Gov.-elect Deval Patrick said Wednesday he wants to put greater emphasis on the state’s future energy needs and will create a new cabinet level energy secretary after he takes office in January.
Patrick’s comments come as House Speaker Sal DiMasi, D-Boston, unveiled his own energy plans for the new legislative year.
DiMasi’s plan includes setting a five-year energy reduction goal, creating a “green communities program” to encourage energy efficiency and giving $1,500 credits for taxpayers who buy hybrid or alternative fuel cars.
“Massachusetts is in the midst of an energy crisis and complacency is not an option,” DiMasi said in a statement. “This proposal gives communities the tools and incentives they need to reduce their energy consumption.”
Patrick, the first Democrat elected governor in two decades, repeatedly talked about his own energy plans during the gubernatorial campaign. He has said he wants the state to become a worldwide leader in the production of new alternative energy technologies, including wind farms, solar panels and biomass fuels.
Patrick said his staff was briefed by DiMasi’s aides before the plan was made public. He also said there’s no rivalry between him and the Democratic speaker.
“I’m just not worried about that. If we get into a push and pull about who gets credit for what then very little will get done and we have an awful lot to do,” he said after attending an energy conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “It’s not about who gets credit, it’s about all of us moving forward.”
He discussed the issue with reporters while attending a regional summit on energy that included officials from the state Executive Office of Economic Development and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Patrick said he is waiting for a report from his own energy working group before drafting a final version of his own energy package. Patrick will be sworn in on Jan 4.
“One of the things I intend to do in reorganizing the cabinet is raise this issue to cabinet level,” he said.
Patrick says he hopes to receive the report on Monday.
By Steve LeBlanc
Associated Press Writer
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