All four candidates slated to appear on the ballot in the Massachusetts gubernatorial race in November participated in a debate on Monday. Participants were Republican Charlie Baker, incumbent Democrat Deval Patrick, Independent Tim Cahill, and Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein. Some relevant debate excerpts from the Telegram & Gazette:
Mr. Cahill said Cape Wind would make the state lesscompetitive and on-shore wind development would make more sense.
“Cape Wind is the perfect example of the wrong approach to renewable energy investment,” Mr. Baker said, arguing the state should invest instead in other “alternative” sources, which he said include nuclear and natural gas.
Nuclear power, he said, is a “cheaper and now safer alternative than it used to be.” But he added if the state is having trouble siting windmills, it would be “impossible” to site new nuclear plants.
Mr. Cahill complained that the state gave Evergreen Solar $68 million in subsidies and the company later began sending jobs to China; Mr. Patrick disputed the claim.
Ms. Stein said she supports wind energy but the contracts for Cape Wind power are too expensive. She also called on the governor to return donations from utilities and companies associated with the project, first proposed nine years ago, and to seek competitive bids for the offshore project to get lower power costs for consumers.
She said it would be “incredibly foolhardy” for the state to boost nuclear power production and that society is paying a high price for global warming from fossil fuels. “Absolutely no, we don’t want to go nuclear,” she said.
Right now, she said, energy conservation and efficiency programs that will create jobs and cut energy costs are the best investment options for the state.
After the debate, the Boston Globe released an editorial calling for Stein and Cahill’s inclusion in all future gubernatorial debates.