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Mass. governor hopefuls to meet at MIT

Four Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates will discuss the environment, energy and public health in a forum at MIT on July 12.

Sponsored by the Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters and hosted by MIT, the Environmental Forum will take place in MIT's Kresge Auditorium from 7 to 8 p.m.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. for an Environmental Fair. The event is free and open to the public.

Democrats Chris Gabrieli, Deval Patrick and Attorney General Tom Reilly will join Independent candidate Christy Mihos in Wednesday's forum, which will open with each presenting his views on such topics as drinking water safety, sprawl development and loss of open space, the rising incidence of asthma and other illnesses, and spiraling energy costs. The fifth gubernatorial candidate, Republican Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, was invited but not expected.

Steve Curwood, host of National Public Radio's "Living on Earth," will moderate the discussion. Members of the media, including Beth Daley of the Boston Globe, will ask questions.

The four forum participants have all addressed issues related to the environment and citizen health in previous statements.

Gabrieli: "A recent MIT report points out that we are entering the 'perfect storm' of supply and demand, security and environmental concerns when it comes to energy. There are measures we can pursue at the state level. The most obvious solutions would encourage use of renewable energy; joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative; investing in green building; and job creation in the energy sector."

Patrick: "Addressing our energy needs is one of the great challenges of our time. We should provide leadership in renewable energy -- as in the Cape Wind Project -- encourage conservation, clean up power plants and pursue environmental health and justice."

Reilly: "Responsible stewardship of our environment includes fighting air pollution by enforcing 'Filthy Five' regulations; promoting 'smart growth' by reinvesting in land protection and revitalizing neighborhoods."

Mihos: Cost-effective and efficient plans include "placing a wind farm at the Weymouth Naval Air Station -- protecting Nantucket Sound from the alarming Cape Wind proposal -- as well as researching and implementing renewable energy measures and investing in mass transit systems."

The Democratic gubernatorial candidates will face one another in a three-way primary on Sept. 19. The general election will be held Nov. 7.

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