Matt has been a fierce advocate for the environment for over 30 years. He understands that global warming is a real issue that must be addressed immediately. When he was a State Representative, he sponsored and passed into law several important green energy bills such as the Appliance Efficiency Standards Act and the Property Assesses Clean Energy Act. In addition, he contributed heavily to the Green Communities Act, making it much more feasible to install clean, renewable energy in homes and businesses. All of the installations of photo-voltaic cells one sees in Massachusetts were made possible by Matt’s contributions.
Another result of Matt’s past legislative efforts is that the renewable energy sector is the fastest growing sector of the Massachusetts economy outpacing the insurance industry. It has grown 47% since 2010 and shows no signs of slowing; projections suggest that by early 2015, Massachusetts clean energy will employ over 100,000 people at over 6,000 firms.
Matt realizes that clean energy and economic development are synonymous with a green environment and good jobs– he believes we can have both. Developing projects like offshore wind farms, solar and energy efficiency will drive us toward an effective, clean energy source powered by good paying jobs right here in our community. Matt has been working on and supportive of these ideas since they were first proposed, and he will continue his efforts going forward.
Currently, Matt is focused on cleaning up our coastal waters in ways we can afford. He was the leader of the effort to test alternatives to conventional sewage in Falmouth, which will improve the water quality of our fresh water ponds and saltwater bays and estuaries with creative and sustainable solutions like shellfish propagation, inlet widening, permeable reactive barriers and eco-toilets. Studies to measure the effectiveness of these solutions are underway and showing excellent results.
Before Matt became a legislator he led efforts to save the Quashnet River area in Mashpee and Falmouth from the proposed condominium development involving hundreds of units. He also successfully worked as co-chair of the Cape Cod Commission Act for its passage in state legislation and also as a Cape wide referendum question.
As executive director of the Cape and Islands Self-Reliance non-profit energy organization he made it possible for families, businesses and non-profit organizations to make over 3,000 buildings more energy efficiency through zero interest loans. He also developed the concept of municipal aggregation which led to the Cape Light Compact in the Massachusetts Restructuring Act.
Matt supports the effort to make Massachusetts the first state in the Nation to divest of all fossil fuels in our pension funds. He will work to create even more jobs in the clean energy area by removing artificial economic barriers and maintaining incentives.