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Opinion

Governor Patrick’s environmental legacy is at risk

Patrick has a good track record on environment, but there is still a lot of work to be done

THE PATRICK administration and the Legislature take pride in their environmental and energy record, and they should. But we are one year into the second term, and the State House is quiet, too quiet.

Passage of the Global Warming Solutions Act and Green Communities Act, both in 2008, gave Massachusetts the opportunity for national leadership in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and job creation. The good news is Massachusetts is now first in the nation in energy efficiency, and the governor and Legislature deserve great credit. But as we take pride in our energy efficiency, our work has only scratched the surface. We need to accelerate “building labeling,’’ by applying “energy star’’ ratings on buildings, just as we do with cars and appliances, allowing consumers to know what they’re buying. We need to ramp up weatherization programs, starting with those families least able to afford skyrocketing heating bills. And we need to create efficiency incentives for oil heat, much as we have for gas heat.

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