News From Senator Joyce

For Immediate Release:  May 14, 2001
Further Information: Marie Blanchard (617) 722-1643

Electricity is "Hot" Topic for the Energy Caucus

State senators, representatives and their staffs from across the Bay State met at the State House Monday, May 7 to discuss this summer’s hot topic – electricity. Senator Brian A. Joyce, a founding member of the Energy Caucus, invited Dr. Marijia Ilic and Stephen Connors, experts from the MIT Energy Laboratory to present a lecture on "Creating a Consumer Friendly Electricity Market in New England" at the inaugural meeting of the Energy Caucus.

"Rolling blackouts and gas station lines are not welcome in Massachusetts," said Senator Joyce. "I want to make sure that our energy policies deliver reliable and renewable commodities."

"Today’s lecture provided information that we in the Legislature need to make sound energy policy," said Energy Caucus Chair Senator Susan Fargo. "The MIT researchers have potential solutions to the energy situation now. I find it to be vital that my colleagues and I put this research to use to prevent an energy crisis in New England."

"The academic research community develops new knowledge about critical issues, that is what we excel at," said Dr. Matthew Gardner, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the MIT Center for Environmental Initiatives. "However, what is often missing within academia is the ability to translate that information into a form that is accessible and useful to end-users in government, businesses and industry. This briefing is just one way to bring the expertise of the science and technology research community directly to the policymakers of Massachusetts."

Senator Joyce helped to form the Energy Caucus to provide legislators an outlet to understand the wide-ranging complexities of the energy issue.

On organizing the Energy Caucus, Senator Joyce said: "The public policy being developed on Beacon Hill to combat current energy difficulties involves more than just the Committee on Energy. Members of the caucus hail from a diverse selection of legislative committees including Government Regulations, Health Care, Natural Resources and Agriculture, Science and Technology, and Taxation Committees all hear debate on energy related matters. The Energy Caucus will provide the opportunity for all legislators to pool their knowledge on the subject and develop sound public policy."

The non-partisan Energy Caucus will continue to hold briefings, similar to the one held today, for academic researchers and legislators to share their resources and experiences.

"I feel this caucus would be of great use to the policy making process, and would increase the return on the public-private investments that have been made in our energy programs," said Senator Joyce.

The Energy Caucus will also turn to the technology and business communities for possible answers to the current energy situation.