State's Top Environmental Official Will Step Down

By Sean Corcoran

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Dec. 1, 2010

BOSTON — Ian Bowles, the state's top environmental official, is stepping down.

Bowles spoke at a Massachusetts Agricultural Day event in April. (photofarmer/Flickr)
As the secretary of the state's Executive Department of Energy and Environment, Ian Bowles has been one of Patrick's most prominent cabinet officials, helping move along several key pieces of environmental legislation while also signing off on the controversial Cape Wind project. But 46-year-old Bowles says that with Patrick's first term over, he's ready to move on to the private sector.

"I've got a number of entrepreneurial ideas that I want to pursue, things like making energy efficiency something that homeowners have more options to peruse," Bowles said. "So I'm interested in the entrepreneurial side of it. So I think I'll continue working on the same issues that I care a lot about, but I'll do it on the private side."

When Gov. Patrick first took office four years ago, Bowles says the goal was to align the state's energy, economic and environmental policies. He hoped to reduce energy bills while also driving down greenhouse gas emissions.

Bowles says the effort has been successful -- beginning with the state's energy-efficiency program, which is expected to save residents $6 billion in energy costs over three years.

"When we took office, green buildings were an exception and a cause for a press release, now they are very much the norm for hospitals, universities and others," Bowles said. "So I think we are making a transition to where clean energy is a central part of our state's identity."

In a statement, Gov. Patrick called Bowles a" star" of his administration's last four years. And Bowles says that the governor's reelection now secures their green and renewable energy agenda for the future.

Gov. Patrick has announced that Rick Sullivan, the head of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, will replace Bowles in January.

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