The transition from Governor Baker’s first term to his second term saw a change of leadership at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), as Secretary Beaton stepped down in April of 2019 and Governor Baker appointed now-secretary Kathleen Theoharides to lead the agency. During Governor Baker’s first term, our groups produced a detailed annual report card for EEA. In this performance review of eea’s work during the first term to second term transition, we give overall issue grades to establish a baseline for the second term while providing top recommendations for eea’s work going forward. As in previous years, our assessment of the Baker Administration’s performance on environmental issues is mixed.
We appreciate EEA’s general acknowledgment that climate change is the issue of our time and is linked to many other issues such as land use, public health, and air quality. This focus on energy and climate makes sense, yet we can’t ignore other pressing environmental issues which intersect with climate, such as exposure to toxic chemicals, the vast amount of solid waste we are generating, and the uneven impact of environmental issues on vulnerable communities. Our environmental agencies need to be making progress on all fronts. That is their charge, their responsibility, and what the citizens of the Commonwealth deserve.
Read the full report below.