Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Birth Of Another Lobby - Big Alternative Energy

Environmentalists Celebrate Big Wins In Massachusetts

So who was the biggest winner on Beacon Hill this session: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick? House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi? Gay marriage activists?

Guess again.

Tally up the crush of bills passed during the Legislature's 19-month formal session and it's hard to find a politician or interest group with bigger bragging rights than environmentalists.

From ocean management to global warming, "green jobs" to clean energy, the environmental lobby racked up win after win at the Statehouse, helped along by a sympathetic governor, powerful House speaker and worries about soaring energy prices and the state's iffy economy.

Activists hope the successes not only burnish the state's reputation as a green leader, but pay long-term dividends, from preserving open spaces to reversing the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

"It's been the greatest session in recent history," said Jennifer Ryan, Mass. Audubon's Legislative Director.

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