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Update on Carbon Pricing: One Big Step Forward, Many More to Go

To advance the cause of pricing carbon in MA, the most important thing you can do to help is to contact your legislators. When we meet with legislators, we hear a consistent message. First, they tell us how much they value our views. Meeting with legislators is a powerful act in MA. Second, they appreciate it when we show up with an organized agenda and we are clear about what we’re asking them to do.

We encourage everybody reading this newsletter to take the following steps. First, learn about the bills. You don’t have to be an expert, but you should understand why putting a fair price on carbon is so important, and how the MA bills would do this. You can read talking points for the two bills and principles to consider in pricing carbon here and here. And, think about the “revenue neutral” vs. “revenue -positive” issue. In brief, a revenue-neutral bill sidesteps being attacked as “just another tax,” while a revenue-positive bill may be more likely to result in significant emissions reduction. (This is a just a quick summary. At our next Climate Action Now general meeting, we’ll have a thorough discussion and answer your questions.)

Second, read below to find Pioneer Valley and nearby legislators who have not yet showed their support to carbon pricing legislation. See if one of your Representatives or Senators is on this list, or if you know someone in one of their districts. We will need these legislators’ support to get carbon-price legislation passed. You can provide strong support to this campaign by calling the legislator’s office, sending them an email or letter, and – the most powerful tactic – organizing a meeting at their office. (If you would like help with any of these, please contact Dave Roitman at  droitman1@verizon.net or Solomon Goldstein-Rose at solomon_goldstein-rose@brown.edu.) Thank you!

Pioneer Valley and nearby legislators who have not yet showed their support to carbon pricing legislation:

Representatives:

Brian M. Ashe (D-Longmeadow) represents East Longmeadow, Hampden, Longmeadow and Monson in Hampden County.

Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington) represents Chester in Hampden County; Ashfield, Buckland, Conway, Deerfield, Leverett, Montague, Shelburne, Shutesbury, Sunderland and Whately, in Franklin County; and Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Williamsburg and Worthington, in Hampshire County.

Thomas M. Petrolati (D-Ludlow) represents Chicopee, Ludlow, and precincts E, F and G of ward 8, in Springfield, and Precincts B and C, of Belchertown.

William Pignatelli (D-Lenox) represents Alford, Becket, Egremont, Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Otis, Richmond, Sandisfield, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham, Washington and West Stockbridge, all in Berkshire County; and the towns of Blandford, Russell and Tolland, all in Hampden County.

Joseph F. Wagner (D-Chicopee) represents Chicopee in Hampden County.

Jonathan Zlotnick (D-Gardner) represents Ashburnham, Gardner, Winchendon, and precinct 1 of Westminster in Worcester County.

Senators:

Ben Downing (D-Pittsfield) represents towns in the districts of Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin, and Hampden. (Sen. Downing sponsors Fossil Fuel Divestment legislation and can become a strong ally for pricing carbon.)

Senator Anne M. Gobi (D-Spenser) represents the towns of Ashburnham, Ashby, Athol, Barre, Brimfield, Brookfield, Charlton, East Brookfield, Hardwick, Holland, Hubbardston, Monson, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Oakham, Palmer, Paxston, Petersham, Phillipston, Rutland, Spencer, Sturbridge, Templeton, Wales, Ware, Warren, West Brookfield  and Winchendon.

Sen. Eric Lesser (D-Longmeadow) represents towns in Hampshire and Hampden counties.