Show Us The Science


From:  Springfield Climate Justice Coalition

Date:  December 21, 2020

For more information contact Verne McArthur 

Show Us The Science!!  The Springfield Climate Justice Coalition (SCJC)  launched a statewide letter* campaign 10 days ago demanding that the Massachusetts House produce the science to back their claim that biomass qualifies as ‘clean energy’, as designated in the draft House Climate Roadmap Bill 4933.  

Already over 100 organizations have signed on and the letter (below) was submitted Friday to the House/Senate conference committee crafting the final Bill. 

SCJC and several other local groups have been fighting for over 10 years to prevent the construction of a biomass incinerator in East Springfield because of the significant air pollution and greenhouse gases emitted from such plants. Biomass burning puts up to 50% more carbon into the air than burning coal, as much as one ton per minute!   

Yet the House Bill would classify biomass as ‘non-carbon emitting’, opening clean energy markets for such a plant here in Springfield. Those markets would make the East Springfield plant financially feasible to construct.  Its pollutants would subsequently spread throughout Greater Springfield, already labeled officially by the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America as the “asthma capital of the US” because of our bad air and high asthma rates.         

SCJC sent the sign-on letter out to dozens of organizations around the state active in working on climate, environment, justice and public health issues to demand that the scientific basis for including biomass as a clean energy be produced.  

And tomorrow, Springfield activists will hold a statewide call-in day urging the climate bill conference committee to keep biomass out of the final climate package. The Legislature has until January 5th to act. 

The integrity of the final 2050 Climate Roadmap Bill will depend on either producing the science or removing the language of biomass as “non-carbon emitting”.


Show Us The Science!

To:  Representatives Thomas Golden, Patricia Haddad, & Brad Jones;
Speaker Robert DeLeo
Re: Biomass language in H. 4933

We, the undersigned organizations (over 100 of us), are writing to you regarding House Bill 4933 which you have brought to Conference Committee for reconciliation with the Senate climate bill for the 2050 Climate Roadmap Bill. H. 4933 contains language in Section 15 asserting that biomass fuel is “non-carbon emitting”.
We want to know:  Where is the science to back that up?!!

We have looked at the science
and it clearly documents that burning biomass for electricity emits up to 50% more carbon than coal and that biomass emissions are harmful to air quality and human health. 

If the Climate Roadmap Bill is passed with this language about biomass, it will encourage the construction of a biomass power plant in East Springfield which will severely damage the health of Springfield residents.  According to its permit, the Palmer biomass plant will emit nearly a ton of carbon dioxide a minute – what part of this plant is “non-carbon emitting”????

In the midst of an escalating climate emergency, our Climate Roadmap must rely on sound science and not science denial.

So we call upon you to immediately:  SHOW US THE SCIENCE!!

We thank you for your attention to this urgent issue. 

cc:  Sen. Michael Barrett
       Sen. Cynthia Creem
       Sen.  Patrick O’Connor
       Governor Charlie Baker

Undersigned Organizations:

Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility-Marshfield
Unitarian Universalist Society of Greater Springfield- Springfield
Boston Climate Action Network-Boston
Sierra Club Massachusetts-Boston
Out Now- Springfield
Citizen’s Climate Lobby Northshore-Salem
Mothers Out Front Massachusetts- Amherst
Our Climate-Cambridge
Mass Climate Action Network-Boston
Arise For Social Justice-Springfield
Community Action Works-Boston
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Park-Florence
The Real Cost of Prisons Project-Northampton
Green Money Mass-Easthampton
Groundwork Somerville-Somerville
Racial Equity Task Force of Amherst- Amherst
350 Mass-Salem
Progressive Democrats of Mass- Agawam
RESTORE: The North Woods-Concord
EcoLaw- Plymouth
Massachusetts Forest Watch-Northampton
Clean Water Action-Boston
Climate Action Now-Florence
The Enviro Show-Leverett
Salem Alliance for the Environment-Salem
Rising Together Affinity Group-Pelham
Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership-Springfield
Rust Temple-Easthampton
Racial Justice Rising Greenfield-Greenfield
Wendell State Forest Alliance-Wendell
Green Berkshires, Inc.-Great Barrington
Massachusetts Jobs With Justice-Springfield
Extinction Rebellion Western Mass-Montague
Partnership For Policy Integrity-Pelham
Pioneer Valley Project-Springfield
Pioneer Valley Local Chapter Green Rainbow Party of MA-Northampton
Springfield No One Leaves-Springfield
Boston Clean Energy Coalition-Boston
Longmeadow Environmental Transition Group-Longmeadow
Physicians for Social Responsibility Pioneer Valley-Northampton
Solutions Rising Community TV Program (NBCTC)-North Adams
Sustainable Wellesley-Wellesley
Greening Greenfield-Greenfield
Peace & Justice Team First Churches Northampton-Northampton
No Fracked Gas in Mass-Pittsfield
No Sharon Gas Pipeline/Clean Energy Now- Sharon
Sustainable Sharon Coalition-Sharon
Indian Orchard Citizens Council-Springfield
Citizen’s Climate Lobby-Ashfield
Western Mass Code Pink-Conway
Climate Code Blue-Wellesley
Berkshire Environmental Action Team-Pittsfield
350 Central Mass-Worcester
Haydenville Congregational Church-Florence
Stop Toxic Incineration in Springfield-Leverett
Citizens for Holdens Energy Future-Holden
Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group-Longmeadow
Environ. Justice Team, First Church of Christ Longmeadow-Longmeadow
Elders Climate Action, Mass Chapter-Stow
Resource Center For Peace & Justice-Northampton
Tree Northampton-Northampton
Greater Reading Alliance for Clean Energy-Reading
Environmental Club of Northampton High School-Northampton
Resist The Pipeline-Boston
Climate Reality Mass Southcoast-Fairhaven
Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield-Springfield
No Ashland Pipeline-Ashland
Traprock Center for Peace & Justice-Greenfield
Last Tree Laws-Holyoke
Collective of Students Affected by Ableism Hampshire College-Amherst
Climate Coalition of Somerville-Somerville
First Parish of Framingham Climate Action Team-Framingham
Sustainable Framingham-Framingham
Hilltown Anti-Herbicide Coalition-Ashfield
Sustainable Middleborough-Middleborough
Concord Climate Action Network-Concord
Green Newton-Newton
Citizens Awareness Network-Shelburne Falls
Mothers Out Front Northampton-Northampton
Mothers Out Front Somerville-Somerville
Deerfield Energy Committee-Deerfield
Williamsburg Democratic Committee-Williamsburg
Green Sanctuary Committee of UU Society of Amherst-Amherst     
North Parish of North Andover Unitarian Universalist Church 
Climate Justice Task Force-North Andover