Category: Obsolete

Help needed this week! Let’s get support for the carbon pollution pricing bills

This is a CRUCIAL week for bills in the Massachusetts Statehouse.    This is the beginning of the 2017-2018 legislation session, and all the new bills have been filed.   Right now, we the people,  who are concerned about the climate crisis, have a job to do:  Ask our senators and representatives to co-sponsor  2 carbon pollution fee bills.

Putting a price on carbon (also known as “Carbon Pricing” or “Carbon Pollution Fee”  is a proven way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  A portion of the money is rebated to individuals. In some schemes the fee is fully rebated to individuals; in others, a portion is put to use for mass transportation, green jobs, or green infrastructure like electric vehicle filling stations.

WHAT:   We each need to ask our senator and representative to CO-SPONSOR the bills.

WHEN:  ASAP, The deadline for the co-sponsoring is Feb 3, so we need to send our letters & call now.

HOW:    Part 1 –  Send a letter.  Instructions below.

HOW:    Part 2-  Also, please call!  

 

Instructions for letter:

 1. Get the name of your Massachusetts State Representative and State Senator.   If you don’t know, find out on this page by typing in your zip code:  https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator

2. Find out if they supported carbon pricing last year.   Here is the list of representatives and senators who DID SUPPORT

3. If you found their name on the list, send them the THANKS-PLEASE-SUPPORT-AGAIN  letter.  Download  the letter by Clicking HERE and then print it.    We are thanking them for supporting the carbon pricing bills that did not pass last year, and asking them to support the new ones. 

4. If the name is NOT on the list , send them the NEW-SUPPORTER letter.  Download  the letter by Clicking HERE.  We are asking them to support the carbon pricing bills in this session

5. Write in “Dear [name]”  at the top

6. sign it  with your name AND address (so your rep knows that you are a constituent)

7. put in envelope and send it to

[name]

State House

24 Beacon St

Boston, 02133

Thank you for participation in this extremely important part of the climate change solution puzzle!

For explanations of the bills,  both of which include carbon pricing provisions that will help reduce the use of fossil fuels and spur growth in renewable energy sources.  

 

Action Alert: advocate for Carbon Pollution Pricing on Gov. Baker’s public comments for global warming solutions portal

Please use your voice as a citizen of Massachusetts to advocate for Carbon Pollution Fee and Rebate.  Governor Baker has set up a public comment portal to collect citizen input on how to meet emission reduction rules as set forth in the Global Warming Solutions Act.

Please do this before Dec 15, 2016.

Public comments will be entered into the public record. You may comment anonymously or use your name.  Please do not use Climate Action Now for “3. Company or organization”;  it’s more effective to comment as an individual citizen.

Voice your support  for “carbon pollution fee and rebate as the most effective and efficient way to quickly move our economy away from fossil fuels and toward a renewable energy future.”  

(You can use these words, or make your own message.)

Link to public comments portal:  Click HERE

Instructions for portal:  Click HERE

A more detailed sample letter: Click HERE   (You can also send this complete letter to the governor’s office)

Learn more about Carbon Pollution Fee and Rebate with these 2  resources:

Overview of Carbon Pollution Fee and Rebate:  Click HERE

Climate X Change – Carbon Pricing Basics:  Click HERE

 

 

 

 

Action alert: Please email or mail this letter on Fair Carbon Pricing and send to Gov Baker!

Email it:  

Go to Gov Baker’s email  form page, scroll to the bottom, and fill in your name. Cut and paste the following letter into the form.   Change it as you see fit.  

Click here to email: http://www.mass.gov/governor/constituent-services/contact-governor-office/

or

Mail it:  

Print this out and mail it.   Here is a DOC file you can download:    http://climateactionnowma.org/?attachment_id=4655

Massachusetts State House
Office of the Governor
Room 280
Boston, MA 02133
Dear Governor Baker,

We were extremely pleased that you recognized in your recent Executive Order the emergent threat to the Commonwealth posed by climate change, and made a strong call for fulfilling the commitment to cutting emissions outlined in the Global Warming Solutions Act.

We fully support this effort as necessary to prevent the terrible consequences of looming climate chaos. You are demonstrating your commitment to continuing to lead the nation in the fight against climate change and the promotion of renewable energy.

However, those tasks cannot be fulfilled without specific and effective legislation and administrative action. The devil is in the details, and there are governmental policies that are known to work in reducing greenhouse gases. We recommend the following as necessary steps for the Commonwealth to take to meet its goals under the GWSA:

  1.  Passing and implementing a market-based Carbon Fee and Rebate plan to impose a tariff on all fossil fuels entering the state. Such a system has been shown to immediately and effectively reduce emissions. Such bills were sponsored in the past by Senators Barrett S1747and Pacheco S1786 and a similar bill will be reintroduced in the upcoming session. Your support would go a long way to fulfilling the goals of the Executive Order.
  2.  Doubling the rate of increase in the Renewable Portfolio Standardsfor utility companies from 1% to 2%.
  3.  Raising the offshore wind investment beyond the present 1600 Megawatts
  4. Blocking the imposition of tariffs or taxes on Massachusetts residents to pay for the building of pipelines or other fossil fuel infrastructure.The first three measures have been proven to create jobs and boost the economy where adopted.

The Executive Order was a great start. We ask you to fulfill its promise and assume the national leadership on this issue that our country sorely needs.

Sincerely,

 

Name:

Address:

Email:

Phone:

 

 

 

 

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

CLIMATE POLICY DEBATE! 

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.

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.

    CONTACT INFO FOR YOUR SENATOR HERE: Find your Senator https://malegislature.gov/People/Search

Urge Your Legislators to Support Divestment Now H.2372

canPhoneLet’s spread the excitement generated by the students of Divest UMass to the state pension fund divestment campaign! We have only a short time left in this legislative session to get the divestment bill (and other climate legislation) enacted. The divestment commission bill, H.2372, sponsored by Representative Aaron Michlewitz, and strongly championed by Rep. Marjorie Decker, provides the lone remaining path to divestment and is currently being considered by the House Ways & Means Committee. The bill would create an 11 member commission which would make a recommendation by January 1, 2017 on the advisability of pension fund divestment.

 

The Mass Divest Coalition asks for your help in garnering support for the bill, with amendments to

1) immediately divest from thermal coal, and

2) reconfigure the composition of the commission to ensure balance.  

Please make these calls:

  • Call your own Rep., asking him or her to contact Chairman Dempsey (Find your own legislator here) with the message below.
  • Call Committee Chairman Brian Dempsey’s office (617-722-2990) directly.  
  • Call Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo (617)-722-2500).

You can call after hours if you like, and leave a voicemail.   

 

Sample call script:

Hello, my name is _________.  I am a Massachusetts resident from ___________. (If you are a current or former stakeholder/union member, make sure you say so, and name your union.)  I am calling to ask [Rep. ___________to contact Chairman Dempsey to urge] or [Chairman Dempsey] that the House Ways and Means Committee give H.2372 a favorable report, with amendments to require:

 

  • immediate divestment from thermal coal companies, and
  • reconfiguration of composition of the commission to ensure that it is balanced

 

It is not only immoral to be investing in companies that escalate climate change, but it is also financially unwise, when the fund is losing money every day by continuing to invest in them. These losses are bound to accelerate after the COP21 agreements reached in Paris; the world has begun to move toward a carbon-neutral economy. Please move the fossil fuel divestment legislation forward.  Can I count on [Rep. _______] or [Representative Dempsey] to take action on behalf of future generations?

Please report your call here.

 

Why the amendment to divest from thermal coal?

The structural decline of the coal industry is universally accepted. Top coal companies are going bankrupt. Many institutions have started their divestment process by divesting first from coal, the dirtiest of the fossil fuels. In Massachusetts, the UMass Foundation pledged to divest from coal. Last year, California became the first state to enact a bill requiring coal divestment and its pension fund just voted to fast track the timeline for that divestment.

The Trillium Asset Management analysis of PRIT holdings in 2015 found that PRIT lost approximately $15 million in direct investments in coal over the prior year (out of a total of $521 million in total losses from fossil fuel investments).  At that time it had $45 million invested in coal.

For background, the Stowe Coal Index lost 85% of its value in the last five years.

This amendment would mean that some substantive divestment could be started – divesting from the dirtiest and most bankrupt of the fossil fuels – at the same time that the divestment commission would be meeting and then reporting on the advisability of divesting from oil and gas companies.

See Fact Sheet: The End of Coal regarding the effect of the Paris Agreement on the coal industry.

Why the amendment to reconfigure the composition of the commission?

The composition of the commission as currently configured in the language of H.2372,  is not balanced. The bill includes no language ensuring that there will be members of the commission who are proponents of or knowledgeable about fossil fuel free investing. The change from Democratic to Republican administration added to the imbalance.

 

Script for contacting Sen Welch about carbon pricing legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION:

In conversations with supporters, Senator Jim Welch (D-Springfield) has said he’s open-minded about carbon pricing legislation but hasn’t yet indicated he’d support it. Time is getting short; there’s a July 1 deadline for the joint committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy to make a decision about moving the bill forward or killing it.

So, please Call Sen. Jim Welch at 617-722-1660 or email him at James.Welch@masenate.gov.

If you live in Springfield tell him you’re a constituent, or if you know someone in Springfield please ask them to call or write. Here is a script you can use:

SCRIPT:

“[I’m calling]  [I’m writing]  about the carbon pricing bills in the joint Telecommunications, Energy, and Utilities Committee – S1747 (Sen. Barrett’s bill) and S1786 (Sen. Pacheco’s bill.) Climate change is a very important issue to me, and both bills will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep the $20 billion we spend to import dirty fossil fuels from out of state in our local economy. Please contact Sen. Smizik and sign his letter to the TUE chairs, and if the bills come to the Senate for a vote, vote YES.”

 

Hampden County Strategy (Proposal)

 

To preserve a livable world we need to do two things: succeed in campaigns while we build a powerful movement. That’s why we’re planning to focus our efforts over the next few months in Hampden County, where fair carbon pricing doesn’t yet have strong support. To learn more about how this work-in-progress strategy is shaping see below.   Come to our meetings at Panera’s in Hadley, 8:30 am 1st & 3rd Mondays every month, to help shape the strategy and make it happen!

Hampden County Strategy Proposal

We’ve done a good job in Hampshire County. For example Reps. Kocot, Kulik, Scibak, and Story all signed the legislators’ letter to the TUE chairs, and we know that Sen. Rosenberg is doing what he can in his Presidents’ role to support fair carbon pricing. But, the only Hampden County legislator to sign the letter was Aaron Vega. Even Sen. Lesser, who appeared supportive on May 10 sitting next to Sen. Barrett, has not yet signed the letter! We need to do better in Hampden County, both to get legislation passed, and  to build our movement to preserve a livable world.

Here’s the current list of organizations and people we’re working with. New alliances and actions emerge every week as we make progress (Note: “**” means “in May.”)

 

Hampden County:
League of Women Voters (LWV)**
Healthcare Without Harm (HWH)**
Arise for Social Justice**
MOF**
Clean Water Action**
Sierra Club**
Springfield No One Leaves
Other members of Springfield Climate Justice Coalition TBA
Sen. Jim Welch** (meeting on May 6, including LWV, HWH, and Arise members)
Sen. Eric Lesser** (meeting on May 16 led by Sierra Club)
Sen. Don Humason.
Rep. Brian Ashe (Question: can we cluster the following 3 Reps?)
Rep. Carlos Gonzalez
Rep. Angelo Puppolo
Rep. Jose Tosado
Rep. Aaron Vega
Hampshire County legislators we need to maintain current, good relationships with:
Sen. Stan Rosenberg
Rep. Peter Kocot
Rep. Steve Kulik
Rep. Tommy Petrolati
Rep. John Scibak
Rep. Ellen Story

 

COALITION STRATEGY:

The statewide Campaign for a Clean Energy Future is calling for a Lobby Week May 9-13.   If you want to go to the Statehouse on May 11, sign up here.  

If you would like to take action that week (e.g. Letter to the Editor, social media, etc.) – get on the Climate Action Now Carbon Fee & Rebate Google group by emailing Dave Roitman: droitman1@verizon.net. OR feel free to work DIRECTLY with the Coalition by clicking on http://campaignforcleanenergyfuture.org/ or with Climate XChange by clicking on http://climate-xchange.org/

MA Fair Carbon Pricing: new website campaignforcleanenergyfuture.org

Massachusetts Campaign for a Clean Energy Future launches a new web site,  the new hub for all things carbon pricing. 

Please take a minute to check out our brand new  website campaignforcleanenergyfuture.org  
Climate Action Now of Western MA is proud to be part of this broad coalition dedicated to implementing carbon pricing in Massachusetts, the next big step in our state’s climate leadership.
Please visit our Join Us Page, and help us by signing our letter to key legislative targets responsible for passing carbon pricing legislation in Massachusetts.

Consider joining our campaign as a Volunteer District Representative, find out more and sign up to attend our summit onSaturday, April 9th, here.

Like our Facebook page: Ma Clean Energy Future

Follow us on Twitter: @macleanenergy

Action Alert! Fair Carbon Pricing Coalition Shines Spotlight on Gov. Baker

Call to action

TWEET, CALL, EMAIL, SHARE!  Suggestions follow

Please ask Governor Baker to take the next step in the history of bold, bipartisan environmental leadership in Massachusetts by supporting a market-based strategy to reduce global warming pollution.

The Fair Carbon Pricing Coalition is urging Governor Baker to support putting a price on carbon  as part of Massachusetts’ strategy for meeting Global Warming Solutions Act mandates. Market-based solutions are on the table now, with two Carbon Pricing bills now in committee — Senate Bill S.1786 and Senate Bill S.1747. Carbon pricing systems work because they require polluters to take responsibility for their emissions, creating an economic incentive to invest in clean energy and efficiency. Real world examples demonstrate that carbon pricing can reduce emissions while creating jobs, growing our economy and protecting consumers.

Sample call:
Governor Baker’s Constituent Services Phone: 617.725.4005

I am calling to ask you to take the next step in the history of bold, bipartisan environmental leadership in Massachusetts by supporting a market-based strategy to reduce global warming pollution. We urge you to consider supporting Senate Bill S.1786 and Senate Bill S.1747 as a measure to reduce emissions and encourage you to incorporate a plan to put a price on carbon emissions into your plan to achieve the state’s climate mandates.

Email: charlie.baker@state.ma.us
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CharlieBakerMA
Twitter Handle: @CharlieBakerMA @MassGovernor

Tweets

1. @MassGovernor  2016 is the year MA gets serious about #climateaction, green jobs, and consumer choice, See @macleanenergy on #pricingcarbon

2. Hey @CharlieBakerMA Looking for a bi-partisan, market-based policy that gets serious about #climateaction and green jobs? #PriceCarbon

A Letter – use as-is or edit as you please

Click her to download .DOCX file: FairPricingLetterToBaker

Or click to see this page:  Suggested letter to Gov Baker

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