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Governors’ Energy Summit – Call for RenewableEnergy Future

PRESS RELEASE FOR RALLY TODAY, APRIL 23 2015

For Immediate Release April 23rd at 11AM

Claire Miller, Toxics Action Center, 781-775-1429, claire@toxicsaction.org

Cathy Kristofferson, StopNED, 978-204-3940, info@stopned.org

Jen Siskind, Food and Water Watch 860-918-0859, jsiskind@fwwlocal.org

Linda Haley, 350Mass & Healthlink, dansmagik@comcast.net

Martha Klein, 350CT & Connecticut Chapter Sierra Club (860) 542-5225, mkleinrn@aol.com

 

43 Groups Sponsor Rally Outside Governors’ Energy Summit – Call for Renewable Energy Future

 

Hartford, CT – This morning, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy hosted an energy summit of five New England governors to address energy challenges facing the region. As the governors met, community leaders from across New England gathered outside to express their discontent with a decision-making process that has been entirely closed to citizen input, and to spell out what a sane and healthy energy future would look like.

 

“I traveled two hours to be here and hope that my Governor Baker knows we came”, said Linda Haley from Salem Massachusetts, “We need our governors to be working together on how to upgrade our electric grid, repair leaks in existing gas lines, double down on energy efficiency, and put us on track to get to 100% clean renewable energy,” according to Haley of Healthlink and 350Mass “New England families should not be forced to pay to build any new or expanded fossil-fuel infrastructure.”

 

Huge corporations have proposed new fossil-fuel power plants and pipelines all over New England, sparking fierce resistance from local residents concerned about public health, climate change, and environmental degradation. Over the last year, grassroots groups have formed several new cross-state coalitions in order to fight proposed fossil-fuel infrastructure in a unified way.

 

“I got the wake up call when Kinder Morgan proposed to build a pipeline in my neighborhood. My group, StopNED, is connecting across state lines just like the Governors are,” commented Cathy Kristofferson from Ashby, Massachusetts, “I live in Massachusetts, but I’m now connected to concerned residents across the region who want to see real solutions for our sustainable energy future.”

 

In a press release from Connecticut Governor Malloy, the governors’ meeting was described as a “private roundtable where the governors will discuss common solutions to energy challenges facing the region…”.

 

“New England has become a prime target for sale of highly radioactive fracked gas from the shale fields of Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Our region is being assaulted with hazardous pipeline projects, toxic compressor stations and an alarming increase in antiquated energy infrastructure that will keep us bound to dirty energy sources. It’s time for New England leaders to finally turn their backs on polluting fossil fuels of the past and invest now in clean, safe renewable energy of the present.” Jen Siskind, local coordinator Food & Water Watch Connecticut.

 

“While the governors have private roundtables, I am seeing concerned citizens gathering in living rooms to discuss real visionary solutions,” said Claire Miller, an organizer with the regional group Toxics Action Center. “Today’s action is a grassroots collaboration of 38 groups, from folks living along the Kinder Morgan and Spectra pipelines to dirty power plants and this was with only three days notice. I hope the governors know that this is the tip of the iceberg.”

 

“Connecticut is pushing homeowners and businesses to convert to gas to create 280,000 new customers for the gas companies. Meanwhile, these conversions are funded in part by us and involve building 900 miles of new intrastate pipeline through our state. More than half the gas going across Connecticut is destined for export, so these are customers just to pick up what’s leftover. This energy plan that Governor Malloy advocates doesn’t make sense. The winter of 2014 was colder than the winter of 2013, yet the cost of energy went down without more gas pipeline.” Martha Klein, Connecticut Chapter Sierra Club, Communications Chair.

 

GROUPS SUPPORTING THIS STATEMENT

 

Toxics Action Center, Food & Water Watch, New England Regional Environmental Ministries, Mothers Out Front, Grassroots Against Another Salem Power Plant, Climate Justice at Boston College, StopNED (Northeast Energy Direct), The LEAH Advocacy Group, Westfield Concerned Citizens, West Roxbury Quarry Neighbors for a Fossil Fuel Free Future, Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ, MA Interfaith Power & Light, Climate Action NOW (Western MASS), No Fracked Gas in Mass, Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT), Northfield Pipeline Awareness, North Quabbin Pipeline Action, Boston Climate Action Network, Move On Pioneer Valley, Unitarian Universalist Mass Action Network, Arise for Social Justice, Boston University Students for a Just and Stable Future, The Enviro Show, WXOJ & WMCB, Better Future Project, 350 Massachusetts for a Better Future, Compressor and Pipeline Opposition in Windsor MA, Springfield Climate Justice  Coalition, Nashoba Conservation Trust, CT Coalition for Environmental Justice, Capitalism Vs. the Climate, Connecticut Chapter Sierra Club, Fossil Free Rhode Island, Occupy Providence, Rhode Island Student Climate Coalition, STOP THE NH PIPELINE, NH Pipeline Awareness Network,  Winchester Pipeline Awareness, 350 Maine, Community Water Justice, Stop Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (SAPE), Coalition to Protect New York, Frackbusters NY, Just Power in VT, Rutland Area Climate Coalition

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Everything below this was part of the creative process 🙂

 

 

GROUPS SUPPORTING THIS STATEMENT

 

MASSACHUSETTS

Grassroots Against Another Salem Power Plant, Salem, MA

Climate Justice at Boston College, Faraz Shahidpour, 8e4d47-409-9906

StopNED (Northeast Energy Direct), Cathy Kristofferson, info@StopNED.org

The LEAH Advocacy Group, Ellen Fine

Westfield Concerned Citizens,

West Roxbury Quarry Neighbors for a Fossil Fuel Free Future, Andrea DC, adoremus@rcn.com 617-435-2851

Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ, Environmental Ministries Task Force, Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, antalj@macucc.org, Justice & Witness Ministry Council, Rev. Kelly Gallagher, gallagherk@macucc.org. [largest Protestant denomination in Massachusetts]

MA Interfaith Power & Light, Vince Maraventano, Executive Director, vincemara3@gmail.com, 617-244-0755

Climate Action NOW (Western MASS) climateactionnowmass@gmail.com

Northfield Pipeline Awareness, Julia Blyth, jablyth@gmail.com, 413-225-3196

Boston Climate Action Network, Mike Prokosch, Stef Komorowski, Co-coordinators, bostonclimateaction@gmail.com

Move On Pioneer Valley

Unitarian Universalist Mass Action Network

Arise for Social Justice, Michaelann Bewsee,

Boston University Students for a Just and Stable Future, Rachel Eckles 214-537-5921 reckles@bu.edu

The Enviro Show, WXOJ & WMCB

Better Future Project, Emily Kirkland, Communications Coordinator, 646-623-5271

350 Massachusetts for a Better Future

Compressor and Pipeline Opposition in Windsor MA, Janet Bradley, janet.bradley2@gmail.com

Springfield Climate Justice  Coalition

Nashoba Conservation Trust

North Quabbin Pipeline Action

 

CONNECTICUT

CT Coalition for Environmental Justice, Sharon Lewis

Capitalism Vs. the Climate, Adina Bianchi, 203-687-6161, adinab27@gmail.com

350 CT

Connecticut Chapter Sierra Club, Martha Klein, (860) 542-5225, puckyshouse@gmail.com,

 

RHODE ISLAND

Fossil Free Rhode Island, Lisa Petrie, teonlisa@juno.com, 401-364-3002

Occupy Providence, Peter Nightingale, nigh@pobox.com, 401-871-1289

Rhode Island Student Climate Coalition, Trevor Culhane, trevorculhane@gmail.com, 818-424-2390

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

STOP THE NH PIPELINE: Fitzwilliam, Troy, Richmond, Stephanie Scherr, FitzwilliamFightsFrackers@yahoo.com

Winchester Pipeline Awareness,  Paul Dobbs, paul.dobbs@gmail.com

 

 

MAINE

350 Maine, Anne D. Burt, Spokesperson, annedburt145@gmail.com  207-380-5387

Community Water Justice – waterjustice1@gmail.com

 

VERMONT

 

NEW ENGLAND WIDE and New York

Stop Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (SAPE)

Coalition to Protect New York, Jack Ossont, sandhill1@frontiernet.net, 607-243-7262

Frackbusters NY, Maura Stephens, mstephens@ithaca.edu; 607-351-3766

Toxics Action Center

Food & Water Watch

New England Regional Environmental Ministries (NEREM), Rev. Stephanie Johnson, revstephaniejohnson@gmail.com

Mothers Out Front: Mobilizing for a Livable Climate, Susan Lees, swlees@earthlink.net, 617-460-5393

 

 

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——————————–OPTIONAL QUOTES FOR LOCAL RELEASES—————————————————

“The gas proposals the governors are considering would create far more pipeline capacity that we’d ever use and increase both transmission charges and exports. We believe our governor should rule out any proposal that would take private land by eminent domain for the benefit of private corporations” – steering committee has been emailed need permission to include from Dracut

 

 

STUDENT QUOTE

“I am deeply concerned with the lack of leadership in addressing our region’s energy future,” said Faraz Shahidpour, a sophomore at Boston College. He continued, “When the governors support new natural gas infrastructure, I see my future threatened. I hope that governor Dan Malloy, who graduated from Boston College, changes course and supports environmentally-sound energy decisions.”

 

OPTIONAL QUOTES ABOUT SPECIFIC GOVERNORS

 

“Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo talks about green energy as she completely contradicts herself by aligning with fracked gas,” pointed out Peter Nightingale of Occupy Providence. “She continues the policy of her predecessor, who met with New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE) behind closed doors to expand the fracked gas infrastructure without seriously considering green alternatives.”

 

Activists in 350 Maine and Maine Students for Climate Justice have joined together for a campaign around “no new fossil fuel infrastructure in Maine” and are actively promoting renewable energy solutions for local communities and colleges. “Meanwhile, Governor LePage has been aggressively dismantling public policy and renewable energy plans that would put our state on track to lower our dependence on fossil fuels.”

 

 

“Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker pledged ‘no new taxes or fees’ during his campaign,” noted XXXXX from XXXTown, Mass.[please read below. If others agree with HH’s assessment, you could put me Andrea Doremus from West Roxbury, MA], “yet now that he’s elected, he’s considering adding a tariff to everyone’s electricity bill to pay for new fossil fuel infrastructure. Massachusetts families shouldn’t bear the costs and risks of new pipelines and plants while out-of-state companies enjoy most of the benefits.” [I’d like to add:] … ,“Especially when we can now see that much of that fracked gas is destined for higher paying overseas markets through proposed new export harbors in Canada, causing an eventual rise in gas prices to our region’s consumers.”

 
[Andrea DC 617-435-2851: Does anyone have a reference for this implication? Baker’s “constituents office” continues to vehemently deny that he has ever suggested this. Is his office just bold-faced lying?  I guess they are!! (which maybe we should point out?). Here is PROOF!! from Hans Hammerhill (FB) in an April 2 4-page letter from DOER’s Elizabeth Mahoney to DPUs Mark Marini: RE: Request to Open an Investigation into New, Incremental Natural Gas Delivery Capacity for Thermal Load and Electric Generation http://web1.env.state.ma.us/DPU/FileRoomAPI/api/Attachments/Get/?path=15-37%2Finitial_filing.pdf&hc_location=ufi I asked Hans to show me the exact part where Baker plans to use the ratepayer funds to underwrite the construction

because I couldn’t see it, and it IS there HIDDEN in jargon:

Hans Hammermill it says it in a few places; page 1: ” review for cost-recovery of EDC contracts for natural gas capacity by the Department under G.L. c. 164, §94A (“§94A”)”; Page 4: “net annual cost/savings to be reconciled through electric rates”; later on page 4: “providing reasonable assurance of cost recovery”

If you guys can tell that what Hans is referring to above is accurate, that is clearly a request/plan to put the onus of the pipeline cost onto the ratepayers, I would be willing to be the person quoted from West Roxbury, MA

Please see his excellent BLOG for all the references you need!!:

  • https://whimpact.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/bakers-natural-gas-plan-makes-no-sense/

 

From Ariel–Reasons behind my suggested edits:

–Don’t emphasize US, especially near the top.  Focus on the policy issues.  Air a few chewy counterfacts to the governors’ claims (which we already know fluently).

In general, I never believe the news is an activist group’s activities, unless it is an activity or statement initiated by us, and the showing is very strong or the action is very dramatic (theater, civil disobedience).  This is not that kind of event.

 

–Striking “infrastructure challenges” from first sentence is important.  We don’t agree that they are infrastructure challenges, so let’s not repeat that characterization as if it is a neutral descriptive for what was being discussed.

 

–Facts about gas and methane way up top.  Why?  Because CT. hasn’t heard them.  Gov. Malloy made a campaign promise that he would free 280,000 households from high OIL prices–and make them good climate citizens in the bargain–by converting their homes to natural gas.  The CT. press and public need to hear the reality.  Sharp language, like “climate poison”, is not only accurate but grabs their attention.  It doesn’t matter if they aren’t instantly persuaded.  It will make them realize there is controversy.

 

–Don’t include language describing the governors’ goals and purposes for this meeting.  They’re doing that=over and over.  Even repeating the list of issues they got together to address, in the most neutral way, gives those issues credibility.  “Higher rates”…“Reliability”…“Transmission issues connecting renewable energy to the grid.”  UGH!  Those characterizations are their pro-pipeline propaganda.  Yes, those are actual issues to be worked on, but they’re being drummed into people in a certain way these days.  I would never bring them up in our news release, except to give OUR perspectives/solutions on each of them, point by point.  And we don’t have room in this news release to do that.  Although, if someone can create an instant fact sheet covering “their message” and “our message” on each of the items the govs said they were meeting about, that would be a good resource to have available.

 

–It’s weak, not strong, to say, “Look what we did in three days.  I hope they pay attention.”  Calling attention to those details is weak.

If we had 10,000 people on 3 days’ notice, it would be completely different.  That would be a news event.  In this case, we need to assume our credibility–act it, don’t say it.  We’re present; we’re speaking; we are expressing facts and positions.  We can certainly emphasize that we represent a wide and deep range of communities and concerns.

 

–If I were to include any comment along the lines of turnout in a news release, it would be that Governor Baker has been announcing for months that he would host this summit, and would invite the other 5 New England governors to Massachusetts.  We can only assume the venue was changed, and not announced until the very last minute, because the Governor expected huge protests from Massachusetts opponents of expanded natural-gas infrastructure at any location in the Commonwealth.

This might be a good thing to share with Massachusetts reporters.  I say “might”, because the reporter might respond with “Really?  How many people would have turned out for this event on Beacon Hill?”   We each need to use our intuition & judgement in these conversations.

 

 

 

Rather than protecting our children’s natural inheritance, their public trust;  our elected leaders in Washington D.C. seem to be handing off their survival account to the executives of fossil fuel corporations.  The most basic of human rights has become a corporate handout.


“We are very concerned about the push to overbuild capacity, rather than a targeted and fiscally responsible plan to reduce winter peak demand,” said Kathryn Eiseman, director of the Massachusetts PipeLine Awareness Network.  “The governors appear to be ignoring the economic riskiness of putting so many of our energy supply ‘eggs’ in the natural gas ‘basket.’  Reducing winter reliance on pipelines can be a win for everyone (except the pipeline companies).”