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Environmental Secretary Leaving Cabinet Post In Baker Administration

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matt Beaton. (Sam Doran/SHNS File Photo)
Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matt Beaton. (Sam Doran/SHNS File Photo)

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton is stepping down after more than four years in the position, having helped the Baker administration implement a major expansion of clean energy, including a contract for what could become the country's largest offshore wind farm.

A Shrewsbury Republican and former House member, Beaton left the Legislature to join the Baker administration in 2015. He was one of Gov. Charlie Baker's earliest cabinet selections after he won the 2014 election for governor. As a member of the Legislature, Beaton was one of the go-to Republicans in the House on energy issues, including the development of the solar industry in Massachusetts.

Beaton's departure comes with three-plus years left in Baker's second term, and amid efforts within state government to accelerate the pace of carbon emission reductions, including initiatives to extract reductions from the transportation and building sectors.

He is the third cabinet secretary to step down since Baker won a second term in November, following former Public Safety Secretary Dan Bennett and former Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash.

Rumors of Beaton's departure swirled on Beacon Hill Monday morning. "You'll learn more in half an hour," he told the News Service at about 11 a.m.

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