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Please ask Governor Baker to take the next step in the history of bold, bipartisan environmental leadership in Massachusetts by supporting a market-based strategy to reduce global warming pollution.
The Fair Carbon Pricing Coalition is urging Governor Baker to support putting a price on carbon as part of Massachusetts’ strategy for meeting Global Warming Solutions Act mandates. Market-based solutions are on the table now, with two Carbon Pricing bills now in committee — Senate Bill S.1786 and Senate Bill S.1747. Carbon pricing systems work because they require polluters to take responsibility for their emissions, creating an economic incentive to invest in clean energy and efficiency. Real world examples demonstrate that carbon pricing can reduce emissions while creating jobs, growing our economy and protecting consumers.
Governor Baker’s Constituent Services Phone: 617.725.4005
I am calling to ask you to take the next step in the history of bold, bipartisan environmental leadership in Massachusetts by supporting a market-based strategy to reduce global warming pollution. We urge you to consider supporting Senate Bill S.1786 and Senate Bill S.1747 as a measure to reduce emissions and encourage you to incorporate a plan to put a price on carbon emissions into your plan to achieve the state’s climate mandates.
1. @MassGovernor 2016 is the year MA gets serious about #climateaction, green jobs, and consumer choice, See @macleanenergy on #pricingcarbon
2. Hey @CharlieBakerMA Looking for a bi-partisan, market-based policy that gets serious about #climateaction and green jobs? #PriceCarbon
A Letter – use as-is or edit as you please
Click her to download .DOCX file: FairPricingLetterToBaker
Or click to see this page: Suggested letter to Gov Baker
Climate Action Now is calling on our elected state officials to take bold and decisive action by supporting a solar net metering bill that promotes jobs, increases tax revenue, and encourages renewable energy production in Massachusetts. The bills being considered in conference committee right now will severely limit the growth of solar energy. They are especially unfair to low-income residents and municipalities because larger projects like those for apartment buildings, community solar, and municipalities stand far less chance of ever being built.
These bills would crush a thriving solar industry, which employs 15,000 people in the state and adds about 3,000 new jobs per year. Our state has been a leader in solar, and we need to continue to encourage its growth. Go here to read a statement by Climate Action Now on this issue. As part of the Mass Power Forward Coalition we urge you to take action now by going here to send a message to your state legislators.
Photo Credit: Wayne National Forest Solar Panel Construction
Solar Energy Legislation 2015/2016
Climate Action Now and its allies support the legislature in attempting to act on solar energy in 2015 prior to taking up a more complex omnibus energy bill in 2016.
However, H.3854 as written would impede progress in reducing global warming emissions by restricting the growth of solar, and would weaken the solar industry, resulting in a loss of jobs and tax revenue.
Therefore we ask legislators to carefully consider the following points and to notify the conference committee – Representatives Dempsey, Golden, and Brad Jones; Senators Downing, Tarr and Pacheco; as well as Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Rosenberg, of the need to incorporate these changes to the final compromise.
- Eliminate the cap on solar energy net metering*.
Rationale: Already the existing cap is having an adverse impact on 175 affected communities by preventing them from saving on their electricity costs, and the state is losing jobs and tax revenue by reining in the solar industry. Raising the cap slightly (by the proposed 2% in H. 3854) will only allow a portion of planned projects to be completed before the new cap is reached, likely in six months. At that point, new legislation would be required to raise the cap yet again.
Eliminating the cap would give solar businesses the long-term assurance they need to maintain and grow their workforce, providing jobs and tax revenue. It would also enable municipalities to pursue solar arrays to achieve their greenhouse gas reduction goals and cost savings, and encourage low-income and community shared solar projects, helping expand renewable energy in an equitable manner.
- Maintain the current retail reimbursement rate for net metering until comprehensive study of the issue is completed.
Rationale: Slashing the reimbursement rate from retail to wholesale for sizeable arrays will make them less likely to be built, as the return on investment will be drastically reduced. H.3854 cuts the reimbursement rate by 75%. Municipal, low-income and shared community arrays require the retail reimbursement rate for financial viability. If a cut in the cost of solar to utilities is found to be necessary (see point 5 below), the Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC**) incentive program can be modified without harming municipal low-income, or community solar projects (see point 6 below).
- Do not allow utility companies to impose a mandatory monthly minimum charge as stipulated in H.3854.
Rationale: Mandatory minimum charges would discourage energy conservation by raising costs for low-energy users, and discourage investment in solar arrays. As worded, H.3854 could result in annual minimum charges of $360 for residential solar customers and significantly higher bills for businesses and municipalities, negating much of their investment in solar. If any such charge is considered, it should be informed by an actual study of the benefits and costs of solar energy, and limited to a reasonable fee.
- Grandfather all solar projects so that their reimbursement rate remains as agreed upon when they were built.
Rationale: Transitioning to lower reimbursement mid-stream (in 20 years as stipulated in H.3854) fails to honor agreements made when project costs were calculated, undermining confidence in doing business in Massachusetts. This would have a chilling effect on new projects that require long-term payback.
- Initiate a transparent process to study the actual costs and benefits of solar to guide long-term policy.
Rationale: The inaccurate and misleading claims of the utility industry about the cost of solar need to be independently evaluated. The considerable benefits of solar must be factored into the equation. Prior analyses have shown that the actual benefits of solar outweigh its costs, for example by eliminating the need for more power plants, reducing pollution from burning fossil fuels and offering protection from unpredictable fluctuation in the price of fossil fuels.
- Reform the SREC** program to lower ratepayer costs
Rationale: The SREC program accounts for the majority of solar costs to utilities and can be reduced without tinkering with the proven worth of net metering reimbursement. Adjusting the SREC program would be more equitable for low-income communities that are not eligible for SRECs but depend on net metering reimbursement, and for other solar users who do not own their arrays. The Dep’t of Energy Resources (DOER) can examine and adjust the SREC program.
*Solar net metering refers to the program that reimburses solar customers for the excess power they generate and provide to the grid.
**Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) provide cash benefits to solar owners who sell credits from their arrays on the market administered by the Department of Energy Reso
Here is printable, nicely formatted PDF File with the above information: CAN Statement on Solar Energy Legislation
Take a Stand Against the Kinder Morgan Pipeline: Become an Intervenor
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has accepted Kinder Morgan’s application for the Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline and will soon launch its environmental review. Climate Action Now encourages everyone to sign up as an “intervenor” in order to send a clear message to both FERC and Kinder Morgan that the people of Western Mass are united in our determination that this pipeline will never be built.
All you need to do to become an intervenor is to go online and fill out a form that states your “interest” in this project. Given that we would all be negatively impacted if this pipeline were ever built we all have a stake in the outcome and are therefore interested parties. Although this is a straightforward action (go here for directions) we encourage you to come to a workshop where you will be guided through the process and can file your document on the spot if you bring along a laptop, ipad or smartphone. The deadline for filing is January 6th and the last two workshops will be held this coming weekend.
Dickinson Memorial Library 115 Main Street, Northfield
Unitarian Society of Amherst, 121 North Pleasant Street, Amherst
Something important happened in Paris. The leaders of countries across the world publicly admitted that we are facing unprecedented, human- caused climate catastrophe. Our world leaders had no choice given both the irrefutable evidence that climate change is upon us and the unstoppable power of the growing global movement for climate justice.
Much of the media coverage has been enthusiastic and celebratory. For alternative perspectives please check out the resources below which include critical analysis of the Paris Agreement. These resources address both the limitations of the agreement and the significance of the growing climate justice movement.
Our global system is stressed by climate change, economic inequality, racial oppression, mighty corporations and a war machine that devours fossil fuels. Can the ecological emergency be the catalyst that unites us in a common quest to create a more just and livable world? Can we heed the urgency of the call to keep 80% of our fossil fuels in the ground, to rapidly scale up renewables, and to escalate our fight for climate justice?
Climate Action Now will continue to grapple with these questions even as we remain focused on our local campaigns in collaboration with our partner organizations. We welcome everyone to join us as we organize for climate justice in Springfield, mobilize to defeat the Kinder Morgan Pipeline, work for divestment from fossil fuels, a fair price on carbon and public policies that support rapid expansion of renewable energy and the jobs these investments create.
We recommit in this new year to the nurturing of our relationships with each other and with the land that we love; the creative expression of our climate hopes, fears and dreams; the deepening of our intergenerational bonds; and the expansion of our acts of solidarity and resistance. We hope to see you at our next monthly gathering on Monday, January 25th.
Click on the links below to read and view a selection of resources that explore the limitations of the Paris Agreement and the significance of the global climate justice movement.
Go to Democracy Now and click on Paris Climate Summit 2015
Photo credit: Jack Owiki via 350.org (edits by Susan Theberge)
PART 1: RALLY-MARCH from 1-3 on BOSTON COMMON (bandstand)
Our movement comes together for a big rally at the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common. We will then march through the streets to the Boston State House.
PART 2: ACTIONS IN AND AROUND QUINCY MARKET/FANUEL HALL 3:30-5:30
We need singers, dancers, banner holders, people to speak out, film and photo, people to talk to passers by and hand out info. Something for everyone!
click here for more info, and to RSVP to facebook event for this action – this is the “Change of Service T Action”
Do you want to take a bus with us? Sign up here!!
Carpools from Northampton:
Carpooling to Boston for 12/12 march and rally will gather at 10:15 at the Northampton Norwottock rail trail parking lot (which is located at the end of Damon Rd) and we will depart promptly at 10:30 am.
It is great if folks could contact me (Marty Nathan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-531-9915) beforehand but just showing up is perfectly acceptable
Zurich, Switzerland, Nov.28, 2015 Global Climate March Photo credit 350.org (edited by Susan Theberge)
The Paris Talks Begin: Local Nov. 29th Actions for Climate Justice
The North Quabbin People’s March
All are welcome to join this free and open public march. Please bring signs, banners, hand drums, string and wind instruments. For information contact LarryBuell at email@example.com or call 978-724-0412.****
Global Climate March: Springfield Standout
We will rally and pass out literature at the Mall’s Main Auto Entrance until 5 PM to the many shoppers at the mall in support of the growing environmental justice movement! Check out our Facebook page
Global Climate March Northampton
image by Nina Montenegro via 350.org (edited by Susan Theberge).
Please join us for an organizing meeting for our New England wide action to be held in Boston on 12/12. Contact Susan if you can join us at 7:30 PM on Monday night, Nov 30th.
Nov 29 Global Climate March: Amherst, Northampton, Spingfield, Athol Join 2,330 actions around the globe!
On the eve of the big U.N summit in Paris, the climate movement is taking to the streets. With climate change in the global spotlight, this is our chance to make the talks work for our movement. This is our chance to set the agenda for ambition.
Our message: keep fossil fuels in the ground and finance a just transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050.
We invite folks Join the March – bring signs and banners; read a short message or sing a song; bring hand drums, string or wind instruments; or just come to witness and support the March.
Many of the major environmental and Climate Justice Action groups in the North Quabbin Region have joined as Sponsors of the March, including: Earthlands, North Quabbin Energy; NQ Pipeline Action, Mt. Grace Conservation Land Trust, Sacred Earth Network, Ritual Expressions, N.Q. Women in Black, Petersham Energy Committee, Ritual Expressions, Common Grow, and many others.
Speakers and musicians are getting lined-up.
After the March, all are invited to the Annual Earthlands Thanksgiving Potluck & Gathering at 39 Glasheen Road, Petersham, MA 01366 for good food, amazing music, stimulating conversation, and inspiring community.
SEE ALL EVENTS https://secure.avaaz.org/en/event/globalclimatemarch
Action alert: Don’t let a pipeline company take our constitutionally-protected Public Conservation Lands
We treasure protected lands in Massachusetts and work hard to conserve our forests, lakes and fields; places where changes reflect the shifts in seasons not the roar of the bulldozer and the blasting of bedrock. More and more of us are learning about Kinder Morgan’s brazen attempt to get our state legislators to undo our hard fought legal protection of these public lands. Here is the story:
- Kinder Morgan, the huge Texas-based gas pipeline company proposing both the Northeast Energy Direct and Connecticut Expansion gas pipeline in Massachusetts, wants to take public lands to construct their pipelines, access roads, work areas, and on-the-ground infrastructure for their private profit.
- They want to clearcut, blast and trench their way to construct pipelines that would damage over 100 conservation parcels for their private profit.
- Eighty five of those parcels, including state forests and parks, are protected by Article 97 of our Massachusetts Constitution.
- Kinder Morgan is lobbying to get the required two thirds of legislators in the Mass House and Senate to vote their way and allow pipeline infrastructure on public lands.
Here is how we are fighting back
- There is a public hearing next TUESDAY, November 10th at 11 AM in the Statehouse in Boston on House Bill 3690 which would strip the protected status (Article 97 of the amended Massachusetts Constitution) from land in Otis State Forest, including old growth forest, to allow for the construction of a pipeline spur to provide natural gas to Connecticut. (Come at 10 am for the rally!)
- If H. 3690 is approved, it increases the likelihood that similar legislation will ultimately be approved to strip Article 97 protection from thousands of acres of additional protected open space to facilitate the construction of NED.
- We intend to make sure that Kinder Morgan’s effort to take our public lands for their corporate profit is met with a resounding “No!” from our elected officials.
- We need to pack the hearing room and send our elected officials a clear message: No way will Kinder Morgan build pipeline infrastructure on our beloved conservation lands.
The MA Interfaith Coalition for Climate Change, one of our coalition partners in Mass Power Forward, also has an action day at the Statehouse on Nov. 10th. Please join their rally for climate justice at 10 AM at the Grand Staircase in the Statehouseand then head downstairs to the Gardner Auditorium for the 11 AM hearing.
If you are able to attend the hearing and either need or can offer a ride please contact Climate Action Now. To send a message to elected officials representing your community and key committee heads go here. For answers to frequently asked questions go here