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David L. O'Connor

ML Strategies - Senior Vice President for Energy & Clean Technology

[email protected]

+1.617.348.4418

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David is Senior Vice President for Energy & Clean Technology at ML Strategies. He helps energy and technology companies expand their markets and accelerate their growth. With deep knowledge of the energy industry and environmental issues, David helps these companies shape emerging public policies to their advantage.

His clients include companies that deliver energy-efficiency services; develop wind, biomass, and other renewable power plants; install transmission and smart grid technologies; and bring new low-carbon fuels and offsets to the marketplace.

David has been a leader and problem-solver in the public and private sectors for more than 30 years. Most recently, he served as the Massachusetts Commissioner of Energy Resources during the tenures of five governors, from 1995 through 2007. During this time, he developed and managed many of the state's energy policies and programs.

Under his leadership, Massachusetts began a historic movement to expand the use of clean energy. For example, he implemented the first-ever standards for renewable energy use and renewable certificate trading in New England. David oversaw the operation by electric and gas utilities of $150 million annually in energy-efficiency programs. He was a member of the Massachusetts team that negotiated the first-ever multistate agreement, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), to limit emissions of climate-changing carbon from power plants.

As a member of the state Energy Facilities Siting Board from 1995 to 2007, he voted to approve the siting of several billion dollars in new power plants across the state, including the Cape Wind power plant. For more than 10 years, he led Massachusetts’s participation in the deregulation of the region's $15 billion electricity market. He testified regularly before legislative committees, gave hundreds of media interviews, and often represented the Massachusetts Governor before state and federal regulatory agencies.

Prior to his appointment as energy commissioner, David held a number of positions in the dispute resolution field. He founded and directed the Massachusetts Office of Dispute Resolution, the first state agency in the United States created to resolve nonlabor, public disputes. Before that, he was the chief mediator of the first regional environmental mediation service in the United States.

From 1987 to 1993, David served as an adjunct lecturer at Tufts University in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, where he taught graduate courses on negotiation and conflict resolution in public-sector, multiparty disputes.

Education

  • Harvard University (MPA)
  • Middlebury College (BA)

Involvement

  • Co-chair, Renewable Energy Committee, Northeast Energy and Commerce Association
  • Member, Policy Committee, New England Clean Energy Council
  • Board member, SeaPlan
  • Board member, Summer Search, Boston

Recent Insights

News & Press

Viewpoints

A law recently enacted by the Massachusetts legislature and signed by Governor Charlie Baker will increase the use of renewable fuels to produce electricity, allow the development of more offshore wind farms, enable more technologies to qualify for energy efficiency incentives and increase the use of technologies that store electricity.
State-by-state legalization of the medical and recreational use of marijuana is creating a new industry in the U.S. that has the potential to rival our largest businesses. However, the growth of this new industry comes at a cost.
Massachusetts lawmakers have returned from summer recess and are preparing to tackle a robust legislative agenda this fall. Legislators will meet formally through the third Wednesday in November, at which point formal sessions will end until 2018.
After closing the book on the formal sessions in July, Massachusetts lawmakers have turned their attention to the November election. The Senate and House of Representatives convene in informal sessions for the remainder of the year and no controversial legislative matters are expected to pass during this time.
Late Sunday night, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a compromise energy bill that will significantly increase electricity produced by offshore wind, hydropower and other renewable energy sources.
On Monday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a solar energy bill into law that increases the statewide limits on the amount of solar capacity that will qualify for net metering, but also lowers the value of net metering credits for large-scale projects.
Recent surveys offer revealing insights into voter attitudes in the northeast U.S. toward state policies that expand the use of clean and renewable energy. There is also intriguing data about voters’ willingness to pay for those policies.

News & Press

David O’Connor, Senior Vice President for Energy & Clean Technology at ML Strategies, is featured in this article recapping the 25th annual New England Energy Conference and Exposition.
ML Strategies’ Julie Cox, David O’Connor and Caitlin Beresin collaborated on a Law360 column discussing the impact of the cannabis industry, specifically as it pertains to the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana and the growing awareness of the environmental impacts it has.
ML Strategies' David O’Connor authored this Natural Gas and Electricity Journal article on Massachusetts’ new legislation requiring distribution utilities to purchase “carbon-free electricity under long-term contracts for up to 30 percent of the state’s electricity supply.”
David L. O’Connor of ML Strategies will receive the 2016 Vanguard Award from the Northeast Energy and Commerce Association, a regional association of energy businesses and experts. The award recognizes contributions to the competitive energy markets in the Northeast.

Events

Moderator
Moderator
Mar
6
2017
Moderator
Chair
Feb
25
2016

Third Annual Transmission in the Northeast Conference

Law Seminars International

Boston, MA