State Senator Patrick O'Connor: Protecting Our Health & Environment
As your State Senator, Patrick has continued the work that he started as a Weymouth Town Councilor and has fought the proposed Weymouth Compressor Station every step of the way.
As a member of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change (GWCC), I work hands on with legislation and organizations to strengthen our natural resiliency and preserve the environment. Thanks to the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act, we have reduced our statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the point where we are 21% below 1990 GHG levels, according to 2014 data reports. But there is always going to be more that we can do for a greener, healthier environment.
This past legislative session, I worked with my fellow members on the GWCC committee to create the Clean Energy Futures Act, which would open up the Commonwealth to more renewable energy resources and set ambitious goals and benchmarks to reduce our environmental impact. I was able to include one of my priority bills, which would ban the construction of a natural gas compressor station within a half-mile of residential spaces or areas of environmental concern. I was proud to support this omnibus legislation all the way through to Conference Committee, where my Senate colleagues and I fought to include as much language as possible.
Since 2014, our district has received approximately $28 million in State grants for dam and seawall repair. These reinforcements are necessary to allow our coastal communities to address the challenges of storms and sea level rise. We are continuing to work with the Office of Coastal Zone Management to protect ocean habitats and promote sustainable economic development on the coast.
I am in strong favor of diversifying our renewable energy portfolio, lifting the cap on clean energy production, and advancing projects that will make Massachusetts an even more responsible steward of the environment.
Senator O'Connor in Cohasset for the ribbon cutting for the town’s new solar panels.
I am honored to have received the endorsement of the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM) for my re-election campaign. Since being sworn in as your State Senator two and a half years ago, we have worked incredibly hard to advocate for Massachusetts to improve our environmental policies, expand our renewable energy capabilities, and protect our natural resources.
Regarding my candidacy for re-election, ELM said, “We are grateful for your leadership on environmental issues and the work that you have done to build a more sustainable community and Commonwealth. With critical issues of energy policy and environmental protection to be considered in the next session, the leadership of the ELM Action Fund believes it is important to have leaders like you in the State Legislature.”
As South Shore residents we are constantly reminded of the impacts of global warming, climate change, and sea level rise. There is still more to do and I look forward to continuing this work as your State Senator.