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Will you sign / Have you signed the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge?
What do you consider your greatest career accomplishment(s) with respect to combating climate change? Briefly describe your related work.
What personal commitments have you made to combating climate change?
Massachusetts faces many important challenges. How important do you consider climate change relative to other priorities?
Would you agree to meet with grassroots climate advocates monthly to discuss a just transition away from fossil fuels?
Accountability. Would you pledge to publish on your website all of your in person and email Committee and Floor votes, if elected?
A. 100% renewable energy - committing Massachusetts to run on 100% renewably sourced electricity by 2035 and 100% renewable energy by 2050, including a graduated renewable portfolio standard.
B. Environmental Justice – ensures that disadvantaged communities do not bear the brunt of pollution, or fail to share the benefits of clean renewable energy.
C. The banning of new fossil fuel infrastructure (natural gas pipelines, compressor stations, gas fired power plants.)
D. Carbon pricing - placing an added fee on fuels that create carbon emissions, (excluding fuel used for electricity generation, that is already limited by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative). The fee would be rebated to taxpayers, either entirely, or minus a percentage that is invested in clean transportation.
E. Solar for All – to ensure that disadvantaged communities can share fully in the benefits of solar power.
F. DPU reform / Prevent the Pipeline Tax –Gives municipalities and ratepayers more equitable standing in DPU proceedings; prevents industry from billing ratepayers for new pipeline construction.
G. Prohibiting the appointment of past or present executives /employees of utility companies to serve on the DPU and replacement of any such executives currently serving on the DPU?
H. Implementing the Global Warming Solutions Act – providing specific guidelines and targets for implementing the GWSA
I. Would you support a bill to divest the state pension fund from fossil fuels?
J. Transportation is one of the largest sources of carbon emissions in Massachusetts. What 3-5 policies would you support to reduce emissions in transportation? Where would these policies fall in your list of priorities?
K. Buildings are another large sources of carbon emissions in Massachusetts. What 3-5 policies would you support to reduce emissions in buildings? Where would these policies fall in your list of priorities?
L. Policies to reduce emissions from both transportation and building sectors must consider those who are the most impacted by climate change. What policies would you support to protect low-income commuters, renters, and homeowners? Where would these policies fall in your list of priorities?
M. Agricultural emissions. What policies would you support to reduce emissions in agriculture and forestry?
N. Comprehensive Legislation. Do you think that comprehensive or omnibus climate legislation is necessary in the next legislative session to address multiple climate solutions and if so, how do you propose that such legislation be accomplished in light of a perpetual legislative logjam?
O. Community Choice Energy. Do you support Community Choice Energy “Plus”, the model of CCA currently under discussion with the Inter-Municipal Task Force, including Northampton, Amherst and Pelham, and if so, what could be your role in helping to advance it?
|Jonathan Edwards||State Representative: 1st Franklin District||Yes||In 2009/2010, I was serving as the Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of SmartPower a 501(c)3 organization working to expand the use of clean energy and energy efficiency products and practices. In that role, I helped create a program introduced to college campuses across the country called, America's Greenest Campus. As a co-creator and staff lead for this program, I was instrumental in the project earning the 2010 EPA Clean Air Excellence Award through our creativity and work on hundreds of college campuses across the country. This project not only raised awareness and action on college campuses but also, through the concept of competition impacted actions of college alumni in their homes across the country.||As a member of the Whately Selectboard over the past 14 years, I have worked to fight climate change and increase adoption of clean energy and energy efficiency products and practices across Whately and surrounding communities. In 2013 and 2014 I helped create the first regionally collaborative Solarize Massachusetts program between the towns of Whately, Williamsburg and Chesterfield. This initiative was responsible for over 100 new solar installations on rooftops across the three towns -- one of which being approximately 7kW on my home in Whately.|
Other work has included leading the effort in Whately to become a Massachusetts Green Community and taking related actions such as lowering our energy use by 20%, surpassing Stretch-Code requirements and others. Further, Whately created one of the first solar PILOT programs for a commercial solar installation on private land, increasing the interest and awareness for commercial here in Whately and across Massachusetts.
|One of the top 3 issues||Yes||Yes||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||I believe in dialogue. I have spent a lot of my career working with utility employees and executives to understand the generational immorality of climate change. Utility companies do not have to be the enemy as much as they often act like that at times. In states across the country, given time, I have helped make utilities a friend of clean energy and a champion for its installation, opposed to a force against clean energy/energy efficiency. I accomplished this working for SmartPower and working to form partnerships with PECO in Pennsylvania and APS in Arizona. These utilities eventually became champions of clean energy installation. Utilities are not going away and we cannot wall them off from dialogue and conversation. I worry that blanket legislation would do just that.||Would champion||Would champion||At the top of my priority list would be the reduction of carbon emissions. It is a driving force in how I live. These policies are both climate friendly and job creators. As a legislator I would:|
1) Work to install EV charging stations in rural communities across the state that lacked other means of access. We must promote the purchase of electric vehicles and easy accessibility to these charging stations will help drive that market.
2) Mandate that all new regional transit buses be electric or hybrid.
3) Support state tax credits for individuals who drive automobiles with a minimum gas mileage above the national CAFE standards.
4) Support the implementation of free street parking for hybrid/EV automobiles.
5) Create a commission that explored the evolution of the hydrogen/fuel cell vehicle.
|1) I would lift the net metering cap in Massachusetts. We must have policies that fit with the 21st Century energy landscape, not the 20th Century.|
2) Provide stronger incentives for community solar, allowing people in rental units and non-solar friendly homes to power their lives with solar.
3) Increase the Massachusetts Stretch-Code and have iterative assessments of that code with moving milestones to reflect technological advancements.
4) Increase overall awareness levels of programs such as Mass Saves.
These policies and others should be part of a package. We cannot pit one clean energy or energy efficiency initiative against others. They must be complimentary and they all would be at the top of my priority list, collectively as they are both environmentally critical but also job creators for my district in Massachusetts.
|Climate mitigation and adaptation policy must create partnerships with low-income populations. If we do not protect low-income populations from particular negative impacts of important climate legislation they will not be our partners. An example of this would be a "climate rebate" for low-income populations from possible loss of purchasing power as a result of a carbon tax.|
We must expand incentives for energy savings from programs such as Mass Saves. Low-income and first-time home-owners should receive incentives to invest in energy efficiency products and practices.
|The 1st Franklin District of Massachusetts has an economy that is largely driven by agriculture and has a significant forestry presence. One of the keys to a successful legislator is a person that admits to the need and interest in sitting down with stakeholders to determine the best practices to address both sides interests and goals. As a legislator, I will create working groups of climate change advocates and the agricultural community to devise legislation and policies that furthers climate mitigation/adaptation while simultaneously protecting and promoting agricultural strengths.|
There is no question that agriculture and forestry benefit from climate mitigation in the long-term. We must find the best practices and work together toward common solutions.
|YES. I propose to set up a "war room" on climate with maps that demonstrate to all legislators the impact of climate in their districts. Some of the elements this map would demonstrate on a district by district levle to engage all legislators would be:'|
1) Clean Energy/Energy Efficiency Jobs
2) Clean Tech Jobs
3) Solar Installations (rooftop and commercial)
4) Residents purchasing alternate energy options through choice
5) Economic impact in real dollars from climate change (lost tourism, etc.)
6) District benefits to lifting the net-metering cap
|Community Choice Energy is critical to our path to a carbon free state and nation. If I am elected I want to be an ambassador with Climate Action Now and utilize my vast experience as a Selectboard member to tour my district and others with you as we together meet with Selectboards and town meetings to market and advocate for CCA. We can do this town by town but my hope is that I can take advantage of my success with regional collaboration to form partnerships between towns to act in unison and create strong community energy options.|
|Natalie Blais||State Representative: 1st Franklin District||Yes||I am extremely proud of my work for two of the most progressive members of Congress: U.S. Representatives John Olver and Jim McGovern. |
As Congressman McGovern’s staffer, I advised him on the Northeast Direct project and liaised with our state elected officials, local communities, landowners and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). I saw firsthand the impact the proposed Northeast Direct project had on residents and businesses and believe that their collective advocacy served as a wake-up call to the industry. As a result of these experiences, I would oppose pipeline expansion as State Representative.
Expansion of Rail Service:
I served as Congressman Olver's project manager on the $72 million Knowledge Corridor Rail project that returned Amtrak service to its historic route along the Connecticut River line (hitting the major population centers of Greenfield and Northampton). We are excited that there are now 2 additional round trips proposed along this line as pilot program at the beginning of 2019.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Technology expansion:
I helped to secure funding for Greenfield Community College to install geothermal heatpumps and an energy efficient greenhouse.
Zero Net Energy Affordable Housing:
I helped advance the zero net energy affordable housing project at Wisdom Way Solar Village.
I advocated for funding and successfully assisted the USFWS in the expansion of the Silvio O. Conte Refuge. I also worked with local land protection agencies including Mt. Grace, the Franklin Land Trust and Kestrel Land Trust to protect land across the region.
I advocated and successfully secured funding to prevent CSOs on the Connecticut River.
|I have taken steps to increase energy conservation in my home and have had a MassSave audit completed. We have taken many of the steps necessary to button up our 1780 house.||The most important||Yes||Yes||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor||As State Representative, I would:|
Institute Carbon Pricing
We must put a fee on fossil fuels. They’re bad for our economy, bad for our health and bad for the environment. The revenue generated from the fee would be returned via rebates to households and employers, putting cash back into the pocket of residents to spend as they choose. It can also be invested in clean energy infrastructure, transportation, and technology development and deployment. As State Representative, I would support this powerful tool to rein in emissions. This is a program that could be expanded regionally once proven successful.
Invest in Public Transportation
Public transit is the only option for some to get to work, school, the grocery store and healthcare appointments. Chronically underfunding Regional Transit Agencies leaves them with only two choices to make ends meet: raise fares and/or reduce service. As a result, those most in need suffer. As someone with a deep knowledge of the Transportation Improvement Program and the State Transportation Improvement Program, I am uniquely qualified to advocate for our Regional Transit Agencies. We must fully fund our public transportation system and invest in electric buses whenever feasible.
Support Regional Ballot Initiatives
As State Representative, I would also support an effort introduced by Tim Brennan of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and advanced by MA Senator Eric Lesser to allow regional ballot initiatives to support regional transportation projects. This would enable local money raised from local communities to be spent on local transportation projects or operations.
Support a Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative-type Program for Transportation
While I believe carbon pricing is the most expeditious way to generate the revenue necessary to reduce transportation emissions, this initiative could be explored as part of a package of investments. Modeled after the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in the electric sector, this multi-state initiative would place a price on carbon emissions from the transportation sector and utilize the revenue to invest in things like enhanced rail service, public transportation, electric buses, the adoption of electric vehicles (EV), EV charging stations and the expansion of bike paths. Carbon pricing is the preferred approach to reducing transportation emissions because of the time it could take to generate such a multi-state agreement. We cannot wait.
Encourage Investments in Electric Vehicles
The transition to electric vehicles is critical to cutting transportation emissions. It is one of the most cost-effective strategies to reduce carbon emissions. The state must utilize the $69 million plus in funds available through the Volkswagen Environment Mitigation Trust to incentivize investment in zero-emission vehicles and install charging infrastructure. Additionally, the state should develop a statewide rebate program and EV car sharing pilot programs.
The Commonwealth should lead by example and prohibit state and municipal purchases of fossil fuel powered passenger vehicles by 2020.
This is my top priority.
|Incentivize Energy Efficiency |
Massachusetts can lead the way in setting energy efficiency standards. If the state is investing in the construction of new facilities, they should be energy efficient or better yet: zero net energy. I would increase incentives to retrofit existing buildings to approach zero-net energy. Old infrastructure should be buttoned up to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy technology should be installed whenever possible.
Retrofitting lighting stock with new LED lightbulbs has generated savings but we must push for additional energy conservation/efficiency incentives that achieve deeper savings. Massachusetts should look for ways to incentivize the insulation of buildings and replace inefficient heating systems with clean options (e.g. Air Source Heat pumps).
The Mass Save program has played an important role in these efforts but it can do better. As State Representative, I would explore ways to ensure Mass Save is working for all residents of Massachusetts including transitioning oversight of the program to an entity without vested interests.
I would push Massachusetts to “Lead by Example” by retrofitting all Commonwealth buildings to conform to the above standards, with benchmarks for progress.
This would be high on my list of priorities.
|Climate change puts Environmental Justice (EJ) communities who are already suffering from environmental hazards at additional risk. These communities are disproportionately affected by fossil fuel pollution and poor housing conditions. We must ensure that communities have a voice in decisions around emissions reduction, renewable energy infrastructure and disaster protection and recovery. As State Representative, I would support an Environmental Justice panel and a Supplemental Environmental Project bank to fund projects in EJ communities. This would be high on my list of priorities.||I would be interested in the expansion of anaerobic digesters. Anaerobic digesters use microorganisms to convert biodegradable material into biogas to produce renewable energy and fertilizer. The anaerobic digester at Bar-Way Farm in Deerfield features a 660,000-gallon capacity tank and will co-digest 9,125 tons of manure and 36,500 tons of organic food waste annually. This offsets 5,500 lbs. of CO2 emissions daily. The 7,700 MWh of renewable energy produced by the Deerfield Anaerobic system is equivalent to the needs of 1,600 homes. |
As State Representative, I would oppose the construction of largescale biomass facilities. I witnessed the fight over the proposed location of a biomass facility in Springfield and am grateful for the community who organized to protect residents who were already suffering from asthma. Greenfield also fought a similar battle more recently.
As State Representative, I would support legislation to promote healthy soils.. In California, farmers are receiving a subsidy to utilize different techniques to sequester carbon in the ground. For example, one farmer received $50,000 to put composted manure around the trees and planting clover between the trunks as ground cover. By storing carbon in the soil, we limit the carbon emitted into the atmosphere.
|YES! I was extremely disappointed in the Legislature's inability to move a comprehensive climate legislation forward in the last session. In the Pioneer Valley, there are a number of new elected officials who will be taking office. Working alongside other newly elected officials statewide and veteran legislators, we can build a voting bloc that will push for action. These efforts need to start immediately so that legislation is not pushed to the end of the session.||Absolutely. Implementation steps are at the municipal and utility level. As someone who has established relationships with the Mayor of Northampton and the Town Administrator of Amherst, my job as State Representative would be to be an advocate for them in the process and to help with any issues they may encounter along the way. If there are other ways I could be helpful as State Representative, I would be open to exploring them.|
|Casey Pease||State Representative: 1st Franklin District||Yes||Chairing the Environmental Caucus of the College Democrats and organizing young people around the issue of climate change. Successfully helping to elect US Senator Maggie Hassan and other elected officials who are working to combat climate change.||I don't use paper napkins; I have my own reusable water bottle; I recycle; I avoid plastic bags and straws from the store and bring my own; I have a fuel efficient vehicle and look forward to purchasing a hybrid or electric for my next; I shop for local produce and products whenever possible; I use natural products for soaps and detergents; I compost.||The most important||Yes||Yes||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Pushing for a carbon tax would help dis-incentivize carbon emissions. However, we need to invest in electric buses, and push for more efficient vehicles pushing for stronger emissions standards. We should be making all roads bike friendly. Right now, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards require automakers' cars to average about 50 miles per gallon by 2025 for all cars in the US. I think we should push for at least 75 miles per gallon by 2025. Speaking of transportation, cargo ships carrying foreign goods purchased by Americans is a large source of carbon emissions. I would champion a buy local movement that would not only sustain our local economies, but would cut back on the carbon footprint of many goods.||I see the role of government as an opportunity to encourage and incentivize LEED certified and energy efficient homes. I would also like to see investments in UMass research to develop carbon neutral building materials and cost effective living buildings. With the need for more low-income housing, we could mandate a certain efficiency or emission standard. However, a carbon tax could mitigate many of these factors.||I agree with the carbon tax policy that sends rebates to lower income families and individuals. We should be working on community aggregated solar .||We need to have conversations with our farmers about transitioning away from conventional farming with pesticides. If we incentivized no-till carbon sequestration farming methods, it would help slow (or even reverse if we can do this large scale) climate change. We should also look at ways of integrating closed-loop farming methods like silvopasture. We should also consider subsidizing organic farms. Organic farming isn't the answer, but is a step in the right direction. Well managed forests actually create and enhance habitats, and we should avoid clear cutting any forests.||Yes, and whoever the next State Rep in the 1st Franklin district needs to be bold and stand up to special interests holding House leadership from acting on this crucial issue.||Yes, we need to be thinking about innovative and inclusive ways to reduce our carbon footprint. I would use my office to encourage other municipalities to join to increase the marketshare.|
|Kate Albright-Hanna||State Representative: 1st Franklin District||Yes||As a member of Huntington's Planning Board, I passed a site plan review bylaw that establishes guidelines for green infrastructure and environmentally sustainable development going forward. I am currently talking to other people in our region about how we raise the standards for responsible development in all of our towns. As communications director for Zephyr Teachout's gubernatorial campaign in 2014, we teamed up with the anti-fracking movement to take half the counties in New York -- an effort that was widely credited for Governor Cuomo eventually banning fracking in New York.||On our farm, we compost, recycle, and allow our chickens to free-range forage. We don't till, and don't apply any pesticides. We're cutting back invasive species and adding native plants. We're part of a CSF that drops off meals in glass containers that get washed and returned with zero waste. We've got 27 acres of trees that manage themselves.||It's the most important challenge, but so is single payer health care if your heart is failing and you don't have insurance. We have to fight all these existential crises simultaneously on multiple fronts.||Yes||Yes||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||High speed "solutionary" rail that connects the entire state, including light rail, bike paths and trails that would allow anyone to travel among our towns without having to use a car. More electric car charging stations. And alternatives to cement, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, for our roads and sidewalks. I'm interested in investing in more permeable surfaces and researching whether hempcrete would be a viable alternative to cement (a potential win-win for our local economy).||We should aggressively promote building energy audits for homes and businesses that follow up with subsidized efficiency upgrades. I want to mandate that all big box stores and public and private buildings of a certain size install solar panels or green roofs. And again, I would incentivize hemp as a building product to replace concrete and other materials that contribute to global warming.||I would heavily invest in community shared solar -- and find opportunities to install solar arrays on old landfills and other locations that don't require trees to be cut down or other measures that would negatively impact communities. We need a whole lot more smart planning and "strong town" thinking that takes into account how seniors, children and low-income people get around without a car. And we need to consider which neighborhoods are being protected from the consequences of climate change -- and which ones have been criminally neglected (and are vulnerable to increased wind, flooding and drought).||I support the Healthy Soils Amendment in the Legislature, and would like to incentivize regenerative agriculture techniques -- including no till, cover crops, managed grazing, and a transition off of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Regarding forestry, I would end subsidies for biomass and reimburse towns through PILOT funds for forests on state lands doing the job of sequestering carbon and providing oxygen for the state.||Yes. When Western Massachusetts elects a new, united progressive delegation of bad ass women on Tuesday, the logjam has no chance of standing up against us.||Yes, it's an incredibly exciting model that should appeal to even conservatives who value self-sufficiency and local control. I think I would be effective at creating strategic alliances to put us on that path.|
|Diana M. Szynal||State Representative: 1st Hampshire District||Yes||I had the privilege, very early in my career, to work for the Town of Hatfield when they converted their landfill to a transfer station. Part of my job was to educate residents about the new rules relating to separating recyclables and reducing actual waste that was put into the dumpsters. This was not an easy task, there was quite a lot of resistance. We prepared flyers and handouts that people could keep handy about how to sort items and we encouraged them to reduce waste by instituting a per bag fee to dump trash. To this day, I get a certain amount of satisfaction knowing that Hatfield continues to be one of the most efficient local communities with respect to recycling.||In our house, we recycle everything possible. We do not use our dryer, I hang my clothes on a good old fashioned clothesline (and I have inspired my neighbors to install one!) We have installed better insulation and windows/doors and do all we can to minimize our energy use by closing shades, using energy efficient bulbs and investing in energy star appliances.||One of the top 3 issues||Yes||Yes||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||I love talking about the intersecting priorities of climate and transportation and both of these are in my top 5 priorities. First, we need to make more public transportation available, both buses and rail. This would provide better options for people who wish to reduce their reliance on cars. Second, I would support the conversion of the state fleet to electric vehicles wherever possible. And third, I would increase the number of public recharge stations available which would open the electric vehicle market to more consumers statewide.||Again, intersecting priorities! Affordable housing is a struggle here in the First Hampshire District and part of that cost is high heating and cooling expenses. This will be among my top 5 priorities. First, we must lift the net metering cap and make solar affordable to low and middle income families through tax credits and incentive programs. Second, we should require that all public affordable housing units be 100% energy efficient. And third, we must incentivize private home conversion to cleaner, more efficient heating and cooling systems through low interest grants.||The key here is offering incentives to landlords and/or owners to convert to energy efficient furnaces and appliances and making sure that programs are available that encourage and support buttoning up properties. We must encourage the use of public transportation by keeping costs low and routes available.||I would fully support programs that would encourage and support farms looking to convert their barns to solar power and their tractors/fleet to electric vehicles. We must also support necessary changes to the Agricultural Preservation Restriction program that would make it more palatable for farmers to preserve their farmland in light of rising temptations to sell for development.||Yes, it is definitely necessary. I would be willing to move forward with the Clean Energy Caucus started by Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose now that he is leaving the legislature. By building coalitions with other committed legislators and working with experienced climate change progressives we can get there.||I do support Community Choice Energy and I would be willing to take a lead on supporting this venture in any way possible as it moves forward.|
|Lindsay N Sabadosa||State Representative: 1st Hampshire District||Yes||My legislative work as an activist has focused on social justice issues, especially single-payer health care, women’s reproductive rights, etc. Of course, climate justice is an essential issue that I am committed to working on with the same passion as these other issues. In the past six months, I have sought advice from activists, scientists, and other experts on local issues related to climate change, including learning about the unacceptable Columbia Gas proposal to expand their pipelines through Agawam and bring more gas to our area, and legislation about carbon pricing and renewable portfolio standards. I am learning fast and committed to doing everything possible to move Massachusetts and our district to a green economy that does not depend on fossil fuels.||I am the head of a household committed to conservation: We drive a hybrid vehicle, we keep our heat at 60 degrees in the winter, we do not own a clothes dryer and many other small household appliances that are luxuries but certainly not necessities, we are mindful of food waste and compost, we make all our own cleaning products that are chemical-free, we use rain barrels, and we conserve and don’t make trash wherever possible. We have also had a home energy audit and added deep insulation to our walls and attic (our house had virtually no insulation when we bought it! - even the home inspector was shocked!).||One of the top 3 issues||Yes||Yes||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||According to some estimates, transportation produces 40% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the Commonwealth so moving toward greater reliance on public transportation (and electric vehicles when driving is necessary) plays a key role in reducing emissions. Expanding and properly funding public transportation is one of my top three priorities, which will lead to a reduction in carbon emissions as less vehicles would be on roadways. We need an electrified fleet so that vehicles can be powered by green energy (i.e. wind and solar), rather than fossil fuels. Public transportation is, however, two-pronged: we must expand (and fund) the PVTA and other RTAs as well as build the East-West rail in order to make travel between Springfield-Worcester-Boston efficient (as well as travel between Hartford-Boston since North-South and East-West rail would result in a Hartford-Springfield-Boston corridor). |
In 2013, Massachusetts signed a Memorandum of Understanding to get 300,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2025. We are not on target to reach this goal. The Commonwealth can help drive electric vehicle demand by offering rebates to consumers as well as offering funding to expand EV charging stations. Massachusetts should also adopt clean fuel standards, following models implemented in California, British Columbia and the EU.
Until all energy is green energy, however, transportation will still be a source of GHG. As such, the State must continue to invest in greenways, bike trails and bike lanes so that people can travel safely by bicycle or on foot when possible.
|The first and most important step we can take to reducing carbon emissions in the building industry is to require a “stretch code” so that all new constructions are net-zero energy buildings (NZEB). To achieve this, a key piece of legislation would be S1849: An Act transitioning Massachusetts to 100% renewable energy, eliminating the use of fossil fuels in the Commonwealth for heating, transportation and other sectors by 2050. An essential component is ensuring that all appropriate sited new buildings be solar-ready, and we must lift the net-metering cap and increase the renewable portfolio standard to encourage a dramatic increase in solar. |
Massachusetts also has some of the oldest housing stock in the country so no plan can exclude legislation on retrofitting. Since retrofitting can be costly, there must be an increase in incentives so that property owners are encouraged to button up their properties.
I would have supported the Senate’s Clean Energy Omnibus bill. I understand that passing Omnibus legislation is a challenge but one that we must rise to because the severity of climate change requires a rapid shift in our energy system. I will be a champion that pushes for big change, not small tweaks.
Some additional legislation (some of which was included in the Omnibus bill that I would have supported) includes: Bill S. 476: An Act providing funding for clean energy and energy efficiency measures for the Commonwealth, a bill that will create a clean energy and energy efficiency program for public school buildings in MA, Bill S.1881: An Act relative to energy efficiency improvements, which creates a residential sustainable energy program to provide financing to residential property owners for energy efficient and renewable energy improvements, Bill H.1763: An Act creating a green bank to promote clean energy in Massachusetts, which establishes an MA green energy development bank. Bill S.1698: An Act promoting the use of total energy impact analysis, which would amend the MA General Law to require new construction or major renovation projects of state buildings to measure the energy implications of all resources used, Bill S.1876: An Act relative to enhancing RPS standards, which would increase the renewable portfolio standard from 1 to 2% (although I would advocated for increasing this to 3%), Bill S.1834: An Act for community empowerment, which would allow municipalities to enter into a community empowerment contract with a company to construct a renewable energy project, and Bill H.3400 An Act clarifying authority and responsibilities of the department of public utilities.
|It is my responsibility as a candidate, and an engaged voter, to advocate for communities that are often underrepresented and overlooked. Because of this, all policies I support are conscious of the issues low-income communities face. I am an advocate of increased funding to public transportation to ensure everyone has access to affordable and reliable transit - and doing so in a manner that does not contribute negatively to climate change. |
I support SB81: An Act Promoting the Planning and Development of Sustainable Communities. By updating outdated zoning, subdivision, and planning laws, we can work to create affordable housing that is accessible to low income communities, all the while preserving our community’s natural resources.
Additionally, I am in support of HB1725: An Act Relative to Local Energy Investment and Infrastructure Modernization and SB641/HB622 An Act to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities in the Commonwealth.
It is also important that Massachusetts move toward a carbon tax that is reflective of the true cost of carbon. To offset this burden on lower and middle income folks, I support a carbon fee & dividend model with a flat rebate that would, on average, benefit lower income people as they tend to consume less fossil fuel than higher income people and thus can expect a larger rebate amount.
|I support initiatives like the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and regenerative farming, that helps provide longer lasting solutions to sustainability issues in agriculture. By investing in these types of ecologically friendly solutions to farming, we can preserve our agriculture in Western, MA while also promoting the fight against climate change. ||I support omnibus climate legislation, although I am concerned about the ability to pass it in the House. Still, this legislation is long overdue and must be a priority given the watered down legislation passed this session. In order to push policy forward, we must elect people who recognize this perpetual logjam is affecting progress in our state who are willing to be transparent and work with advocates and activists. Ultimately, the problem often boils down to leadership, so representatives must be willing to stand up for legislation and push back against pressure to water down or pull important amendments and bills. Again, as I mentioned above, while this may be a challenge, the severity of climate change requires rapid action. I will be a champion that pushes for big change, not small tweaks.||I am in full support of Community Choice Energy “Plus” as it provides a clear path to attaining 100% renewable energy. As a Representative, I intend to collaborate with local leaders and community members to implement this bottom-up approach to sustainability. In doing so, I believe we have an excellent path to creating healthier communities. |
|Marie McCourt||State Representative: 2nd Hampshire District||Yes||While I have not worked in the climate science industry, I was the Chair of the Energy Committee in Granby (Green Community) and I am on the Green Team at my job. I think it is important to always try to educate people and make environmentally sound decisions wherever you are.||My family started recycling years ago. We try our best to make the best decisions including using our own coffee cups and travel mugs, using reusable bags, etc. As a landscaper, my husband has always tried to go green by reusing plants and materials, using only environmentally friendly options and no chemicals, and using equipment that is safer and not based on fuel.||One of the top 3 issues||Yes||Yes||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would champion||I will support any policies that help more people have public transportation including East/West Rail and localized transportation support. These are a huge priority because my district is struggling without enough public transportation.||We have to work on making renewable energy more affordable for people and businesses, and look at ways to create incentives for businesses. It's also important to update the stretch codes so that businesses have to change over or build with the environment in mind.||I will support policies that keep climate justice in mind. Too often it is the economically disadvantaged that suffer the most, such as in Granby we have NO public transportation, which forces people to have cars. While I have not seen current policies to help with climate justice, I am always in support of helping the most disadvantaged in our population.||I would like to create incentives and help farms do what Barstow's has done in Hadley, MA. They are using the methane produced on the farm to produce heat and electricity, which uses the methane rather than releasing it into the environment, and also cuts the use of fossil fuels for the neighborhood. We need to preserve our forests and our watershed here in Western MA and the Connecticut River Valley.||I believe there are many progressive candidates running for office who are already building coalitions to work together to fight for progressive movement in the legislature. I hope that this will begin a new push for a different way to do business on Beacon Hill.||Shared energy is important, and a great way to help those who are disadvantaged save money and use renewables. Our new coalitions need to work together to make this happen all over Western MA.|
|Eric Nakajima||State Representative: 3rd Hampshire District||Yes||My top career accomplishments include: 1. Arranging state investments into GreenTown Labs (a start-up accelerator for clean energy companies in Somerville); 2. Leading the state's investment in the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke (which is leading research and demonstrations into radically reducing the carbon footprint of big data research); 3. Project management for a major state report demonstrating the substantially positive economic benefits of new investments into renewable energy and energy efficiency (coordinated with the state's office of Energy and Environmental Affairs); 4. Participation in developing the state's Climate Change Adaptation Report; 5. Serving on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center in support of their programs (as a designee of my cabinet secretary); 6. Assisting the Hitchcock Center for the Environment in successfully pursuing state grants for their new living building in Amherst; 7. Advocating on the Amherst School Committee to include the objective of building a zero energy elementary school in our criteria for a new school.||My house has solar panels and I have been swapping out gas appliances and utilities for electric. In general, I try to conserve the use of energy and reduce overall consumption and buy local (reducing transportation related climate externalities) including membership in a CSA. I also assisted my family in selling our 130+ year old farm in Ohio to a conservation organization - the Arc of Appalachia - that will permanently preserve our 135 acre farm. The farm has old growth forests, rare and endangered plants, and is in an area of the country that the Nature Conservancy identified as part of "nature's strongholds" with natural seedbanks and climate resilient landscapes.||The most important||Yes||Yes||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Investing in green transportation and infrastructure is a top priority for me. I support: expanding electric charging stations across the state (and across major highways like the turnpike) and replacing existing state and municipal fleets with electric vehicles - including buses; greatly expanding support for an integrated system of public transportation in each region and connecting regions of the state - with electric buses, regional rail, and high-speed rail east-west and north-south, with frequencies and affordable fares that allow for increased utilization; funding for complete streets, integrated with pedestrian and bike lanes to encourage their usage; expansion of bike sharing programs; and, support for land use reforms that encourage open space preservation and development of walkable neighborhoods.||Massachusetts needs to make significantly greater progress to increase the energy efficiency of existing buildings and new construction. I support overhauling the MassSave program and finding novel ways to increase utilization by homeowners, landlords and businesses - I particularly like contracting or partnering with municipalities or nonprofits who will go door-to-door to help homeowners get audits and rehab their homes. This would also have the benefit of ensuring that low and middle income neighborhoods could be a point of emphasis. As state representative, I would introduce a bill creating a program at the Massachusetts School Building Authority to incentivize school districts to build zero-energy buildings and to include co-generation of clean energy when doing building renovations. At present, the MSBA does not offer any zero-energy programs. I also want to look into incentives and funding for municipal and state buildings to do the same. We also need to revisit adopting stretch codes for significantly higher energy efficiency building standards in new construction. I consider this a top priority - because many of these investments (as with the transportation ones) have a double-bottom line benefit of combating climate change and addressing income inequality.||I answered this question above. I think that climate justice and income inequality should be considered as an integral part of combating climate change. The investments I champion in public transit and transportation, and in targeting assistance for adopting energy efficiency in homes are focused on benefiting low and moderate income commuters, renters and homeowners. That is also why I do support a carbon pollution fee that not only rebates the revenue to hold harmless many families and businesses, but also creates a green infrastructure fund that emphasizes investments that mitigate the impact of climate change on low and moderate households and communities. This is an urgent priority and one that can be integrated into everything we do.||I support regenerative farming practices that help to restore soils as both carbon banks as well as biodiverse ecosystems that improve the resiliency of farms to climate change. Food security and the health of our farms and soils is a major crisis given the current impacts of climate change - and it will only get worse. I support funding research and agricultural extension services to improve and expand the use of regenerative farming practices. I also support expanding utilization of local foods in major institutions such as schools, hospitals and colleges. For forests, I think we need to have a much deeper effort to understand how we balance conservation of forests as resilient, biodiverse ecosystems with their utilization as new solar farms. It doesn't seem to me the state gets that conversation right - preserving forests and developing solar fields are both very important.||New comprehensive legislation must be a top priority for the new legislative session. This session, the legislature failed to lift the cap on solar net metering (I would eliminate it), did not raise the annual rate of increase of the RPS as high as they should (to 3 or 4%), and didn't adopt a carbon pollution fee. Those failures, among others, are a real disappointment. If elected, I would join the clean energy caucus and happily provide leadership to advance support for new legislation. My approach is to work in coalitions to build strong multi-stakeholder understanding and support for new programs and legislation. That means engaging and collaborating with CAN, Northeast Clean Energy Council, ELM, Alliance for Business Leadership (progressive business group), academics and community groups to identify where there is a mutual, overlapping interest in advancing legislation. And then advocate that in specific regions and legislative districts where we need to build greater understanding and support. Of course, I would look to work with existing leaders in the legislature and in major advocacy organizations - and try to understand how I can best be of help. I have no ego in this - I simply believe we must make substantial progress right away.||I support efforts to establish Community Choice Energy in Amherst, Pelham and Northampton and think, in general, this is a powerful tool for local residents and communities to increase demand for renewable energy generation and do our part in disconnecting from the fossil fuel industry. I will happily champion this effort with the DPU and co-sponsor, introduce or champion any associated legislation that might be needed (it didn't look to me immediately that there is a need for legislation - please let me know!). I will also speak out about the benefits of this approach and meet with or convene groups as you think this is helpful.|
|Mindy Domb||State Representative: 3rd Hampshire District||Yes||Given the substantial amount of carbon related to transportation in the Commonwealth, my work to create a coalition that resulted in a public bus (PVTA) route at the Amherst Survival Center helps to facilitate the use of public transit for these services for the Center's 49,000 annual visits. Securing a bus stop at the Center supports visitors to forego using a car or a carpool when accessing the Center's programs. In addition, as executive director, I have helped to oversee our promotion of "solar donors" where net metering credits are donated to the Center's electric bill. In the past year, I assisted the organization in accepting a donation of solar panels to help advance the organization's goals to be more environmentally sustainable. And, the Center has always had a commitment to reducing food waste and composting where possible. In the past year, the Center was able to increase that even more in its commitment to composting dining room/community meals food waste. In this way composting is now done throughout all programs. Finally, as executive director, we are systematically assessing and increasing the energy efficiency of all appliances and equipment used in the organization.||My family consistently recycles and composts our food waste. When my children were small, I helped to secure a diaper cleaning service for Pittsfield, MA and only used cloth diapers. We use cloth napkins and dish towels. We have replaced all of our light bulbs with high efficiency light bulbs. We do not use our air conditioner. We air dry clothing items when possible. We are financial donors to organizations fighting for renewable energy. We are members of a CSA and have been for over ten years, first at the Food Bank Farm and later at Brookfield Farm. We purchase local whenever we can.||One of the top 3 issues||Yes||Yes||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor, Would also work towards developing a reimbursement mechanism that does not require low-income households to front the fee. Developing this mechanism would allow me to champion carbon pricing legislation. The delayed timing of the rebate and its impact on low income households is a concern.||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would sponsor/co-sponsor||As State Representative, I would 1) champion greater investments in public transit, and an expanded public transit network in the region; 2) electrifying the public transit fleet and support the transition to electric vehicles by electrifying all municipal and state vehicles and creating the infrastructure to support electric vehicles across the Commonwealth; 3) support RTIs (regional ballot initiatives) dedicated to regional transit needs as a strategy to raise the needed revenue to meet these needs; 4) institute carbon pricing plans that incorporate rebate mechanisms that do not delay reimbursement for low-income households; and 5) I support the development of east-west rail as both an economic development strategy and as a way to reduce the number of vehicles on the road and our transportation emissions. Supporting, championing and fighting for public transportation alternatives in our region is a top priority for me.||1) Investing in research and development at Umass into sustainable building products, construction material; 2) expand home weatherization programs and energy efficiency audit programs while offering specific grants to low income households for implementing actions to increase the efficiency in their homes; and 3) develop legislation to encourage and incentivize the use of solar panels in all building construction, mandate it on state facilities. This is not a policy but I would use my office as State Representative to encourage visits to the 3rd Hampshire District as a destination to learn about living building/net zero construction. In addition, I wholeheartedly support funding programs that address and improve indoor air quality in low-income housing. Though this is not a carbon related problem, it is an issue of environmental justice for many communities.||1) Expanded and increased public transit; 2) expansion of community solar; 3) grants and incentives to implement energy audit recommendations; 4) greater resources for the Office of Environmental Justice to ensure that communities are included in decision-making; and 5) a development of a funding (timing) mechanism that would mitigate the impact of a carbon fee on low-income households. These policies, and others that address climate justice, would be a top priority.||1) Increased funding of research and Umass agricultural extension services to understand and expand the use of best practices and dissemination of information, resources and tools related to reduced emissions in agriculture and forestry; 2) Increased study and implementation of strategies to protect forests and their role in controlling and reducing emissions; 3) I oppose the construction of largescale biomass facilities. The recent struggle in Springfield highlighted the intersection of public health and environmental justice goals, as people with asthma and their medical providers joined together to fight this facility. We need to ensure that going forward these fights continue to bridge these communities; and 4) more public attention and opportunities for discussion on the role of agriculture emissions with farmers at the table to share their concerns and needs.||I support comprehensive climate legislation. Last session's failure to complete this process was disappointing and yet it allows the issue to be raised again at the beginning of a new session as "unfinished business". We need to raise it early so that "running out of time" is not an excuse that can be used to shelve the topic for another year. If elected, I hope to be part of a cohort who will resurrect the legislation and offer renewed opportunities for communities, organizations, activists and advocates to influence its course. I support greater transparency in the State House as one important way to ensure that these opportunities for influence are available. If elected I hope to publicize committee meetings, agendas and votes using official and unofficial communication channels. I look forward to working with the activist organizations to identify other appropriate roles based on their experience.||Yes. I see my role as an advocate for the towns in the 3rd Hampshire District in this regard and to assist in obtaining information or resources that may be helpful in their efforts, intervene with state agencies if needed, advocate for their decisions. I am open to exploring other roles that could emerge in this process.|
|Jo Comerford||State Senator: Hampshire/Franklin/Worcester||Yes||While I haven’t led an environmental organization, I have found ways to offer strong support to the environmental justice movement in my personal capacity and/or in many of my past positions.|
Here are a few examples:
While at the American Friends Service Committee, I leveraged AFSC’s resources to offer strong support of a Clean Water Action successful campaign to close the Mount Tom coal power plant. That meant that I helped marshal members of AFSC’s community to pack hearing rooms, write letters, and more. In another example, through a campaign called Feed the People, Not the Pentagon, the AFSC community led 24 hour vigils throughout the region where participants “fed” a giant Pentagon puppet replicas of what we were losing in terms of funding cut from domestic programs and given to increase military spending. As part of that, I worked with local environmental groups to develop symbols of what they were losing in the wake of federal cut backs. And we “fed” these symbols (trees, water, air) to the Pentagon as we talked about the kind of investment that was truly needed.
While at National Priorities Project, our team analyzed federal spending on the environment for climate allies and advocates nationwide. We produced fact sheets and on-line tools that brought to light the relative pennies that Americans invest in environmental justice or clean energy through our federal income taxes, environmental trade-offs relative to spending and tax priorities, and more. And while at NPP, in my personal capacity, I joined the regional work to shut down Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant and was arrested in an action at the plant to call attention to the dangers of nuclear power.
While at MoveOn, our team offered strong campaign and communication support to national climate justice allies on a broad range of campaigns including work to shut down the Dakota Pipeline. As you know, this was a long-haul campaign led by Native organizers. I had a personal relationship with Judith LeBlanc who was central to that work and it allowed MoveOn and MoveOn members to enter the work quickly and to offer strategic and financial support over many months.
|• My wife and I added solar panels to our home.|
• We’ve had an energy audit and worked to better insulate and swap out drafty windows.
• We have three rain barrels that collect the water we use to water our gardens.
• We compost at our home and recycle.
• We hang out cloths on two large racks, instead of using a clothes dryer whenever possible.
• We no longer use plastic bags or plastic water bottles and no longer buy plastic water or seltzer containers.
• We decided to no longer purchase any new clothes and/or clothes that need to be dry cleaned.
• For the past six years, I have supported the Bag Share project run by Leni Fried, which has been instrumental in plastic bag ban work. I wrote the federal grant which she won to set up large re-use facility in Adams.
• Our son has refused to be driven to school, now opting to ride his bicycle whenever possible. When I asked him why he was making that choice he looked at me and said, “Mom. The planet!”
|One of the top 3 issues||Yes||Yes||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||*I support launching East West rail from Springfield and investing more funds into North South rail.|
*I propose jump starting East West rail along Route 2 and would propose that in the first session.
*I support much great investment in PVTA and FRTA to expand routes and frequency of service so that the bus becomes a much more viable method of transportation.
Since environmental work is one of my top three priorities, these efforts would be at the top of my list.
|*Expand home weatherization outreach, audits, and mitigation.|
*Drive legislation that shifts building regulations to mandate use of available green technologies in construction material, design, and integration of solar panels where possible.
*Launch studies which draw from best practices nationally and internationally with regard to innovating building practices, like solar panels in roof-top shingles and window panes which act as solar panels and are wired into the home. The legislature must begin expanding our ideas of what's possible.
Since environmental work is one of my top three priorities, these efforts would be at the top of my list.
|*Affordable and accessible public transportation|
*Work to ensure that investment in green affordable house yield housing that is truly affordable
Since environmental work is one of my top three priorities, these efforts would be at the top of my list.
|*Grants to incentivize solar panels on farm land (as piloted now, ensuring that land can be farmed under panels and/or used for grazing/pasture).|
*Grants to incentivize low-tillage farming so that the soil can sequester higher amounts of carbon.
*Greater value placed on green space managed by towns, such as forests.
*Greater APR values so that farmers and landowners have greater incentives to sell the development rights to their land.
*Work to prevent no new large biomass facilities.
|Yes. The end of last session was *extremely* disappointing relative to climate legislation. The Senate Energy bill was a good step forward yet important elements of it did not make it through.|
In the short term, we need:
*To begin next session with a plan for circling back to elements of the Senate legislation such as carbon fee and rebate, lifting the solar cap, and higher renewable portfolio standards. We must build a great power base in the House to help this move forward. Senate allies will be critical here.
In the medium term, we need:
*Internal reform for great transparency and accountability in the conference committee structure.
In the longer term, we need:
*Campaign finance reform.
|Yes. I would work with the WMA delegation as a strong advocate and use the power of my office to bring stakeholders across the region to the table.|
|Ryan O'Donnell||State Senator: Hampshire/Franklin/Worcester||Yes||As a City Councilor in Northampton, I have worked on a number of issues related to climate, from addressing stormwater to supporting a solar array on our old landfill. I wrote an amendment to strengthen energy standards in our zoning code, and I also took official stands on local resolutions in favor of state legislation to, among other things, lift the net metering cap and establish carbon pricing. I have also supported a regional community choice aggregation program.||I am fortunate to live near downtown Northampton and so I walk and shop locally as much as I can.||One of the top 3 issues||Yes||Yes||Would champion||Would champion||I would champion this issue generally, although I think the legislative details of how we go about it are important, so I am not sure if a "ban" is the right word. Hastening the trasition to green energy and phasing out fossil fuels might be a better description.||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||Would champion||I would champion this -- the Legislature needs to take the lead and not rely on the executive branch alone on this one.||Would champion||I think a cap and trade system extended to the transportation sector makes sense, and I would explore ways to go about it. I would also invest in public transit. I am the only candidate to propose a real way of doing so, namely by assessing a 50 cent fee on ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft which would generated $30 million more per year for agencies like the PVTA and FRTA. I think the state needs to help create a market for electric vehicles by pushing to build out electric charging stations across the Commonwealth. I would call all these concepts high priority.||Here are three ideas. Require realtors to show the results of energy audits to people looking to buy a house – i.e. a variation on the kind of energy efficiency sticker you normally see for appliances. While we’re at it, require certain appliances within houses to have higher efficiency standards. Finally, fund programs to help individuals transition to better technologies like heat pumps.||I would like a carbon fee to be rebated in full to low income households, and take geography into account so that areas where driving is more necessary are treated fairly. I would be fine with taking some of a carbon fee from higher income users and investing it in green infrastructure. I think we need to invest more in land trusts and the Community Preservation Act in order to expand affordable housing opportunities in Massachusetts. New construction that is zero net energy can in fact lower utilities costs for those who may benefit from it.||I like the concept behind the proposed Healthy Soils Program and using soils to sequester more carbon. I would work to increase ACRE grants to local farms to explore new techniques to mitigate global warming.||Yes. We probably need an omnibus climate and energy bill each session, because we need to keep pushing forward, and most likely each omnibus bill will not contain everything we need. I would like to serve on the State Senate’s Global Warming and Climate Change Committee. As I have previously announced, I will also push to open up House-Senate conference committees so that legislation like is debated in public.||I supported this as a City Councilor in Northampton and I would use my municipal experience to advance this issue simultaneously at the state level as well.|