State Sen. Michael Morrissey, D-Quincy, is chairman of the Senate committee on consumer protection and professional license. He opposed a home rule petition filed last year to ban the power plant from Brockton and is ready to oppose it a second time.
State Sen. Michael Morrissey, D-Quincy, is not ready to play interference in Brockton’s fight with proponents of a 350-megawatt power plant.
“They don’t need a home rule petition,” said Morrissey, who opposed a home rule petition filed last year to ban the power plant from Brockton and is ready to oppose it a second time.
“Just because someone doesn’t like something, I’m not sure the Legislature is the answer,” said Morrissey. “Let it run through the process.”
Morrissey is chairman of the Senate committee on consumer protection and professional license. Boston-based Advanced Power Services NA, a subsidiary of the Swiss company Advanced Power AG, is seeking a license to build and operate the plant.
The state Energy Facilities Siting Board last week gave the plant a green light but put final approval in the hands of the city.
Mayor James E. Harrington said that “veto power” is the key to the legislation he is seeking.
The bill is being drafted by the city’s Legal Department and will be ready later this week.
Harrington is preparing for a special meeting of the City Council on Monday to consider sending the legislation to Beacon Hill.
While all but one city councilor is opposed to the plant, it remains unclear if the legislation will pass in one night, if it will be sent for Finance Committee review, or if it will have to go through a lengthy process.
Councilor-at-large Thomas Brophy said he wants to get it through as soon as possible. He said a similar bill didn’t get support on Beacon Hill last year because the state siting board was still reviewing the plant.
“No one wanted to interfere with siting board option,” he said. But now that the siting board has given the option to the city, Brophy said it stands a better chance with the Legislature.
If the bill is passed, he said the plant and all that goes with it would die, including the city’s anticipated appeal of the siting board’s decision, which would be costly.
“The Legislature has the power and the city is seeking power to stop this plant,” he said. “The mayor is trying to put an end to this without expensive litigation. It’s a smart move on his part.”
State Sen. Thomas Kennedy, D-Brockton, who opposes the plant, said he will look at the bill closely and likely forward it to the Legislature.
“As long as it’s within reason, I have a responsibility to bring it to the great and general court,” said Kennedy. “Let it rise and fall on its own merits.”
He said it would be another tool available to the city.
But Morrissey is holding fast to his position. In February 2009, he said a similar bill would make the Legislature a “de facto siting committee.”
Though the siting board’s decision is in, he said the process appears to be working.
“No one rubber-stamped the plant,” he said.
“There is a need for power,” he said. Braintree recently built a plant to provide high-peak electricity and had little or no opposition from its neighbors in Quincy, he noted.
“It’s up to the city (Brockton) to make the appropriate decision,” he said.
Elaine Allegrini can be reached at email@example.com.