The Baker administration will not be able to pass its preferred energy and environment legislation in the next three month. Kathleen Theoharides (Environmental Affairs Secretary) announced Wednesday that she would be resigning on Tuesday.
Beth Card, the undersecretary for climate policy and resilience, will be taking over as Gov. Charlie Baker’s third chief of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Wednesday was not Theoharides’ last day in the administration. She said that she had a “new professional opportunity” and that being EEA secretary was her “dream occupation.”
“The tireless efforts made by Secretary Theoharides resulted in the creation and investment in the commonwealth’s renewable energy portfolio, as well as the advancement of the administration’s decarbonization goals. Card stated that she is a difficult act to follow at a press conference.
After six years of running an environmental consulting company, Theoharides joined Baker’s administration in 2016 to become director of climate and global heating solutions at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. After six years of running an environmental consulting business, Theoharides was promoted to assistant secretary for Climate Change in 2017. She was made secretary in 2019 when Matt Beaton resigned.
Card stated that she spent her entire career in the public service. Prior to joining the administration in 2021, she was the director for environmental and regulatory affairs at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. Card, a Newburyport resident holds degrees from the University of New Hampshire as well as the Massachusetts School of Law.
The Baker administration is pushing for $3.5 billion economic growth bill. This bill includes $97 million in additional infrastructure grants, $64 millions in clean water projects and $231 million funding for parks and trails. It also includes $750 million for a clean technology innovation center. The administration is also busy with implementing the 2021 Climate Roadmap law, developing a new stretch electricity code, and securing additional offshore wind power.
Baker stated that Beth will continue much of the important work she did in EEA this year.