energy distribution companies must buy offshore wind power to comply with a 2016 state law.

The three competitors, including Deepwater Wind and Vineyard Wind, have made a series of commitments about job creation and training leading up to the May 23 date when one or more of the wind projects is expected to be chosen for a contract.

Bay State Wind has previously said the foundation factory would generate 500 construction jobs, including jobs for welders, blaster painters, steel fabricators and associated trades.

EEW will produce large steel pipes and the primary pieces of the foundations, while Gulf Island Fabrication will produce secondary materials and do the painting. EEW has supplied more than 650 monopile foundations to Ørsted’s offshore wind projects around the world.

Thomas Brostrøm, president of Ørsted North America, said the plant would be the first offshore wind manufacturing facility in the country and would generate economic growth throughout Southeastern Massachusetts.

“Making Brayton Point the site for EEW and Gulf Island Fabrication’s future manufacturing foundations for Bay State Wind’s offshore wind project would mark not only the transformation of that power plant from fossil fuel to renewable energy, but it would also mark the birth of a U.S. supply chain here in the commonwealth,” he said in a written statement.

SITE LAUNCHED TO COMPARE HEALTH CARE PRICES, QUALITY
Massachusetts residents have a new tool to help them make health care decisions with the launch Wednesday of an online transparency website that includes procedure pricing comparisons, provider quality metrics and other resources. The Center for Health Information and Analysis’ new CompareCare site, located at MassCompareCare.gov, uses claims data to show the full amount medical […]

Massachusetts residents have a new tool to help them make health care decisions with the launch Wednesday of an online transparency website that includes procedure pricing comparisons, provider quality metrics and other resources. The Center for Health Information and Analysis’ new CompareCare site, located at MassCompareCare.gov, uses claims data to show the full amount medical providers were paid, by both the insurer and the patient, for nearly 300 procedures including X-rays, MRIs, office visits and blood tests. It also provides links to individual health plan websites, where consumers can find information about their expected out-of-pocket costs. CompareCare shows the possible cost of a diagnostic colonoscopy, for example, ranging from $969 at South Shore Endoscopy Center in Braintree to $1,624 at Baystate Noble Hospital Corporation in Westfield, with links to quality metrics at each provider. Educational materials on the website aim to explain common procedures and offer patients specific questions they should “consider asking their doctor and health plan if they are having one of the procedures,” according to CHIA. “We are hopeful that this tool can be used by individuals to assist them in finding providers that are both high quality and lower cost,” Massachusetts Association of Health Plans CEO Lora Pellegrini said in a statement. “The launch of this site is an important step in opening the black box of provider pricing and driving care to the state’s highest value physicians and hospitals.” A 2012 health care cost containment law tasked CHIA with developing a consumer website. – Katie Lannan/SHNS

 

 

MassBudget just released a new report What Does the Federal Tax Law Mean for Massachusetts and How Might the Commonwealth Respond?
  The federal government recently enacted a $1.5 trillion dollar tax cut package that is tilted sharply towards very high-income households and corporations. Our report finds that in 2019 the average tax cut – including the effects of corporate cuts that eventually flow through to individuals – for the highest-income one percent of Massachusetts households […]

 

The federal government recently enacted a $1.5 trillion dollar tax cut package that is tilted sharply towards very high-income households and corporations. Our report finds that in 2019 the average tax cut – including the effects of corporate cuts that eventually flow through to individuals – for the highest-income one percent of Massachusetts households will be $84,720.

These federal tax cuts could likely lead to deep cuts in federal programs that support our state’s economy and people, like improving our transportation system and our public schools, colleges, and universities. The report lays out some options that the state can take to respond to the impact that this law can have on our state’s finances and ability to invest in our Commonwealth’s future.

We will be sharing findings from this report on social media—please feel free to share with your networks.

GREAT LOCAL LAWYERS MAKE GREAT LOCAL JUDGES!
Governor’s Councillor Joseph C Ferreira who believes that local Judges should be chosen from local lawyers who know the region, is pleased to announce an outreach seminar to educate local lawyers in the process to judgeship. The seminars will take place this Thursday, October 12 at noon at UMASS Law, sponsored by the Bristol County […]

Governor’s Councillor Joseph C Ferreira who believes that local Judges should be chosen from local lawyers who know the region, is pleased to announce an outreach seminar to educate local lawyers in the process to judgeship.

The seminars will take place this Thursday, October 12 at noon at UMASS Law, sponsored by the Bristol County Bar association; and at 2:45 at the Yarmouth House in Yarmouth, sponsored by the Barnstable County Bar Association.

Panelists will include the Governor’s Councillor Joseph Ferreira, Governor’s Chief Legal Counsel Lon Povich, Deputy Legal Counsel and  Nominating Commissioner Sharon Shelfer Casey, and members of the Judicial Nomination Commission.

Ferreira stated he is “extremely pleased that the Governor’s Office and members of the Judicial Nomination Commission have agreed to participate in this first of its kind event in his District which covers 47 Cities and Towns.   It is extremely important to demystify the process to ensure that our region’s best and brightest lawyers have an opportunity to be chosen!   In a just two and one half years The Council has vetted and approved 80 Judges, an unprecedented number; including replacing 5 of 7 on the Supreme Judicial Court.  Noteworthy is that for the first time in 100 years, the SJC has a Justice who resides in Bristol County, Elspeth Cypher  “

District Events October 2017
I just wanted to pass along this information to my constituents in regards to events taking place within my district next month.   October: 12th @ 6pm-Somerset Musictown Ball, Venus DeMilo.   14th @ 11am-Swansea 350th Anniversary Time Capsule Opening, Town Hall/Main Street.   21st @1 pm-Somerset Musictown Parade, County Street/Rt. 138.   21st & […]

I just wanted to pass along this information to my constituents in regards to events taking place within my district next month.
 
October:
12th @ 6pm-Somerset Musictown Ball, Venus DeMilo.
 
14th @ 11am-Swansea 350th Anniversary Time Capsule Opening, Town Hall/Main Street.
 
21st @1 pm-Somerset Musictown Parade, County Street/Rt. 138.
 
21st & 22nd @ 10am to 5 pm Bristol Aggie Fall Show, Center Street/Dighton.
 
27th @ 6pm – Swansea 350th Anniversary Gala, Venus DeMilo.
 
28th @ 8pm -Swansea 350th Fireworks, Veterans’ Park/Milford Road.
EQUIFAX CYBER THEFT
September 14, 2017   The scope of the data breach at Equifax combined with the character of the data stolen amounts to an unprecedented cyber theft affecting 143 million Americans, an estimate provided by the company.   To provide context, consider that the U.S. population is about 330 million, of which, close to 250 million […]

September 14, 2017

 

The scope of the data breach at Equifax combined with the character of the data stolen amounts to an unprecedented cyber theft affecting 143 million Americans, an estimate provided by the company.

 

To provide context, consider that the U.S. population is about 330 million, of which, close to 250 million are adults (18 years of age and up). Relatively few 18 to 25-year-olds have credit records with the three primary credit companies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—so we’re looking at upwards of 75% of people with credit records having had their information stolen.

 

What happened

 

According to Equifax, a vulnerability in a website application called Apache Struts CVE-2017-5638 was exploited by hackers to gain access to the 143 million credit files, 209,000 credit card numbers, and 182,000 credit dispute documents. Apache Foundation, which oversees the widely-used open source software said “The Equifax data compromise was due to failure to install the security updates in a timely manner.” The vulnerability was announced and patched by Apache on March 7, 2017 and modifications were completed by March 10, 2017. The Equifax data breach occurred from mid-May through July.

 

The five-week delay from discovery of the breach on July 29, 2017 to the September 7, 2017 public announcement is understandable given that Equifax hired a cyber security company to perform an assessment to determine how and when the information was compromised. However, the company’s chief financial officer, presumably someone on the short list of executives to be notified of a cyber security disaster, sold more than 13 percent of his Equifax stock on August 1, 2017, a transaction generating proceeds of $946,374. The company stated that CFO John Gamble and two other high-level employees who sold stock on August 1 and 2 were unaware of the data breach at the time of their stock transactions. Equifax stock closed at $146.26 on August 1 and $98.99 on September 13, a loss of one-third of its value post-disclosure.

 

What you can do

 

Go to www.EquifaxSecurity2017.com – There are consumer updates posted to this page along with a link at the bottom of the page called “Potential Impact.” Click this link and then click “Check Potential Impact.” At this point, ensure that you are on a secure web page by looking for a lock icon on the screen or a URL beginning with https://. Enter your last name and last six digits of your social security number, then click on the box “I’m not a robot,” then click Continue. You will receive a message either indicating that Equifax believes “your personal information may have been impacted by this incident” or “your personal information was not impacted by this incident.”

 

You are then offered the opportunity to enroll in Equifax’ TrustedID Premier program for no cost for one year. This program offers credit file monitoring with the purpose of alerting customers of any attempts to access their information or open credit/loan accounts without their permission. Per Equifax: “Consumers who sign up for TrustedID Premier will not be automatically enrolled or charged after the conclusion of the complimentary year of TrustedID Premier. We’ve added an FAQ to our website to confirm that enrolling in the free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection that we are offering as part of this cybersecurity incident does not waive any rights to take legal action. We removed that language from the Terms of Use on the website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. The Terms of Use on www.equifax.com do not apply to the TrustedID Premier product being offered to consumers as a result of the cybersecurity incident.”

 

Keep in mind that there are three major credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each company retains information on consumers’ credit transactions, loans, payments, FICO scores, etc. The information stolen from Equifax could be used to open credit cards and apply for loans where the lending institution might have a business arrangement with one of the other credit bureaus; therefore, it is not sufficient to isolate your attempts to block fraudulent use of your data with Equifax. If you plan to file a fraud alert or freeze your credit file, make sure you do this with all three credit reporting bureaus.

 

A fraud alert can be filed which puts the credit bureau on notice that your personal information has been compromised. This should result in the bureau taking additional steps to ensure that changes in your account, including inquiries related to opening new credit cards and loans, are being done by you or with your permission.

 

A credit file freeze blocks attempts to review your account for new credit cards and loans. Keep in mind, however, that access to your credit files is granted more often than you might imagine, and generally for legitimate purposes. For example, buying furniture over two years with no interest requires the financing company to access your credit file to determine your credit worthiness. E-signing a tax return, something that is gaining acceptance in recent years, requires the signer to confirm information that is contained in their credit file.

 

Fraud alerts, freezing accounts, and monitoring credit files is not free. Although the monitoring program for affected Equifax customers is free for a year, you must consider the cost of the additional steps not only with Equifax but with Experian and TransUnion as well.

 

You have had the ability to acquire one free credit file report per year from all three bureaus for many years. Looking at these reports is essential to identifying potential fraudulent transactions. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228 to request your free credit report which includes information from all three bureaus. Do not call the bureaus individually or get tricked into visiting one of the many “free credit score” websites that are, in the end, not free.

 

Finally, the information breach may well be used to e-file fraudulent tax returns, both Federal and state, in an effort to claim a refund. These fraudsters file early in the tax season hoping to get their version of your tax return through before you file your legitimate return. This activity has netted billions of dollars of refunds that vanished into temporary bank accounts and pre-loaded debit cards. Legitimate taxpayers have waited to have their tax returns processed, some having refunds of thousands of dollars held up for months.

 

Currently, the IRS only provides security PINs to taxpayers who have had fraudulent returns filed using their social security numbers. The 6-digit PIN is then required for all future tax return filings. Unfortunately, this “take action after the fact” approach does nothing to protect taxpayers from potential fraudulent returns being filed using the Equifax information. For more information about the IRS’ program, go to https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/identity-protection. The Massachusetts DOR has information at: http://www.mass.gov/dor/individuals/identity-theft-information/.

 

Attorney General’s actions

 

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy announced that her office is filing suit against Equifax. See more here: http://www.mass.gov/ago/news-and-updates/press-releases/2017/2017-09-12-intent-to-sue-equifax.html.

 

Conclusion

 

Take this situation seriously and stay up-to-date regarding further consumer options that are sure to become available as we progress through the aftermath of this unprecedented cyber theft. Our office will continue to communicate new information as we made aware.

SOMERSET REP REFLECTS AS SUN SETS ON STATE’S LAST COAL PLANT
By Colin A. Young STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JUNE 1, 2017…..The cooling towers and stacks at Brayton Point billowed Wednesday evening as Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad drove home to Somerset, and as the sun set on Massachusetts’s last coal-fired power plant Haddad reckoned with the plant’s closure. “I was literally watching […]

By Colin A. Young
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JUNE 1, 2017…..The cooling towers and stacks at Brayton Point billowed Wednesday evening as Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad drove home to Somerset, and as the sun set on Massachusetts’s last coal-fired power plant Haddad reckoned with the plant’s closure.

“I was literally watching the sun setting for the last night over that area and it was very melancholy,” she said Thursday. “I thought it would be, ‘Oh well, it’s happening,’ but it’s very, very hard to realize that it is real and it happened and it closed. It’s the end of an era.”

The 1,505-megawatt facility that ceased operations late Wednesday night was the last power plant run on coal in Massachusetts and the largest coal-fired power plant in New England, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Haddad said it has been surreal to watch the plant remove the unused coal and begin the process of decommissioning the plant that has been in operation since 1963.

“It’s been a wait since we learned that it was going to close,” she said. “Yesterday was the funeral.”

Coal-fired plants have been closing around the country as the industry competes against lower-cost natural gas, renewable energy sources and regulations designed to protect public health. Coal currently accounts for the generation of just more than 2 percent of the region’s power mix, according to ISO New England, which operates the grid in the six-state region.

Two other coal-fired power plants were shut down in 2014: the Mount Tom plant, near Holyoke, and the Salem Harbor plant.

Brayton Point was Somerset’s largest taxpayer for years, and Haddad said its closure — which follows the 2010 closure of Somerset’s smaller coal-fired Montaup plant — means the town now has to either find new sources of revenue or curtail services.

“We were very fortunate for a very long time that our taxes were very reasonable, we have sewerage, we have full-time fire, full-time police,” she said. “The money was used very judiciously and now we come into a very new era, and we’re in the position of many of the communities in the commonwealth that are struggling.”

The town has delayed hiring a lieutenant for the fire department and is now considering new fees for things like youth athletics, she said.

“The school department is trying to use attrition not to have to lay anybody off, but we’re talking about fees which is something no one in this town wants to do,” Haddad said. “Fees for sports and music, unfortunately we’re looking at those things now.”

For the last three years, Haddad has secured for Somerset up to $3 million a year from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Auction Trust Fund through the state budget to help the town cope with the the loss of tax revenue from the plants.

The same provision is included in the House and Senate’s fiscal year 2018 proposals as well, and Haddad said she is hopeful the money will be available again this year. But the ultimate goal is to get the Brayton Point site back on the tax rolls for Somerset, she said.

“While the town and people in town are always promoting that there are these 300-plus acres on Mount Hope Bay, it is privately owned and therefore we have to wait and see what happens,” Haddad said.

She said her sense is that the plant’s owners want to sell the entire parcel to a developer rather than splitting it into smaller pieces.

Whether at the Brayton Point site or another spot in the area, Haddad is trying to entice companies from the offshore wind industry to put down roots on the South Coast. As her town began to transition from being dominated by the coal power plants, Haddad made her own transition — from being the “Queen of Coal” to being the new “Witch of Wind.”

“We’re now in the process of making us as attractive as possible so that whether they’re from Germany, Denmark or England they will come here,” she said of offshore wind companies. “We would love to see a turbine factory, but at the very least we should see blades because we have the blade testing facility” in Charlestown.

Haddad said the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s study of Massachusetts port facilities from just north of Boston to the Rhode Island border, undertaken to inform the offshore wind industry about undeveloped waterfront properties that might be available, “prominently featured” possible locations in Somerset.

Three offshore wind developers are competing to build major wind energy installations in leased tracts 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard — DONG Energy, Deepwater Wind and Vineyard Wind, which was formerly called OffshoreMW.

An August 2016 Massachusetts law calls for the procurement of up to 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2027, and a draft request for proposals was released last month seeking projects of at least 400 MW. The final RFP is expected to be issued this month, with bidders required to submit notice of intent by July and proposals due December 20, 2017.

Once those developers are identified, Haddad said, it will “set in motion their need for the products” and hasten the development of a local supply chain.

-END-
06/01/2017

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Coal is about to disappear from New England
SOMERSET, Mass. — For Pat Haddad, a good day is one when she returns home from the state Legislature to see steam rising from Brayton Point Power Station’s twin 497-foot-tall cooling towers. New England’s largest coal plant has long powered the economy in Haddad’s hometown of Somerset, a community of 18,000 people on the south […]

SOMERSET, Mass. — For Pat Haddad, a good day is one when she returns home from the state Legislature to see steam rising from Brayton Point Power Station’s twin 497-foot-tall cooling towers. New England’s largest coal plant has long powered the economy in Haddad’s hometown of Somerset, a community of 18,000 people on the south coast of Massachusetts.

But good days have been few and far between lately. Soon, they will be gone altogether. Brayton Point will extinguish its boilers for the final time tomorrow. When it does, coal will have all but disappeared from this six-state region of 14 million people. Two small and seldom-used coal plants in New Hampshire will be all that remains of a once-mighty industry.

“The sun is literally and figuratively setting,” said Haddad, a Democrat who represents Somerset and three other communities in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. “It’s so hard to see.”

If President Trump is to fulfill his promise of reviving the coal industry, it will have to be without New England. In 2016, Brayton Point’s last full year of operation, coal accounted for 2 percent of the region’s power generation.

New England policymakers, united by a common electricity market, are increasingly looking to wind, solar and hydro to meet the region’s electricity needs. Their task amounts to a test for states seeking to decarbonize their power sectors without compromising reliability or sending electric bills skyrocketing.

Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, collectively 80 percent of the regional market, have committed to slashing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Already, they can claim some impressive achievements. Wholesale electricity prices hit a record low last year, and carbon emissions from the power sector are down nearly 25 percent since 2000.

The challenges are nevertheless formidable. Natural gas, already 50 percent of the region’s power generation, accounts for the majority of planned power plant additions. Political divisions among the states mean reaching consensus over how to best achieve deep carbon reductions is difficult. Maine and New Hampshire, in particular, have expressed wariness over their southern neighbors’ carbon-cutting goals.

And aging coal, nuclear and oil units are retiring at a rapid clip, raising concerns about what will replace them. ISO New England Inc., the regional grid operator, estimates 15 percent of the region’s power capacity will have retired by 2020.

“I’d say it’s extremely exciting and scary at the same time,” said Gordon van Welie, president and CEO of ISO New England. “You know that feeling when you’re on a roller coaster. So it’s exhilarating, because you’re having to solve all these complex problems. On the other hand, it’s ‘Wow, you know, we’re doing stuff we haven’t done before, and nobody’s figured out some of these things.'”

Policy by procurement

The spate of plant retirements has brought to a head long-simmering tensions over how to integrate renewables onto the system.

Existing power plant operators and industry observers largely favor an economywide carbon price, saying it is the most cost-effective way of driving emissions lower. A substantial reduction in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative’s carbon cap, a nine-state cap-and-trade compact encompassing New England, is also an option.

State lawmakers in southern New England are sympathetic, but skeptical of such proposals. A high carbon price would be needed to drive deep emissions reductions, and is an option that remains politically infeasible. Meanwhile, they note, more and more natural gas is coming online.

Southern New England has responded by establishing a competitive bidding process for renewables, with the winners emerging with guaranteed long-term contracts. Massachusetts last year passed legislation calling for large procurements of offshore wind and hydropower.

Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island also jointly put bids out for smaller amounts of onshore wind and solar.

“I think the procurements were the best politically viable path forward,” said Benjamin Downing, a former Democratic Massachusetts state senator who championed the legislation in the Bay State. “When you ask, ‘How do we hit climate, reliability and cost all at the same time?’ the set of policy tools that can get you there is actually pretty narrow.”

But some question whether guaranteeing a seat at the table for some resources jeopardizes the future of a market where power generators now compete to sell their power. State contracts, skeptics contend, risk crowding out private investment in facilities that now ensure the grid’s reliability.

Others dispute those claims. ISO New England has lined up enough power to meet its short-term needs. The state contracts, meanwhile, are subject to competition. To receive a contract, developers have to bid lower than their competitors.

“Ultimately, it is a reflection of the simple fact that the region is committed to doing something about addressing the risk of climate change, but it is a struggle in the context of competitive markets and the low price of natural gas,” said Paul Hibbard, a former Massachusetts regulator who is now a principal at the Analysis Group, a consultancy. “People want to act like it’s an impending disaster, but it’s the next challenge in the evolution of the power sector to meet its reliability goals in a way that’s consistent with the goals of state and federal policy.”

How the ‘Queen of Coal’ turned to wind

In many respects, the roots of the challenge can be traced back to Somerset, a bedroom community on the shores of Mount Hope Bay that was home to two coal plants until recently.

Like many coal plants in the region, Brayton Point and the Montaup plant spent a large portion of their latter years sitting idle. They nonetheless performed a vital function, switching on during periods of peak demand in the summer and winter months. Running a coal plant part-time is challenging from both an economic and operational perspective, however. Montaup closed in 2010. Brayton Point announced its retirement a few years later.

The closures represented a blow to Somerset, where Brayton Point alone employed more than 250 people at its height and accounted for roughly one-third of the town’s tax base.

“Guys at the plant that live in Somerset, which are a ton of them, are getting a double whammy because not only are they losing their career, but their taxes are going way up,” said Robert Clark, president of the local Utility Workers Union of America, which represents Brayton Point employees.

The closures propelled local leaders like Haddad into action. A former physical education teacher-turned-Beacon Hill power broker, Haddad had long styled herself the “Queen of Coal” in a Legislature dominated by climate hawks.

“I would defend them, saying, actually: ‘We are meeting all of the requirements, and exceeding the requirements in many cases,'” Haddad said of the coal plants in her community.

Like many in Somerset, she was dismayed to see Brayton Point close. While the pollution in town was once so bad, the power company washed soot off residents’ cars and homes, Haddad figured that was the price of low taxes, good schools and professional municipal services.

“They tried to be good neighbors,” she said at one point. Later, she added, “It was not our idea to close the plant.”

Brayton Point’s impending closure nevertheless convinced Haddad that her community needed to plan for a future beyond coal. After hosting a summer of meetings with power generators, utilities and environmentalists in 2014, she settled on offshore wind. No other industry, in her estimation, offered a better chance at replacing Brayton Point’s almost 1,600 megawatts and bolstering the regional economy.

European wind developers were slashing costs, and the proposals for new development were in federal waters 15 miles offshore, just over the horizon, where they could not be seen by cranky landowners. Best of all, in Haddad’s eyes, offshore wind offered the promise of a homegrown energy industry.

Haddad serves as the speaker pro tempore, a leadership position in the Massachusetts House, and last year, she threw her legislative muscle behind the proposal to procure 1,600 MW of offshore wind and 1,200 MW of a Class 1 renewable resource, most likely Canadian hydropower and perhaps onshore wind in Maine. Her argument that offshore wind represented a significant amount of reliable, low-cost power won over Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, who signed the bill into law last summer.

For many of her colleagues, who had struggled to achieve a significant boost in renewable generation, the bill represented a step toward meeting Massachusetts’ carbon cutting goals. Haddad was less concerned about the climate implications.

“For me, the climate change — this is probably heresy — that was secondary,” she said. “I believe in green, but I don’t believe in green at any cost. I believe in green that everyone can afford. The process I employed showed there might be in the beginning a little uptick in what it was going to cost us, but it was going to be offset by new jobs, new stability, new opportunities.”

A green buyout compromise

That stance has roused critics in some corners. Skeptics argue that the procurements represent an economic development effort masquerading as a carbon-cutting scheme. The problem, they contend, is that it distorts the region’s power market.

“This issue of the markets not delivering what the state’s want, the states need to articulate what it is that they want,” said Dan Dolan, president of the New England Power Generators Association.

If the states want to reduce emissions, Dolan argued, they should set a carbon price to drive reductions. But “if what the states want is to pick and choose the resources to meet the needs of the consumers, OK, that’s centralized integrated resource planning,” he said. “And that means taking resource adequacy back.”

New England states have thus far shown little appetite for reassuming the responsibility of overseeing their respective power markets, a task that now lies with the regional grid operator. At a recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission conference in Washington, state regulators expressed confidence that their procurements could be integrated into the wider wholesale market.

ISO New England, for its part, has tried to strike a compromise. It has proposed that renewable energy generators be allowed to buy out aging fossil fuel generators seeking to retire. The grid operator hopes the plan will prevent consumers from paying for two sets of resources: those competing in the wholesale market and those with guaranteed state contracts.

State policymakers, for their part, are forging ahead. In a recent interview in her Boston office, Haddad rattled off the potential upside of offshore wind for the South Coast. New Bedford, as the closest industrial port to the wind fields 15 miles offshore, is ideally situated to become an operations and maintenance hub for the industry. Brayton Point’s substation offers an ideal location to connect the giant turbines to the regional grid. And where New England has long imported energy, it now has the opportunity to generate its own.

It’s far from clear whether New England will be a model for the nation. But standing in her office with a model wind turbine in the window behind her and another perched atop a bookshelf, Haddad said the clean power source offers her state its best economic opportunity.

“If we don’t aspire, we get nothing,” she said.

Masters, commanders — 450 graduate from Bridgewater State
By Enterprise Staff BRIDGEWATER – Bridgewater State University graduated over 450 students with advanced degrees Thursday evening, while state Rep. Patricia Haddad delivered the keynote address. The ceremony was held on the quadrangle in front of Boyden Hall. Besides Haddad, the event also featured a speech by Angelica R. Moore, who earned a master’s degree […]

BRIDGEWATER – Bridgewater State University graduated over 450 students with advanced degrees Thursday evening, while state Rep. Patricia Haddad delivered the keynote address.

The ceremony was held on the quadrangle in front of Boyden Hall. Besides Haddad, the event also featured a speech by Angelica R. Moore, who earned a master’s degree in social work.

Haddad, a 1972 BSU graduate, received an honorary degree.

The university’s Distinguished Service Award went to James and Theresa Orcutt, the founders of My Brother’s Keeper of Easton/Brockton and Dartmouth. The organization is a Christian ministry that delivers furniture and food to families in need.

Veteran’s Memorial Bridge Westbound Detour Scheduled for Saturday, March 25
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced today that the Route 6 westbound roadway on the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge (over the Taunton River) between Fall River and Somerset will be temporarily closed to vehicular traffic on Saturday, March 25.   The closure will begin at 5:00 AM and last until approximately 11:00 AM.  The closure […]

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced today that the Route 6 westbound roadway on the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge (over the Taunton River) between Fall River and Somerset will be temporarily closed to vehicular traffic on Saturday, March 25.

 

The closure will begin at 5:00 AM and last until approximately 11:00 AM.  The closure is necessary to replace the damaged traffic barrier gate.

 

A detour, with full signage, will be in place to aid vehicles in traveling from Fall River into Somerset via I-195 and the Braga Bridge.  Traffic traveling on Route 6 eastbound will not be effected.

 

The temporary detour will be in place for all motor vehicle traffic as follows:

Traveling North on North Davol Street:

 

  • Travel north on North Davol Street to Route 79/138 South (Tiverton RI)
  • Continue south on Route 79/138 South (Tiverton RI)
  • Follow Route 6 Detour signage to I-195 Westbound, traveling over the Braga Bridge
  • Take Exit 4B – Route 103 East/ Somerset
  • Take a right at the end of the ramp onto Wilbur Avenue
  • Follow Wilbur Aveune (Route 103) to Brayton Avenue
  • Follow Brayton Avenue to Route 6

 

Traveling North on Route 79:

 

  • Travel north on Route 79 North
  • Bear right to Route 6 East/North Davol Street
  • Travel north on North Davol Street to Route 79/138 South (Tiverton RI)
  • Continue south on Route 79/138 South (Tiverton RI)
  • Follow Route 6 detour signage to I-195 Westbound, traveling over the Braga Bridge
  • Take Exit 4B – Route 103 East/ Somerset
  • Take a right at the end of the ramp onto Wilbur Avenue
  • Follow Wilbur Aveune (Route 103) to Brayton Avenue
  • Follow Brayton Avenue to Route 6

 

Traveling South on South Davol Street:

 

  • Travel south on South Davol Street
  • Follow Route 6 detour signage to I-195 Westbound, traveling over the Braga Bridge
  • Take Exit 4B – Route 103 East/ Somerset
  • Take a right at the end of the ramp onto Wilbur Avenue
  • Follow Wilbur Aveune (Route 103) to Brayton Avenue
  • Follow Brayton Avenue to Route 6

 

Traveling South on Route 79 South:

 

  • Travel south on Route 79
  • Follow Route 6 Detour signage to I-195 Westbound, traveling over the Braga Bridge
  • Take Exit 4B – Route 103 East/ Somerset
  • Take a right at the end of the ramp onto Wilbur Avenue
  • Follow Wilbur Aveune (Route 103) to Brayton Avenue
  • Follow Brayton Avenue to Route 6

 

 

MassDOT advises motorists to seek alternate routes between Fall River and Somerset during these times.

 

The schedule for this work is weather and emergency dependent and subject to change without notice.