The South Shore has become the poster child of climate change – with seawall breaches, beach erosion, and weather-related emergencies. We have a responsibility to act as quickly as we possibly can to stop these effects by implementing forward-thinking policy.
Reaching a 100% Renewable Future
Senator O'Connor supports expanding our Renewable Energy Portfolio, which involves procuring more megawatts of wind, solar, and other clean energies so that our resources are eventually 100% renewable. This means setting aggressive timelines so that Massachusetts can meet emissions reduction targets and eliminate our carbon footprint as fast as possible.
Senator O’Connor supports investment in energy storage to complement the expansion of renewable energy sources. Energy storage is a significant strategic opportunity because it can improve grid operations, provide backup power through storms, and benefit the local economy. Ratepayer cost benefits of energy storage are associated with reduced peak demand, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced cost of renewables integration, and increased grid flexibility and resilience.
Playing an Active Role
As the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, Senator O’Connor plays a hands-on role in the final approval of clean energy legislation. He is often appointed to conference committees to consolidate the House and Senate versions of climate change legislation and work to keep strong provisions intact for final passage into law.
Since the gas company Enbridge first approached the Town of Weymouth in 2015 with a proposal to build a compressor station, Senator O’Connor (who was then Weymouth Town Council President) was one of the first to reject the project. Since then, he has remained steadfast in his opposition through action, advocacy, and legislative procedure.
In June of 2018, the State Senate debated and passed a sweeping clean energy omnibus bill. Senator O’Connor offered an amendment to the bill which would ban the construction of compressor stations within a half-mile of residential homes, playgrounds, churches, day cares, schools, protected waterways, areas of critical environmental concern, and environmental justice neighborhoods. The amendment was adopted and passed by the Senate. You can watch the excerpt from the debate here. To learn more about the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station, visit their webpage.
In 2020, Senator O’Connor and the Fore River Basin delegation were successful in having an air monitoring station installed in the vicinity of the project site. This will help collect baseline levels of pollutants in the air to support the fact that this region cannot sustain any additional emissions, especially the emissions of a compressor station. Find out more about the air monitoring station here.
Investing in Sustainability
Senator O'Connor has worked diligently to connect local government with the resources they need from the state to preserve our environment. Secured funding over the years includes:
- $6.8 Million through the Dam and Seawall Repair and Removal Program for Scituate, Marshfield, Weymouth, and Duxbury to design, reinforce, and build new coastal resilience infrastructure.
- $1.1 Million for Cohasset, Duxbury, Marshfield, Norwell, and Weymouth to fund energy conservation measures in municipal facilities like schools, public safety buildings, libraries, and DPW facilities.
- $225,000 for Scituate, Cohasset, and Duxbury for climate change flood vulnerability assessments and adaptation planning
- $111,600 for the entire district to help maximize recycling, composting and waste reduction programs.
- $37,500 for Cohasset to install six new electric vehicle charging stations throughout town.
- Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change
- Opponent of the proposed Weymouth Compressor Station from day one
- Supports divesting from non-renewable fuels and investing in sustainable, clean energy
- Advocates for the preservation of open space and natural habitats
- Endorsed by the Environmental League of Massachusetts. See our list of endorsements here.
For a question on any of Senator O’Connor’s votes or policy that he supports please click here to ask us.