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December Blizzard Of Letters & Calls For Divestment

Aaron M. Michlewitz

The folks working with 350ma.org to move Senate bill 1225 , which calls for divestment of state pension funds from fossil fuel companies, need our help!  If we can flood Boston with calls and letters urging House Chair, Rep Aaron Michlewitz to move s 1225 out of the Joint Committee on Public Service in the first 2 weeks of December, we have a good chance of making Massachusetts the first state to  divest state pension funds from the nasty actors coal, oil and the like.

Are you ready to help deliver a December blizzard of letters and calls to the state house in order to help Senate bill 1225 move forward?  Senate bill 1225 calls for divestment of state pension funds in Massachusetts.

That is the forecast for the Joint Committee on Public Service through the first two weeks of December!

S. 1225, the fossil fuel divestment legislation needs pressure to move it out of the Joint Committee on Public Service, with most of that pressure on the House Chair, Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, and on the House members of that Committee.

This may be a critical point in the life of the bill. We need a surge of support to show the committee how much interest there is in making Massachusetts the first state to divest of fossil fuels. Support from all of 350MA.

To do this, we are going to put our effort into a two week blizzard of meetings, letters and calls.

The guidelines/talking points are attached below. Because Representative Michlewitz represents the Waterfront district, we are going to focus on the “taxpayer indignation about the cost of climate mitigation/adaptation” arguments, as well as our basic talking points.

Here is our fact sheet, with the list of legislative supporters and endorsers.  (Our sponsorship on agenda for ad comm 12/1)

Optional: Here is another recent article with GREAT language about divestment.

We are calling on you do the following actions:

1) Write a letter and then follow up calls to Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, asking him to report S. 1225 out of the committee with a favorable report as soon as possible. A good way to do this is to pair up with a buddy so that you can help and remind each other! And/or plan a letter writing party.

Address: Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, Chair, Joint Committee on Public Service, Room 156, State House, Boston, MA 02133
Phone: (617) 722 2240
Email: (not recommended) Aaron.M.Michlewitz@mahouse.gov

2) One letter/call to your own Reps. who support the bill asking them to urge Rep. Michlewitz to move S. 1225 out of committee with a favorable report. A letter with a follow up call is preferred. This is where you can find your legislator and contact information.

These are the Reps. who support:

  • Cambridge Node: Reps. Provost, Conroy, Decker, Garballey, Hecht, Rogers, Sciortino.
  • Western MA Node: Reps. Andrews, Kocot, Kulik, Story, Scibak, Vega.
  • North Shore Node: Rep. Erlich
  • Core Team: Reps. Gordon, Miceli
  • Boston Node: Rep. Smizik
  • Metro West Node: Rep. Walsh
  • Worcester Node: Rep. Benson (member of the PS Committee—special request to support)

3) Meet with your own legislators who don’t yet support the bill asking them to support the bill and to urge Rep. Michlewitz to move S. 1225 out of the Public Service Committee with a favorable report. (This would include Democratic legislators that are not listed for your node in #2 above.) Legislators are back in their districts now through the first week of January so are easier to schedule for an in district meeting. Please try to schedule the meeting as soon as possible and try to go with a group. This is where you can find your own legislator and contact info.

Special efforts go to Democratic members of the PS committee:

  • Western MA Node—Reps. Swan and Petrolati
  • Cambridge Node—Rep. Brodeur
  • And to the Speaker:
  • Winthrop contingent—Speaker DeLeo

4. Please report your actions to your (TBD: node point person) including the responses you have gotten and anything new you have learned. He or she will take a count of our progress at the end of week 1 or on December 7.

Follow and tweet about the campaign on Twitter using #S1225, @repmichlewitz, #mapoli or follow @350Mass & @BetterFuturePro.

Resources:

Make MA the First State to Divest

STATEWIDE RALLY– MAKE MASSACHUSETTS THE FIRST STATE TO DIVEST FROM FOSSIL FUELS!!

mass-divest
College students, people of faith, environmentalists, economists, unions, mothers, and others will be converging on the State House on Sept. 10 to support S. 1225, a bill sponsored by Sen. Ben Downing that requires MA to divest from fossil fuels!
WHAT: Rally and Hearing for MA State Divestment bill S. 1225!
WHERE: State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston
WHEN: Tuesday, September 10th, 9:30am
RSVP NOW ON FACEBOOK!: https://www.facebook.com/events/221918627960411/ Tell friends you are attending and invite them to RSVP.  Share it on your page.
TWITTER too: #divestma
WHAT TO EXPECT: Inspiring speakers, music, and hundreds of people supporting S.1225!
WHOM TO BRING: Your friends, children, community members, classmates!
WHAT TO BRING: Banners and clothing proclaiming “As a member of my community, school, union, or faith group, I want MA to divest from fossil fuels and take bold action on climate!”
CALL/WRITE OR VISIT: Your Senator and Representative to urge him/her to support S. 1225. (See sample letter,
postcard and fact sheet attached. The postcard can be copied on card and cut in half. No room numbers needed.)
PASS THE WORD: Resend this email to your networks. Pass out fliers at events. (See attached flier.) Write a letter to the editor. (See attached suggested language for a letter to the editor.) Retweet.
SIGN the Go Fossil Free petition here: http://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/petitions/divest- the-state-of-massachusetts-pension-funds  Take the attached petition to your events and return the signatures to Darcy below.
If you need help with transportation, please check to see if you can carpool with someone from your area of MA: http://www.groupcarpool.com/t/0mr2zk
WHY:
Our state pension fund has $1.3 billion invested in fossil fuel companies, including Exxon and TransCanada (builder of the Keystone XL pipeline). Even President Obama and Forbes magazine have come out in favor of divestment. These investments are immoral and fiscally irresponsible. Because we can’t burn most of those reserves and maintain a livable climate, the carbon bubble is predicted to burst.
The fossil fuel divestment campaign has grown by leaps and bounds this past year and now we have the chance for the biggest win so far. And we’ve seen what happens when MA leads: the rest of the country often follows close behind.
For more information, see our website Fossil Fuel Divest MA https://sites.google.com/site/fossilfueldivestma/
or contact Darcy DuMont at dumont140@yahoo.com. Send petitions to 142 Pondview Drive, Amherst,  MA 01002.

Movements Without Leaders

What to Make of Change on an Overheating Planet 

“It’s our job to rally a movement…big enough to stand up to all that money”

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175737/tomgram:_bill_mckibben:_a_movement_for_a_new_planet/#more

Think About It?

OK, I’m thinking about and it appears fracking is coming to the Pioneer Valley!

Heard this ad on WFCR during NPR’s All Things Considered today, July 24th at 5:29pm:

[quote]From America’s Natural Gas. Learn how a farmer in Ohio has helped support his family’s farm with the production of natural gas on their land. ThinkAboutIt.Org[/quote]

This is so unbelievable I’ve made a YouTube of the ad so you can hear it for yourself… it starts at 20 seconds after the Angie’s List ad:

From WFCR’s website, here is their target audience:

coverage-map-nepr

Pioneer Valley is ground zero!

It is pretty clear that the Natural Gas industry would NOT be wasting their money supporting our local public radio if they didn’t have ulterior motives: plans for fracking the valley.  In fact, I bet they don’t even like public radio.

Now, let’s see what ThinkAboutIt.Org is all about.  The first thing I notice, web geek that I am and taking a peek behind the curtain, 379 cookies!  Yikes, this little bit of web surfing is probably being watched in real time by the Koch brothers, Dick Cheney, 1/3 of the NSA sys admins with a Top Secret clearance, Rupert Muddock and all the rest of those greedy bastards.  Normally, a website would use less than a dozen cookies so this tells me they are doing their “Mad Men” best to figure out who is looking and then how to deal with them next in focusing, targeting and general misleading in their future advertising campaigns.

Here’s their home page:

think-about-it-org-website

 So look at what this website is selling?  family-owned farms!  Safety?  Come on, these pictures are bucolic and all, but give me a break.  This website is squarely aimed at family farms here in the valley and they are getting the word out that natural gas can save  family owned farms that are economically distressed.  Makes me wonder what other advertising campaigns are now taking place.

Click on the Safety picture and watch their You Tube video… a moving picture is worth 1,000,000 words!

Do we really want our ground water poisoned?  What can we do??  One thing is we can organize and have our towns and cities pass local ordinances banning fracking ASAP.  Also, we can support current legislation already in the house, H788 and sponsored by Northampton’s (1st Hampshire District) Rep. Peter Kocot.

We’ve got our work cut out for us however, the writing is clearly on the wall.  After the aptly named “American Groundwater Trust” group held their conference at UMass last December and now this ad… we have truly been fore warned!

1 if by land, 2 if by sea, and 3 if fracking horizontally!

Fracking and Public Health

“Fracking doesn’t sound like something the earth, or any community, or any language would wish upon itself. What is it exactly? Fracking is a technique that involves the injection of enormous volumes of water and chemicals underground at very high pressure in order to create fractures in underlying shale rock formations in order to extract the natural gas below the surface. Fracking is rapidly expanding all across the U.S. and Canada. It is touted by big corporations as a practical solution to energy needs. Citizen groups oppose fracking because of its huge water use, its high carbon emissions, its impacts on human health, the disruption it causes to wildlife, and the peril it poses to groundwater and local drinking water. They are insisting that people’s health and the environment are non-negotiable. And, that this widespread and dangerous practice of fracking be stopped.”

Check out Sandra on Alternative Radio recorded March 4, 2013: http://www.alternativeradio.org/products/stes001

Sandra Steingraber is a biologist, writer and environmental health expert. She is from a distinguished line of women ecologists such as Rachel Carson and Lois Gibbs, who have alerted lawmakers and the public to the real cost of toxic trespassing. She is the author of Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment. She is a leading voice opposing fracking.

 

 

 

 

Entering a Resource-Shock World

Michael Klare has published what should be a must read for everyone because everyone needs to know what is happening here.  What it is, is starting to be clear (sorry Buffalo Springfield):

Entering A Resource-Shock World

Michael Klare is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College

[quote]Michael Klare looks into the future with sharper eyes than almost anyone else around. Pay Attention![/quote]

Bill McKibben

Do the Math – The Movie

Not In My Back Yard

nimby

Can you image a leak like the one in Arkansas along the Connecticut River in Vermont?  Well, if Exxon/Mobile has it’s way, we could very well have such an event.  This is the same company that owns the leaking pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas.

How about a no-fly zone over a spill or threatening to arrest reporters… check out:

14 Things You Need to Know About the Horrifying Arkansas Oil Spill

What You Can Do

can-protesters

Make your voice heard, start a conversation… you know so many people are aware of the impact of climate change now and are fed up with our do nothing government.  BUT, is our do nothing government doing what the 1% want them to do because the rest of us are silent?  Well, be idle no more, be part of the 99%, speak of for yourself and join in on the conversation.

We have more power together than we do alone, so come join us! All are welcome and the more diversity, the better.

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Democratic Candidates Debate

markey-lynch-debate

Election Day is only a couple of weeks away and we need to let the candidates for the Senate, Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch, both know that the Keystone XL Pipeline is not supported by the majority of voters.  This is an opportunity to voice our opinions against drone strikes, student debt, campaign spending and show positive support for democracy as it should be.  Outside groups are pouring money into this race and showing up to this debate is one way to counter act that travesty of democracy.

This is the special election to fill John Kerry’s seat and this debate to be held in Springfield at the Paramount Theater on April 18 at 7pm will be well attended.

Bring your signs, there will be plenty of press coverage and Climate Action Now MA will be there alone with our friends from many other activist groups in the valley as well as 350.org, 350ma.org and moveon.org.

 

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