Monday Aug 29: State Representative Candidates to Debate Climate Change Policy


The six candidates to replace Ellen Story as the State Representative from the 3rd Hampshire District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives have been invited to participate in a forum on climate change policy on Monday, August 29, from 7 to 9 PM. Hosted by the Green Sanctuary Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst, the event will be held at 121 North Pleasant Street in Amherst.

Some of the issues under discussion are expected to be:
Climate justice:
Expansion of renewable energy mix;
Gas tax ban;
Ban on new fossil fuel pipelines;
Reduction of gas leaks;
Carbon pricing;
Fossil fuel divestment;
Greening our transportation and building infrastructure;
Financing of green projects (including a green bank);
Reduction of agricultural methane emissions;
Preservation of carbon sinks.

As of today this event is co-sponsored by;

The South Congregational Church of Amherst; The Green Sanctuary Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst; Climate Action Now; Greening of Grace Church Amherst;
Mt. Toby Friends Meeting Climate Witness Committee; Jewish Community of Amherst

The candidates are Vira Douangmany Cage, Solomon Goldstein-Rose, Sarah la Cour, Bonnie McCracken, Eric Nakajima, and Lawrence O’Brien. The primary election is set for Sept. 8.

Emergency = Action!

We are in a climate emergency. We are using our grave concern as fuel for action.  We are a grassroots, people-powered organization.  We do not have members; we have people who join in to help when they want to do so.  We usually have several areas that people are working on at any time.



Action Alert – one more time – last push for Green Energy

 NEW statehouse call Action Alert. Phone numbers included:

The Energy Bill is in conference committee at the state house and we are in the final weeks of the session.

It is very important for us all to call the House conference committee members- Chair Dempsey, Reps Jones and Golden this week! Their phone numbers are below. In addition, we need to alert our networks to do the same.

My name is _________ and I am calling to leave a message for (Chair Dempsey, or Rep Jones, or Rep Golden) about the energy bill. (at that point the person answering the phone might transfer you to the aide handling energy issues. Then you can begin again) My name is _________, I am a resident of Massachusetts who cares deeply about the need to make a rapid transition to clean energy. I am calling to urge (Chair Dempsey, or Rep Jones, or Rep Golden) to include the following 3 provisions in the final energy bill-

*first, an increase in the RPS to 2%
*second, an investment in wind energy in the amount of 2,000 Megawatts
*and third, a prohibition against charging electric customers for gas pipelines

Please give him my message.
Thank you.
Phone numbers:

On Spectacle Pond: Resisting the Pipeline

pondCohello A Celebration of Solidarity with Berkshire Friends and Neighbors Fighting the Connecticut Expansion Pipeline proposed by Kinder-Morgan to run through the Protected Otis State Forest

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Join us for one or both events!

Great Barrington: 12 pm – 1 pm
 Gazebo behind Great Barrington Town Hall

RALLY at Lower Spectacle Pond
Cold Spring Road
Sandisfield, Mass

Music, speakers, kayak & canoe flotilla!

Sponsored by Sugar Shack Alliance

Co-sponsors include: Climate Action Now, Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT); Sandisfield Taxpayers Opposed to the Pipeline (STOP); Western Mass AFSC; Massachusetts Sierra Club; the Enviro Show; Stop NED; Mothers Out Front; Collective Copies

For more info contact Kathy Daly 413-586-4435

Can you lend a hand? Helpers are needed at Great Barrington (12-1pm) and Otis State Forest (2-4pm). Sign up by sending a message here (please indicate which location you will be attending and let us know by 5 PM on Wednesday, July 13th). 

Photo by Geoffrey Coelho… thank you!

Action alert! Call your rep today about making sure the green stays strong in the energy bill

greenStatehouseRepACTION ALERT! Negotiations are still under way in the state house for the green energy bill. We need to keep up the pressure right now. Calls are better than emails, but emails are better than nothing.

CALL SCRIPT you can use, distribute, or adapt to your own needs; details on the bill in the comments.

Dear Representative:

Thank you for working to advance comprehensive energy legislation, H4377. I am calling to ask you to push for a strong final clean energy bill. Here are my priorities regarding the legislation:

1) Increase the RPS to 2%- this is crucial to assuring we will meet our emission reduction goals.

2) I oppose the “pipeline tax,” and urge you to protect ratepayers and our environment by prohibiting subsidies for new gas pipelines, as the Senate has done.

3) I support procurement of 2000 megawatts of offshore wind. I am pleased both chambers have chosen to support offshore wind, and want to see a bigger commitment!

4) I support decommissioning planning and financing for Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant.

Please contact Speaker DeLeo and the conferees to ask them to include these policies in the final bill.

Lookup your representative here:
Interesting bill details: Read the rest of this entry »

Climate Action combined with Joy – this is how we do it

Every time you see one of these flags,you are looking at a spot where methane is being wasted, and also speeding up climate change. Join us on Saturday when we fan out all over Northampton to mark these leaks, after the INTERdependence Day Parade! This is going to be a beautiful, community-building Local Climate Action. Gas companies want their new pipelines even as they are allowing old pipes to waste. Fix those leaks! Sat, Jul 2 at 1 pm downtown Northampton.gasleakFlag

Parade, performance, and CLIMATE ACTION!  The action after the celebration:  spread around Northampton tagging the gas leaks. Build awareness about the cost to the planet of leaking methane, which is a greenhouse gas 20 time more potent than co2. We want the gas companies to fix their leaks before they try to build new pipelines!

This is going to be a great day of celebration and positive, meaningful action. Perfect for the family!


More info on leaks here:


Action Alert! Last Chance to Shape MA Energy Bill Until 2018.

Help MA become the  leader in the Green Energy Revolution: get these amendments passed!


The Senate votes on its Energy Bill (S.2372) this Thursday, June 30. This is our chance to shape the debate. The stronger the Senate Bill the better chance that the final Bill negotiated with the House will include our priorities.

To find contact information for your Senator go here and request support for the following amendments.


“I am a constituent of Senator _______ and I’m calling to let them know that I support the Senate’s energy bill S.2372.  I would also like him/her to vigorously support the following AMENDMENTS:

*Sen. Jehlen’s amendment to ban the pipeline tax – Please prohibit electric companies from charging us for gas pipelines we don’t want.

*Sen. Creem’s amendment to strengthen our gas leaks laws- We need better gas leaks repair policies such as those included in the House bill by adding worker safety provisions.

*Sen. Eldridge’s amendment to restore retail net metering rate for low-income solar arrays- We need to assure that low-income families have equal access to the benefits of solar energy.

*Sen. Eldridge’s amendment to raise the solar net metering cap- We have already reached the new cap in some areas— we need to allow solar energy to grow and prosper!

*Sen. Barrett’s amendment to institute a carbon pricing policy (carbon fee and rebate)- This policy will move us to a cleaner environment, create jobs and be socially just.

Thank the Senator for supporting these important issues.”

Thank you for picking up the phone and making this one call now!

Phone calls needed before June 30: Urge these Amendments to MA Energy Bill

canPhoneCall your MA State Senator.  

Action needed now. Senate to act before 6/30.

In order to further support local clean energy resources, keep energy dollars in our communities, create good green jobs, and protect us from pollution and further damage to our climate, we ask the Senate to approve amendments to its good new energy bill that would:

  1. Prohibit electric utilities from charging ratepayers for new gas pipelines, and require them to repair existing pipeline leaks.

  1. Raise the solar net metering cap and restore retail net metering credits for low-income solar arrays.  The latest cap has already been reached in some places.

  1. Improve siting requirements for hydropower transmission projects and require local renewable energy inputs into the transmission lines, to effectively protect natural resources and to increase the availability of electricity from more local clean energy.

  1. Create a ‘Green Bank’ to jumpstart private investment in energy efficiency and clean energy in Massachusetts. In six states including CT and NY, Green Banks have proven to attract ten times more money from the private sector than the state provides as leverage.

  1. Adopt a Carbon Fee and Rebate policy to charge wholesalers of fossil fuels for the pollution their product creates. This has been instituted elsewhere and shown to reduce carbon pollution and create economic growth.

  1. Divest the state employee pension fund (PRIT) from fossil fuels over five years. It is antithetical to invest in fossil fuel companies that consistently act to preclude a transition to renewable energy when such a transition is exactly what we need to facilitate. Such investments are also a losing proposition as the world turns away from fossil fuels.


We Stopped Kinder Morgan; On June 28th We Stand with West Roxbury to Stop Spectra


Photo credit: Resist the West Roxbury Pipeline

Houston-based Spectra Energy is building a pipeline carrying fracked gas in West Roxbury, a densely populated residential area in Boston.This high-pressure pipeline would run within a hundred feet of an active blasting quarry, through residential neighborhoods, and past several schools. Opposition to the West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline (WRLP) has been fierce and falls into two categories: Local Concerns and Climate Change.  Beginning on June 19th, pipeline fighters from across New England will join together for multiple, all-day, mass actions that will completely shut this project down.

This Tuesday, June 14th, Marla Marcum from Resist the Pipeline is coming to Northampton to help build for the June 28th Western Mass Day of Action to shut down the Spectra Pipeline in West Roxbury.  She will tell the story of the powerful community of resistance that has come together, and talk about how we can offer support. Marla will provide context and details about the June 28th Action in West Roxbury to help us to prepare for the day. Everyone is welcome to join us to learn more about the growing movement to resist the West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline. RSVPs appreciated to

Resist the Pipeline’s Marla Marcum
Tuesday, June 14th at 7 PM
Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence
220 Main Street, Northampton, Mass
Accessible and on a bus line
On Tuesday, June 28th Western Mass will play an important role in the Stop Spectra Day of Mass Day of Action. Everyone is encouraged to join in this action. We ask you to RSVP to so we can plan carpooling, housing and estimate how many of us from Western Mass will be there.
 Western Mass Day of Action in West Roxbury to Stop Spectra
Tuesday, June 28th  (begins at 8 AM)
West Roxbury construction siteExact location to be announced
Everyone is strongly encouraged to join the day of action whether or not you plan to engage in non-violent civil disobedience. If you will be doing civil disobedience and you have not been through a Sugar Shack NVDA training please sign up for the next training on June 25th.  See details at the bottom of this newsletter.

No Need for N.E.D, No Need for Any

By Dineen O’Rourke


Taking Steps to a Renewable Future, a four-day walk along the route of the pipeline this March, planned by the Sugar Shack Alliance and Climate Action Now. Exactly a month after we completed the walk, Kinder Morgan announced the suspension of the pipeline. Photo Courtesy of Aly Johnson-Kurts.

Throughout the bitter months of winter in 2014, veiled representatives of the billion-dollar energy company Kinder Morgan knocked on the doors of residents in the small hill-towns of Massachusetts. Their company emblems were covered and their smiles were wide. “Do we have permission to survey your property? We’re collecting data for a regional environmental study.” Clipboards and cameras in hand, they were shown to the backyards of dozens of properties, quietly collecting and recording information. It was weeks later when homeowners learned what they had actually granted permission for, when Kinder Morgan-marked letters were received in mailboxes across the state outlining the plan to build a fracked gas pipeline in those very backyards. Naturally, this didn’t favor well in the birthplace of Shay’s Rebellion; a movement quickly spread like wildfire, with resolutions and ordinances banning the project in over seventy towns, tens of thousands of petition signatures, legal cases, multiple marches across the state, and opposition declared by dozens of public officials.

Now, after a dedicated two-year-long grassroots movement, Kinder Morgan suspended the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline on April 26, 2016 and then officially withdrew their application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on May 23. Our grassroots movement defeated one of the largest energy companies in the country.


Photo courtesy of No Fracked Gas in Mass

This following research was originally conducted and written in December of 2015, when Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas had just significantly changed the proposed path of the pipeline, brining the eastern section of the route into New Hampshire. Publishing this research now is a way to portray a capsule in time of a successful social movement and reflect on the strategies that brought on a major victory in the fight against the fossil fuel industry. What did our movement do particularly well? Where could we have improved? The threat and consequences of this pipeline are shared with all the other proposed fracked gas projects in our region. Fighting one helps us fight others; we must not back down because we’ve won just one battle. Reflecting on this recent victory can help strengthen our understanding of this industry and inform us on how to defeat Spectra Energy’s AIM Pipeline, the West Roxbury Lateral, the compressor stations in Burrillville, Rhode Island and North Weymouth, and inspire us to continue organizing for a just and sustainable world.

In this light, I hope you will join us in escalating this summer against Spectra and acting in solidarity with our neighbors in Eastern Massachusetts. On Tuesday, June 28th, the Sugar Shack Alliance will be bringing a contingent of Kinder Morgan pipeline fighters to risk arrest in West Roxbury. Then from July 14-18, we will march along the route of the proposed Spectra Access Northeast route, back to West Roxbury, and end at the Boston Statehouse to send the message: Stop the Pipelines or the People Will! 
Read the rest of this entry »

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