SAFE has been collaborating with 350MA and is happy to express support for this year’s legislative agenda. This year’s priorities are renewable energy, improving infrastructure to stop methane gas leaks, and stopping the expansion of gas pipelines that will carry fracked gas to coastal communities for export:
Stop the Pipeline Tax ✧ Oppose any legislative effort to restore the pipeline tax and pursue other legislative avenues to resist fossil fuel infrastructure
Make Utilities Buy More Renewables ✧ Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) so that electric utilities must more rapidly increase the percentage of electricity sourced from renewables to get us on a faster track to 100% renewable electricity.
Put a Price on Carbon ✧ Levy a price on carbon pollution and redistribute the revenue back to taxpayers.
Expand Solar Energy ✧ Raise or eliminate net metering caps, restore the net metering retail rate for all project types including community and large-scale solar, and provide funding for community and low-income solar initiatives.
Fix Gas Leaks ✧ Require that consumers not pay for leaked gas, incentivizing companies to fix leaks faster.
To learn more, and see the bill names and numbers of 350 Mass priority legislation, visit 350 Massachusetts 2017-2018 Legislative Agenda (PDF).
In a recent blog post for the Nonprofit Quarterly, SAFE board member Karen Kahn wrote about how Rotterdam, another urban industrial coastal city is addressing climate change.
Despite President Trump having pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, scientists agree that the future of our planet is in jeopardy. In many parts of the world, the effects of climate change are simply undeniable: Seas are rising, storms are getting worse, and drought is forcing millions to migrate.
A consensus is emerging that we can no longer focus solely on reducing carbon emissions in order to keep our planet habitable. Even if countries meet their targets under the Paris Agreement, the global community has not moved quickly enough to save us from environmental changes that are already disrupting populations worldwide. At this point, renewable energy strategies must be combined with adaptation and mitigation to reduce the severity of floods, droughts, and other climate change impacts around the world. (As of this writing, the temperature in Phoenix, Arizona, is expected to reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit, with temperatures over 110 degrees for the entire week.)
Coastal cities are among the geographic areas under most immediate threat, and in many cases, it is these municipalities that are leading the way toward innovative solutions. In a recent New York Times article, Michael Kimmelman profiles the city of Rotterdam, where visionary leadership is transforming an old industrial landscape into one that is cosmopolitan, climate-resilient, and community-oriented.
Read the full article here.
“The damage from climate change isn’t just coming in the future, it’s part of the present,” says New York Times writer David Leonhardt, introducing this week’s Sunday Times magazine special. The Times includes a wide array of stories this week that track the melting of Arctic sea ice, island nations sinking into the sea, and increased flooding in many of our major urban areas. Yet the president of the United States wants to drill more oil and dig more coal. As Bill McKibben says in his Sunday Review essay, our current president could easily waste so much time that the Earth will not recover—at least not in time to save humans.
So let your voices be heard. Saturday, April 29, join the Boston People’s Climate March. SAFE will meeting at the Wonderland MBTA station at 10:30 am on the Inbound platform to go into the Common, where a climate rally begins at 12 noon. If you can’t meet at Wonderland, join us at Park Street Station by 11:45 to head over to the rally. Look for the SAFE banner:
The Boston People’s Climate March is a being organized by local groups from environmental justice, labor, youth, faith, and climate activism. They are hosting a day full of powerful events that include:
Music and gathering at the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common
Rally for Climate, Jobs, and Justice on the Common
Action tables and activities from local organizations on the Common and Climate Justice Teach-ins at nearby indoor locations (see details and sign-up here!)
For more information, contact Pat Gozemba at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of SAFE’s major projects is addressing natural gas leaks throughout our city. These leaks, which are the result of decaying infrastructure, negatively impact our environment in multiple ways. In our latest video, we look at how natural gas leaks affect the trees that line our streets. Do you have a dead or dying tree on your block? Perhaps there is a persistent gas leak. Watch the video below to learn more.
You can also catch the video on SATV at the following times:
- April 6 at 2:30 PM
- April 8 at 3:30 PM
- April 11 at 10:30 AM
- April 13 at 2:30 PM
For more information on the gas leaks project, click here
This is from Jim Riccio, Greenpeace’s Nuclear Policy Analyst since 2001. He starts by commenting on the 2013 movie about “new nuclear power,” Pandora’s Promise:
…I do have this article from FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting), which calls the film pure propaganda.
and this from Eco watch:
I also mentioned the articles by Joe Romm, a MIT physicist and climate advocate who has had an ongoing battle with the utter garbage produced by the BreakThrough
Institute & the PP [Pandora’s Promise] crowd. Here are a few of my favorites:
On Pandora’s Promise:
On BTI [Breakthrough Institute] :
And while I respect & supported James Hansen and his whistleblowing on the Bush administration’s climate change denial he doesn’t know nukes!
If we want to abate climate change we need solutions that are fast and affordable, and that rules out new nuclear power.
Jim Riccio, Greenpeace’s Nuclear Policy Analyst since 2001
[Below are detailed ideas on what to ask for in the bill, and a link to find out who your Mass. elected officials are.]
Massachusetts has been a national leader on clean energy, but now are at a crossroads: we are poised to invest billions of dollars to replace retiring power plants and make energy choices that will shape our future.
Comprehensive energy policy is now advancing through the state legislature. Please urge your elected officials to invest in clean energy like wind and solar, and to ban any public financing of fracked gas pipelines!
Will you contact your respresentative and senator today?
When you call, meet with, or email your Representative and Senator, here is what you can say:
“I want to urge you to strengthen clean energy provisions in the House energy bill, H4336 – an Act Relative to Energy Diversity. Please work to pass an energy bill that reduces our reliance on imported gas and harnesses our state’s abundant renewable energy resources like wind and solar. The energy bill should:
- Stop the “pipeline tax.” Ratepayers should not foot the bill for new fracked gas pipelines. The cost and risk to consumers and the environment are too great and the legislature has a role to play in protecting the public by banning this practice. Please amend this legislation to head off the DPU’s plan to charge electric ratepayers for gas pipelines.
- Be bold with offshore wind: Legislation should establish long-term contracts for at least 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy. The current bill calls for 1200 megawatts – a good start, but increasing this will allow our state to grow wind jobs and capture a cost-saving economy of scale.
- Accelerate the Renewable Portfolio Standard to increase 2% per year: Maryland, California and Hawaii have all set ambitious RPS targets. To meet cuts the scientists say we must make in our climate change causing pollution, we can and should do the same. Please increase the RPS and accelerate the growth of local renewable power and the growth of clean energy jobs.
- Restore low-income and community solar: To ensure all communities can access solar power, the legislature should restore compensation for low-income and community solar projects.
Thank you for your support of clean energy, and please urge your colleagues to support these provisions.”
If you don’t know who your elected official is, you can find out here. Once you are ready to call, you can call them directly or you can call the state house switchboard at (617) 722-2000. And once you call, please let me know what your Representative and Senator says. It is super helpful to helping us strategize!
Carol Oldham, Executive Director [email@example.com]
Massachusetts Climate Action Network
Conservation Law Foundation released a statement this afternoon regarding a historic decision by the state’s highest court enforcing the Global Warming Solutions Act.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court released its decision today in Kain et al. v. Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), affirming the State’s obligations under the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) and ordering the Commonwealth to create and implement regulations to meet its carbon emission reduction mandates. In the opinion by Justice Cordy, the Court sided with Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), Massachusetts Energy Consumer Alliance, and four teenage plaintiffs in asserting that DEP failed its legal obligation to enforce the GWSA.
“This is a historic day,” said Jenny Rushlow, CLF’s lead attorney on the case. “Today our highest court declared clearly and unequivocally that our leaders can no longer sit on their hands while Massachusetts communities are put at risk from the effects of climate change. Thanks to this landmark decision, our role as a national leader in battling climate change has only been stalled but not sacrificed. Now, with action from DEP, we can get back on track and ensure that the health of our families and future generations is always a top priority.” Read more.