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  Updated 6/18/2018

Hampshire-Franklin Senate Forum on Climate and Energy

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

7:00-9:00 PM

JFK Middle School Cafeteria

100 Bridge Road, Florence, MA 01060

State Senate candidates for the Hampshire, Franklin & Worcester Democratic primary discuss how they would curb greenhouse gas emissions and the worst e ects of climate change

Jo Comerford • Steven Connor • Chelsea Kline David Morin • Dave Murphy • Ryan O’Donnell

Bring questions for the candidates on climate, transportation and energy policy or submit them to http://bit.ly/hfwclimate

Sponsored by Climate Action Now and the Northampton Democratic City Committee

Cosponsored by the town Democratic committees of
Amherst, Bernardston, Colrain, Deer eld, Leverett, New Salem, Pelham, South Hadley, Sunderland & Wendell; Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, the Massachusetts Sierra Club, the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution, Greening Green eld, Mothers Out Front Pioneer Valley, Northampton Blue Community, Northampton Community Television, the Northampton High School Environmental Club, Pioneer Valley Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Traprock Center for Peace & Justice, 2Degrees Northampton,
the USNF Climate Action Group, and the Western Mass Green Consortium

www.climateactionnowma.org

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June 6, 2018

Clean energy and environmental justice are on the move! Please email and call the legislature now and during the week of June 11 as requested by the Mass Power Forward Coalition:

Dear Friends,
Clean energy and environmental justice are on the move! Please email and call the legislature now and during the week of June 11.

The HOUSE is poised to take up the environmental bond bill, which currently contains important environmental justice reforms. Please contact the MA House as soon as possible to support environmental justice in the bond bill (H4558).

The SENATE is poised to take up major clean energy legislation. Please contact the MA Senate as soon as possible to support a strong clean energy bill (S2545) and urge support for amendments to promote equity.

SENATE ACTION ALERT
The Senate is moving to take up S.2545, An Act to Promote a Clean Energy Future. This is a bold clean energy bill with strong provisions for the Renewable Portfolio Standard and offshore wind. However, it is missing several critical priorities: solar access for all,reforms to push back against pipeline expansion, community empowerment, and a comprehensive plan to combat climate change.

Please call your Senator and Chairwoman Karen Spilka, Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov, 617-722-1640. Urge them to support the bill with amendments to (1) promote solar access, (2) push back on pipeline expansion, (3) empower communities and (4) combat climate change. If you do not know who your state senator is, you can find them here.

SAMPLE SCRIPT/MESSAGE:
Thank you for your dedication to clean energy and our environment. I support S.2545, An Act to Promote a Clean Energy Future which is strong on the environment and climate.
Today, I am asking you to support two amendments to the bill. First, the bill must expand solar access to renters and low-income communities. Second, the bill should reform our state’s energy policies to push back on gas pipeline expansion into the Commonwealth. Amendments are being filed to address these issues.

I am writing to urge you to fight for equity and justice in our environmental policies.
The Massachusetts House and Senate are each preparing to take up important environmental policies. The Senate has advanced bold clean energy legislation (S2545) and the House is soon to vote on the Environmental Bond bill (H4558).

Our Commonwealth needs comprehensive energy reforms. I support An Act to Promote a Clean Energy Future, S2545, but the bill needs to be amended to ensure fair access to solar, promote community empowerment and to reform the Department of Public Utilities and push back on pipeline expansion. We must ensure all communities benefit from clean energy. We must give all communities tools to advance our clean energy future. We must ensure Massachusetts does not burden ratepayers or our environment with costly investments in polluting gas pipelines.
Amendment 43 would ensure all communities can access solar energy.
Amendment 22 would empower communities and give new tools to promote renewable energy.
Amendment 44 will set binding climate targets for 2030 and 2040.
Amendments 6 and 60 will push back on pipeline expansion.
Amendment 25 would divest the MA pension fund from coal.

Thank you for your support of our environment. Please support these amendments.

HOUSE ACTION ALERT
The House of Representatives has indicated it will soon take up the environmental bond bill (H4558) and is considering including the Environmental Justice Act (H2913), a major priority of the Mass Power Forward coalition and Green Justice Coalition.
Please write and call  Chairman Jeffrey Sánchez, Jeffrey.sanchez@mahouse.gov,  617-722-2990Speaker Robert Deleo, Robert.DeLeo@mahouse.gov,  617-722-2500(and consider copying your state rep, who you can find here)

Let them know you support environmental justice.

SAMPLE MESSAGE:
Thank you for your support of equity and our environment. I support of H2913, the Environmental Justice Act, also contained within H4558, the environmental bond bill. This legislation would codify Executive Order 552 on environmental justice, ensuring our environmental policies are fair and benefit low-income communities and communities of color.
It is critical we address environmental justice this session. Please advance environmental justice policies within the bond bill.
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5/28/2018 Action

Please send this letter to your networks:

Friend,

I  wrote a letter for the Action Network letter campaign “Urge Your Legislator to Support Clean Energy”. Can you join me and write a letter too?

Blizzards? Flooding? Climate denial?
Massachusetts must act to combat climate change and we need YOU to contact your State Representative and State Senator to urge them to advance clean energy this year. With climate deniers in Washington, it’s more important than ever that Massachusetts leads on clean power like solar and wind, and pushes back fossil fuels like fracked gas pipelines.

Click here to write your letter: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/countdown-for-climate-energy-and-justice?source=email&

Thanks!

Your name
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‘New 5/7/2018

ALERT: New bill needs your support:

Call Senator Karen Spilka (Chair of Senate Ways and Means and incoming Senate President) at 617-722-1640 to request rapid approval of S.2314, a bill that would nullify the MMRC (minimum monthly reliability charge) for solar customers.
(The bill would require the utility companies to assure customers had equipment to allow them to monitor energy usage so that they would not be blindsided by the new Demand Charges included in the MMRC.
Once customers had the appropriate equipment, the utilities would have to submit a whole new proposal.)

And don’t forget your regular weekly calls…

Call Your Representative and Speaker DeLeo

to Demand Passage of Clean Energy Legislation

This is a unified Mass Power Forward Coalition Action
From now through the end of the session, we need to be escalating the pressure on our legislators in order to ensure that the bills we want will pass. That’s why every Monday we are encouraging you to make two calls:
1. Your state representative  (617-722-2000, and ask for your Rep.)
2. The Speaker of the House, Robert Deleo (617-722-2500)
You can find that contact information here: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator
Here’s what you do for each call:
First: Contact the office and identify yourself as a constituent and identify the reason you are calling:
My name is ____ and I’d like to ask [the representative to urge leadership] or [Speaker DeLeo] to implement the clean energy policies found in the Senate’s new omnibus energy bill, S.2302, which I strongly support.  S.2302 contains many of the same bills and policies being considered in the House.  Let’s keep the momentum rolling at this critical moment – including, but not limited to:

1. (H. 2700) Increasing the renewable portfolio standard to 3% per year

2. (H.3400) Reforming the Department of Public Utilities
3. (H.3396) Implementing solar policies to benefit low-income communities
4. (H.2913) Codifying Environmental Justice regulations from the Patrick administration
5. (H.2149) Setting new emission standards for 2030 and 2040 under the Global Warming Solutions Act
for curbing emissions.
Next, give your personal reason for why you are supporting these policies. Thank the staffer for their time.
Then log your response here.
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2/26/2018

Please call the Department of Public Utilities Hearing Officers who are presiding over the relevant cases:

and ask of each that there be a Northampton public hearing on the Columbia Gas Expansion Plan (as well as Berkshire Gas contracts that are under review).  Here is a call script with all of the relevant information:

I am calling to request that a public comment hearing be held in Northampton on the Columbia Gas expansion plans, which includes Docket Numbers 17-166 and 17-172.  I’d also like the DPU to take comment on 17-145 at that hearing, pertaining to Berkshire Gas’ proposed contracts.

BONUS ACTION: SPEAK UP FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION!

The PVTA is being forced to cut services and raise ticket prices throughout the Pioneer Valley in order to make up for what is essentially a cut by the legislature translated into level funding for years despite rising costs for wages and health insurance.

These steps lead to a spiral for public transit. If buses are not frequent enough to take people where they need to go on time, and charge poor people $1.60 per ride rather than $1.25, they will have to find worse alternatives. Ridership will fall further and the analysts will decide that further cuts must be made.

This is a climate justice issue: buses provide transportation for working and low-income people while they prevent greenhouse gas emissions.

Saving PVTA means expanding PVTA.

  1. Please go to one of the following meetings to weigh in for A STATE BUDGET SOLUTION – MORE THAN THE $8 MILLION ADDITIONAL NEEDED TO PREVENT THE CUTS.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 – Hearing
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Bangs Community Center
70 Boltwood Walk, Amherst

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 – Hearing
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Holyoke Transportation Center
206 Maple Street, Rm 104, Holyoke

  1. Call your state reps and demand the state budget be revised so that the regional transit authorities’ budget be expanded.
  2. You may also comment TO PVTA at
By mail:

 

Sandra Sheehan, PVTA Administrator
2808 Main Street
Springfield, MA 01107
By email: comments@pvta.com
By phone: Call (413) 732-6248 x239 and leave up to a 3-min message
Comment online: Click here to take our survey.
All comments must be received by March 14, 2018.

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Week of February 5

Mark Your Calendar.

Plan to attend the Mass Power Forward Valentines Day Action at the State House on February 14.  Everyone is needed to show statewide support for action on climate legislation!  Sign up on the Facebook event page here.

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Make calls to push legislation before the February deadline.

The Mass Power Forward coalition has decided on its legislative platform for the rest of this term and they include FOUR of the CAN priority bills. Here’s what’s included:

Increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard by at least 2% (H.2700)
Reform the DPU and Ban the Pipeline Tax for Good (h.3400)
Community and low-income Solar Incentives(H.3396)
The Environmental Justice Act (H.2913)
Implement the Global Warming Solutions Act (H.2149)
(Read more about these bills here)

Despite the fact that these are common-sense steps to combat climate change and protect the most vulnerable populations, the Massachusetts legislature is notoriously slow to act on energy issues and we only have 5 months until this term ends. That’s why we are making our big push RIGHT NOW. Today, we need you to call your representative and senator and ask them to work to pass this common-sense climate package. Here’s what to do:

Step 1. Look up the contact information for your state rep or state senator here.

Step 2. Make the call! Identify yourself as a constituent. Ask that the legislator work to pass the following bills this session–list the bills above, and ask that they start by talking to house leadership and/or senate leadership about the importance of these bills. Here are some helpful talking points to explain why you support these bills: (click here for a Full call script)

– These bills, especially DPU reform, have broad support across the legislature
– Collectively these bills will do the following:

Create jobs and lower energy prices in Massachusetts by incentivizing more clean energy production
Increase access to renewable energy for lower income constituents
Protect ratepayers from shouldering pipeline costs
Empower communities to have a bigger say in infrastructure projects
Protect vulnerable constituents from the effects of carbon pollution

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Week of Jan. 22 – 29, 2018 Climate Action (joining Environment MA)

Across Massachusetts, the movement for 100 percent clean, renewable energy is growing.

Six cities and towns have committed to a goal of 100 percent renewable energy. Boston University, the state’s largest higher education institution, has pledged to get all of its electricity from renewable sources by the end of this year.

This week, we’re bringing together clean energy supporters from across the state for the #Go100MA Week of Action.

Our goal is for more than 1,000 people to post on Facebook and Twitter, sharing why they want to see their communities, their college campuses, and the whole Commonwealth of Massachusetts go 100 percent renewable.

How can you join the action?

It’s simple. This week, between Monday 1/22 and Friday 1/26, post a message on social media saying why you think Massachusetts should move to 100 percent renewable energy.

Make sure to use the hashtag #Go100MA so we can keep track of all of the posts. And tag anyone you think should be listening — including local officials, state legislators, and the Governor.

We have sent out some sample tweets, Facebook posts, and graphics you can use. You can also check out the Environment Massachusetts Facebook and Twitter accounts for posts to share.

Thanks in advance for taking action. If enough of us raise our voices, we’ll create a massive wave of support for 100 percent renewable energy across Massachusetts.

Ben Hellerstein
Environment Massachusetts State Director

Also, sign up here for the Mass Power Forward Lobby Day on February 14.

 

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January 15, 2018 Climate Action

Rising seas. Blizzard weather. A climate denier in the White House. It’s time for Massachusetts to act on climate change. Can you call your state legislators on Wednesday, January 17 to take urgent action on clean energy in this legislative session?

Please:
1. Mark your calendar for Wednesday
2. Share the Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/1785995611434424/
3. Invite others to join!

If you don’t know who represents you, look up your state elected officials at wheredoivotema.com or https://malegislature.gov/StateHouse/Contact.
Please take a moment to call your legislator using the guidelines below.

Download a CALL SCRIPT here: http://bit.ly/maenergycalls

Read a CALL SCRIPT online here: http://bit.ly/macleanenergyview

Links to legislative fact sheets are here: http://mapowerforward.com/legislative-agenda-2017-2018

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January 8, 2018 Climate Action

What? Join the push to get Pioneer Valley legislators on board to support the 100% Renewable Bill, H.3281/S.1849 by the end of this month.

Why? The 100% Renewable Bill is a CAN priority, because it will accelerate the growth of clean energy (and the move away from fossil fuels), promote interagency collaboration to achieve 100 percent renewable energy economy-wide, and set out clear, enforceable goals and requirements to ensure we achieve that objective. Action is needed on the bill before a crucial bill deadline at the beginning of February 2018.

How? Help us collect legislator contacts in less progressive districts. Note any people you know in Agawam, Chicopee, Holyoke, Ludlow, Springfield, West Springfield or other Hampden County communities who might be willing to contact their legislators to promote 100% Renewable Energy and other climate bills. Ask them if you can share their names and contact information with Climate Action Now organizers and then pass them on to darcy@climateactionnowma.org. We are trying to form climate action constituent groups for each legislator that doesn’t already have one.
Thanks!

Bonus: Ongoing actions
1. Join a CAN/Sierra Club Wednesday calling party to help organize climate constituent groups in key legislative districts across the state. Click HERE for details.
2. Call Governor Baker at 617-725-4005. Ask him to prohibit new pipelines and compressor stations in Massachusetts. #StandUpCharlie
3. Click HERE to join local efforts to pursue 100% Renewable Energy (Zero Energy Buildings, Community Choice Energy, Heat Smart heat pump program, Rays the Valley community shared solar, and more) in each of our towns – efforts that could dramatically reduce greenhouse gases.

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BILLS RECENTLY HEARD THAT YOU CAN STILL SUPPORT:

Take action on legislation. Find out who your legislators are and their contact information HERE. Simply enter your address and zip code. Make sure you state your support for the bill by number in the email subject line. For example: “Testimony in support of S.1839, requiring home energy audits at time of sale”.

  • November 6 – CAN priority energy bills were heard by the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. Send emails supporting the bills to Co-Chairs Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov and Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov and send a copy to your own Rep.
    • H.1725/S.1875 – (requires grid modernization, prioritizes local resources, offers consumers time of use electricity rate option)
    •  S.1839 – (requires home energy audits at time of sale)
  • October 26 – CAN priority gas pipeline-related bills were heard by the TUE Committee.  Email the Co-Chairs at Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov and Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov and send a copy to your Rep.
    • H.2698/S.1855 (protects ratepayers from pipeline expansion costs)(You can urge support for this bill on this easy to use format.)
    • H.3400/S.1847 (reforms DPU’s pipeline approval process)
    • H.3391/S.1859 (mandate facilities siting board consider health effect of gas infrastructure)
    • H.2683/S.1845 (prohibits charges to customers for leaked gas)
    • October 24 – CAN priority transportation bills were heard by the Transportation Committee. Email the Co-Chairs at Thomas.McGee@masenate.gov and William.Straus@mahouse.gov. and send a copy to your Rep.
      • S.1952 (directs DOT to assess the status of transportation system – urge inclusion of climate action principles)
      • S.1957, S.1958 (establishes MA and NE Regional Transportation Infrastructure Bank – urge inclusion of climate action principles)
  • October 17 –  The Climate Justice and Toxics Reduction Bill, H. 2913/S.426, were heard by the TUE committee.  A sample brief message of support is here.
  • October 10 – Divestment bill, H.3281, was heard on October 10 by the Joint Committee on Public Service. Hearing and lobby day event page can be found here and sample testimony here. Go to #divestma for dramatic photos and videos of the hearing.
  • October 3 – Solar bills were heard on October 3 by the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee:  Use this platform to send your support letter.today.
  • September 19 – To submit testimony in support of H.3395/S.1849, the 100% Renewable MA Bill, click here. The hearing on the bill was held on September 19.
  • September 19 – To submit testimony in support of raising the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) such that MA reaches 100% renewable electricity by 2035, click here. The hearing regarding raising the RPS, and 4 other of our energy policy related bills, was held on September 19.
  • MAKE A PHONE CALL TO FOLLOW UP ON YOUR LETTERS OR EMAILS.
  • Amplify! Personally ask a friend in another part of the state to do this. Forward this page to them. State action on climate is all-important now.Thank you for TAKING ACTION! Together, we are unstoppable.

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  • For more information. Click here for list of 2017-2018 Bills Endorsed by Climate Action Now, Western MA.  Find the text of bills at https://malegislature.gov/Bills.
  • Click here to join the CAN Legislative Workgroup google group – to receive meeting notices and join a legislative district- based rapid response team.
  • We need to call our representatives early and often starting NOW, to let them know that climate must be a top priority.

Push back against fossil fuel interests nationally by supporting climate action on the state level! We will be updating you regularly on the bills needing testimony and other important request for action.