The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s Renewable Energy Trust launched the “Clean Energy Tour: Boston to the Berkshires” at an opening ceremony at the New England Aquarium in Boston. The launch event featured speakers including U.S. Congressman Michael E. Capuano, House Speaker Thomas M. Finneran, State Senator Robert O’Leary and Andrea D’Amato, Chief of Environmental Services and Commissioner of Transportation for the city of Boston.Boston Massachusetts – June 15, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Congressman Mike Capuano said the Clean Energy Tour tour would “help educate people about the role they can play in protecting our environment.” “In an effort to accelerate technological innovation and environmental progress, the Legislature created the Renewable Energy Trust as part of its 1997 Electric Restructuring Law,” said Speaker Finneran. “Today’s kick-off of the Clean Energy Tour is in keeping with this law’s important mandate: maximizing the economic and environmental benefits of clean energy technologies for generations to come.” The Boston event is the first in a series of five that will take place across the state of Massachusetts to inform Massachusetts residents about the important environmental and economic benefits of clean energy. These events take place from June through October 2004. “I hope this tour will excite people about the advantages clean energy sources have to offer,” said Senator O’Leary, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Energy. “For me, the smoggy days of summer always drive home the importance of clean air and clean energy. Expanding our use of clean energy sources is more important — and easier — than ever before, so I hope Commonwealth communities will take a new look at their options this summer.” In addition to Boston, the Clean Energy Tour will stop in Lowell, Barnstable, Brockton, and North Adams. The tour includes workshops, videos, educational exhibits and demonstrations, booths for renewable energy businesses and nonprofit organizations, and fun hands-on activities for children. The focus will be on solar, wind, and biomass technologies, but information will be provided on all forms of clean energy, including energy efficiency. “This is our largest outreach effort so far to build awareness and support for clean energy solutions among consumers, businesses and communities,” said Trust Director Rob Pratt. “Massachusetts has rich sources of renewable energy, which can help reduce our dependence on imported fuels, create new jobs and lead to a cleaner environment.” “Clean energy is important to the Aquarium, and to our mission to protect the aquatic world,” said New England Aquarium Vice President for Programs and Exhibits William S. Spitzer, Ph.D. “We need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, which not only contribute to global warming, but also release mercury and other pollutants into the air. These pollutants find their way into lakes and oceans, affecting fish, birds, and ultimately human health.” The Renewable Energy Trust is an essential part of Massachusett’s strategy to increase the generation and consumption of renewable resources such as wind, solar, biomass, fuel cells and landfill gas. The Trust has made more than 300 awards to finance new clean energy facilities, construct green buildings and schools and support job growth at renewable energy companies across the state.