Dear Friend,

I hope you've been well. Have a happy 4th. Here's what I've been working on.

State Sen. Mike Barrett

Good news! The Massachusetts Senate just passed sweeping climate legislation, the third cutting-edge bill in as many sessions. To deal with climate change, we need to build up the clean power supply without swamping the household budget. The legislation just passed is about doing both. 

Let's talk specifics. The bill will allow Massachusetts to install new solar, wind, and storage -- essential pieces in the fight against climate change. To help the juice get to where it needs to go (charging electric vehicles and powering heat pumps) the bill enhances the electric grid. The siting and permitting provisions are modeled on the work of a commission of diverse stakeholders established by the Healey-Driscoll administration. Importantly, the Senate also prioritizes respect for ratepayers and their pocketbooks.


The bill qualifies moderate-income customers for discounted utility rates and bans direct customer sales by competitive suppliers. According to the Attorney General, Massachusetts residents lost more than $577 million through bad electric supply contracts in the last 8 years. 


To deliver financial relief, the bill curbs the current biases in state law that favor extending the natural gas system beyond its useful life. For instance, it reins in a statutory “right to service” that for decades has given gas companies a competitive advantage over providers of other heating sources. It also requires the Dept. of Public Utilities to consider emissions when weighing a petition by a gas company to expand its service territory. 


If signed into law, the legislation will also make a dent in decarbonizing buildings and installing charging infrastructure for EVs. It expands the mission of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to include carbon removal, embodied carbon, and nuclear power.

Big tip of the hat to everyone who helped get this bill into such good shape. Before it's signed into law, it will need to be reconciled with climate legislation expected to be passed by the House of Representatives. Let's all keep pushing.

Click here for a detailed summary of the bill

A new monument in Lexington honors the contributions women have made to the town’s history. Credit to the sculptor, Meredith Bergmann, for capturing the pivotal influence of women in Lexington over the centuries but also for hinting at the unpredictability and uncertainty of outcomes. Breakthroughs are achievable, but victories are never final, so the work of democracy never ends.

Here's what I said at the dedication ceremony

Lexington and Concord marked the 249th anniversary of the start of the American Revolution. Major shoutout to planners of the events for making everything happen.

Read the full story

In Framingham, Eversource is launching a first-in-the-nation clean energy project this summer. "Networked geothermal" relies on a connected system of heat pumps that uses the steady 55 degree temperature underground to warm buildings in winter and cool them in summer. In Framingham's case, we're talking a pilot program that includes 31 homes and 5 commercial buildings. This is one to keep an eye on.  

Surgeons performed more than 1,400 life-saving organ transplants in New England last year. To kick off Organ Donation Month, commemorated each April, I joined organ recipients at Waltham City Hall to raise a banner.

Register to become a donor

“Countdown to 250th Anniversary of Battles of Lexington and Concord begins” 


April 19, 2025, will mark the 250th anniversary, or semiquincentennial, of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which ignited the American Revolutionary War. Lex250 kicked off the proceedings Friday with the unveiling of a countdown calendar, a monument on the front steps of the Isaac Harris Cary Memorial Building in downtown Lexington that is counting down the days to next year's anniversary. 

"We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of some of the stories that need to be told, and some of the people that need to be celebrated, so for all of us, this is an important year," said State Senator Mike Barrett. 

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"Mass. Senate advances energy reforms"


The Senate on Tuesday approved another complex set of reforms to accelerate the spread of clean energy in Massachusetts, along the way hearing concerns about potential ratepayer burdens and embracing an expansion of the state’s bottle redemption law. 

“The energy grid needs updating. It needs renewing every 30 years. But it’s pretty boring stuff,” said State Senator Mike Barrett, adding that it’s decarbonization of buildings and vehicles that gets his constituents excited. “It’s a source of emotional reinforcement, to the people who vote for me, that we’re not only doing the esoteric thing -- which is the grid; important, but exotic -- we’re also getting off fossil fuels with respect to cars and houses.” 

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"Less gas, quicker permits, and a lot more EV chargers — Massachusetts’ next climate law is taking shape"

Boston Globe

State Senator Michael Barrett, who helped write the last two laws and is taking the lead in the Senate on this one, said the latest bill will be voted on later this week. But the aim is clear: “Here in Massachusetts, we have a number of medium-sized and small-sized discrete problems that we need to address,” Barrett said. “We have an opportunity to address them now.”

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"State officials reject environmental impact review of Hanscom Airport expansion"

Boston Globe

After months of uproar and thousands of public comments voicing concern over the climate impacts of a proposed expansion of Hanscom Airport, state environmental officials rejected, for now, the push by the Massachusetts Port Authority and its developers to move forward on the project.

Senator Michael Barrett, whose district includes Hanscom Field and opposes the expansion, called Tepper’s response “as close as an environmental secretary can come to dissing the project outright.”

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