Two reasons for making some of these points: one is that when the president was here in the fall, I went out to the airport to meet him and when we were riding back in he asked me about the coming campaign and I told him, truthfully, that I like campaigning. I know that most of the time, elected officials lie when they say that, but I like the exchange. I like being out, I like being with people, I like listening to people. I told him I hate two things about it: I hate the fundraising and the bragging. And he looked me in the eye and he said, "You know what Deval? Get over it." So I'm bragging because he told me to get over it.
But the other thing is, you know, confidence is its own element in economic recovery. People have to believe in the future of the commonwealth, they have to understand and trust the direction we're headed in. I am very, very confident in the future of our economy and I think there are a whole bunch of economists and more and more people working who see that too.
We've got work to do, but I think that we're on the right course. Now, over to you.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
THE PHOENIX Well you touched on a lot of areas we were going to ask you more about and I want to start with environment, which may be one of those areas where people don't know what's gonna come out of it. The confidence and the future of the economy that you were talking about. You saw through in the first session the passage of several environment-related bills: Oceans Management Act, Clean Energy Bio Fuels Act, the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Green Communities Act. How should people judge the effectiveness of those laws and of the implementation of those laws? And when it's the next administration, whether it's yours or someone else's, what do they have to do to carry that forward and continue to see it through?
PATRICK So, couple things I would say: first of all, we have become, I think, the national leader on clean alternative energy and on energy efficiency. That suite of legislation is a marker, it's not all there is, it's a marker. But following on from it, for example, just in the solar installation and manufacturing, we've had a four-fold increase in the number of companies in that field, nearly tripling the number of people working in that field in the last year and a half since most of that legislation was signed. That's tangible. And I've met some of those folks.
Did you follow the whole little kerfuffle around Evergreen Solar? It's infuriating. I mean, here is a company that had been here, based here for a long time, never done any manufacturing here before. We persuaded them to open their first US manufacturing facility here, we put together a deal to make that work. They promised us, I think it was 300 jobs. We had claw-back provisions, that if they didn't produce those jobs, they'd pay the commonwealth back. They produced 900 jobs. A couple hundred of those jobs are going to China, and we act like the sky is falling. We are ahead of the game. And as a wonderful flourish up there, they have set aside a number of those jobs for returning veterans. It's a wonderful story.