An incredibly expensive contract

Read the other candidates’ statements: Charlie Baker, Treasurer Tim Cahill, Gov. Deval Patrick.

I’m here as a physician, and a scientist and a long-standing environmental activist and a mother who believes very much that the transition to the green renewable energy and a secure green economy is the task of our generation. And we need look no farther than the fires in Russia which are raising the price of food in this country and the floods in Pakistan which are certainly increasing our security risks, even here, to know that we are paying a very dear price for the continued use and expansion of fossil fuels. But to succeed in this transition, we need to get the most green energy from each dollar that we invest because those dollars are scarce.

The most cost-effective investments that we know continue to be conservation and energy efficiency and after that, we need to purse renewable energy in the most cost-effective manner. As Cape Wind comes to us today, it’s clearly not delivering the most clean energy for every dollar invested and it’s asking for an enormous investment, probably two and a half billion dollars that will mostly come from rate-payers. So we can’t blame the people of Massachusetts for questioning an incredibly expensive contract crafted behind closed doors while the governor, with all due respect, is pocketing a steady stream of campaign contributions from business interests that have an interest, that have a stake in the outcome. And I would not single out the governor, because I think this is true of Beacon Hill politics as usual, it’s true of the attorney general, as well.

But I know, having looked at the governor’s contributions over the last couple of days on this that the numbers are high: tens and tens of thousands of dollars. I think the people of Massachusetts have a right to ask for a transparent contract, open books, and an assurance that the profits Cape Wind and National Grid do not exceed a reasonable, agreed-upon threshold.

And to restore confidence, I’d ask that the governor and attorney general return the tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions that they’ve received from the utility companies and Cape Wind and their business associates. And that we begin to invest significantly in the proven capabilities of our municipal utilities that are delivering public wind for as little as seven cents per kilowatt hour already.

Dr. Jill Stein is the Green-Rainbow Party candidate for governor.