The selection of Deepwater Wind Vice President Matthew Morrissey and state Rep. Patricia Haddad, D-Somerset, as SouthCoast Man and Woman of the Year is recognition not only of the duo’s great work on offshore wind, but also of the collaborative and consistent approach needed to build the new industry.
Morrissey and Haddad deserve great credit for their leadership and years worth of determination to persuade the Massachusetts Legislature, Gov. Charlie Baker, a swarm of environmental groups and regulators, and regional business interests that the state and region could be the launching point for a new industry that would help fight global warming and create vast economic opportunities.
But both Morrissey and Haddad would be the first to admit that it took a concerted effort from the entire legislative delegation, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell and Economic Development Director Derek Santos, the Port of New Bedford, local colleges and universities, and others to win passage of a new state law requiring Massachusetts’ utilities to purchase 1,600 MW of offshore wind power.
And it will take similar commitment to make sure that the industry, which will start to build out over the next decade, provides the benefits that we all seek. The interests of commercial fishermen, organized labor, marine mammals, coastal communities and business and residential power users all will need to be protected.
In the meantime, we applaud The Standard-Times’ selection of Morrissey and Haddad, and we congratulate the pair for accomplishing something many people would have called impossible not long ago.