Take a Stand Against the Kinder Morgan Pipeline: Become an Intervenor
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has accepted Kinder Morgan’s application for the Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline and will soon launch its environmental review. Climate Action Now encourages everyone to sign up as an “intervenor” in order to send a clear message to both FERC and Kinder Morgan that the people of Western Mass are united in our determination that this pipeline will never be built.
All you need to do to become an intervenor is to go online and fill out a form that states your “interest” in this project. Given that we would all be negatively impacted if this pipeline were ever built we all have a stake in the outcome and are therefore interested parties. Although this is a straightforward action (go here for directions) we encourage you to come to a workshop where you will be guided through the process and can file your document on the spot if you bring along a laptop, ipad or smartphone. The deadline for filing is January 6th and the last two workshops will be held this coming weekend.
Dickinson Memorial Library 115 Main Street, Northfield
Unitarian Society of Amherst, 121 North Pleasant Street, Amherst
Something important happened in Paris. The leaders of countries across the world publicly admitted that we are facing unprecedented, human- caused climate catastrophe. Our world leaders had no choice given both the irrefutable evidence that climate change is upon us and the unstoppable power of the growing global movement for climate justice.
Much of the media coverage has been enthusiastic and celebratory. For alternative perspectives please check out the resources below which include critical analysis of the Paris Agreement. These resources address both the limitations of the agreement and the significance of the growing climate justice movement.
Our global system is stressed by climate change, economic inequality, racial oppression, mighty corporations and a war machine that devours fossil fuels. Can the ecological emergency be the catalyst that unites us in a common quest to create a more just and livable world? Can we heed the urgency of the call to keep 80% of our fossil fuels in the ground, to rapidly scale up renewables, and to escalate our fight for climate justice?
Climate Action Now will continue to grapple with these questions even as we remain focused on our local campaigns in collaboration with our partner organizations. We welcome everyone to join us as we organize for climate justice in Springfield, mobilize to defeat the Kinder Morgan Pipeline, work for divestment from fossil fuels, a fair price on carbon and public policies that support rapid expansion of renewable energy and the jobs these investments create.
We recommit in this new year to the nurturing of our relationships with each other and with the land that we love; the creative expression of our climate hopes, fears and dreams; the deepening of our intergenerational bonds; and the expansion of our acts of solidarity and resistance. We hope to see you at our next monthly gathering on Monday, January 25th.
Click on the links below to read and view a selection of resources that explore the limitations of the Paris Agreement and the significance of the global climate justice movement.
Go to Democracy Now and click on Paris Climate Summit 2015
Photo credit: Jack Owiki via 350.org (edits by Susan Theberge)
PART 1: RALLY-MARCH from 1-3 on BOSTON COMMON (bandstand)
Our movement comes together for a big rally at the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common. We will then march through the streets to the Boston State House.
PART 2: ACTIONS IN AND AROUND QUINCY MARKET/FANUEL HALL 3:30-5:30
We need singers, dancers, banner holders, people to speak out, film and photo, people to talk to passers by and hand out info. Something for everyone!
click here for more info, and to RSVP to facebook event for this action – this is the “Change of Service T Action”
Do you want to take a bus with us? Sign up here!!
Carpools from Northampton:
Carpooling to Boston for 12/12 march and rally will gather at 10:15 at the Northampton Norwottock rail trail parking lot (which is located at the end of Damon Rd) and we will depart promptly at 10:30 am.
It is great if folks could contact me (Marty Nathan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-531-9915) beforehand but just showing up is perfectly acceptable
Zurich, Switzerland, Nov.28, 2015 Global Climate March Photo credit 350.org (edited by Susan Theberge)
The Paris Talks Begin: Local Nov. 29th Actions for Climate Justice
The North Quabbin People’s March
All are welcome to join this free and open public march. Please bring signs, banners, hand drums, string and wind instruments. For information contact LarryBuell at email@example.com or call 978-724-0412.****
Global Climate March: Springfield Standout
We will rally and pass out literature at the Mall’s Main Auto Entrance until 5 PM to the many shoppers at the mall in support of the growing environmental justice movement! Check out our Facebook page
Global Climate March Northampton
image by Nina Montenegro via 350.org (edited by Susan Theberge).
Please join us for an organizing meeting for our New England wide action to be held in Boston on 12/12. Contact Susan if you can join us at 7:30 PM on Monday night, Nov 30th.
Climate Justice as the Basis of the Springfield Climate Action and Resiliency Plan
The Springfield Climate Justice Coalition is dedicated to ensuring that climate justice is the basis of every aspect of the city’s Climate Action and Resiliency Plan, from design and implementation to evaluation and modification.
Climate justice begins with the recognition that low-income individuals and communities, people of color and indigenous people bear a disproportionate impact on their health and lives from environmental pollution and climate change. It ensures that a just transition creates economic and other opportunities for those who have been most affected by climate change. Climate justice acknowledges the debt owed to the community by those who have benefited economically from the burning of fossil fuels, and does not allow financial institutions and corporations to exercise undue influence on the climate change planning process.
Because low-income people and people of color have relatively little power, their neighborhoods are more likely to be chosen for toxic dumping, extractive processes, refineries, factories and transportation infrastructure. They are more likely to live with air, water and soil pollution. Climate change places additional burdens on the poor, who do not have the financial resources to move away from rising waters, to install air conditioning to survive heat waves, to grow food on marginal lands, or to afford the rising price of food caused by droughts and floods.
Our carbon-based economy must necessarily evolve to meet the challenge of climate change, providing Springfield with both the opportunity and the responsibility to place climate justice at the center of its climate change planning. With the rapid growth of solar and other renewable energy industries, and with growing support by the federal government for a “Green New Deal,” we have an opportunity to remake our communities with an eye to healing the economic divide, empowering those who have been powerless, strengthening our democracy, and creating a more just and sustainable society. A thoughtful, rapid, and responsible transition to a just, clean, and low-carbon economy will develop new jobs, create new community organizations, and integrate into our political and economic structure the people who until now have been marginalized and under-served.
We offer the City of Springfield our time, energy and support as we work together to carry out these principles and reach these goals.
1. All decision-making processes that are undertaken by government and industry in regard to climate change must be open and transparent, and must be translated into the languages spoken by our city’s low-income, immigrant, and marginalized communities.
2. All decision-making processes that are undertaken in regard to climate change must include poor and indigenous people, people of color, and their legitimate representatives. Members and representatives of these communities must be directly involved in formulating the approach, issues, questions, and possible solutions, and participants should receive compensation for their work. In many instances interpreters will be necessary, and will be provided as part of the process.
3. The jobs that are created in the process of addressing climate change, which might include planning, surveying, communicating, installing renewable energy, installing insulation, sealing leaky pipes, shoring up dams, planting trees, building and driving new public transit including bike paths, will go preferentially to members of local environmental justice communities and their organizations.
4. The immediate co-benefits of climate change mitigation and adaptation will also be ensured for these communities. For example, these communities can have ready, affordable access to renewable energy and to insulation. Industries polluting their neighborhoods can be the first to be converted to non-polluting energy sources. Dikes can be built for low-lying neighborhoods and plans developed to ensure safe evacuation. Public transit can be expanded, and public support provided for community gardens and for food coops that sell locally grown sustainable food. Already-existing local businesses can be patronized; trees can be planted; green space can be created and protected from development; and solid waste reduction and recycling can be made more effective and convenient.
5. Fighting climate change means educating a new generation of students who can become experts in sustainability. Society will need specialists in every field – from engineering to biology, science writing to environmental ethics, solar installation to organic agriculture – who have the skills to help transform society. Resources for this purpose must be given to our region’s public schools. Culturally appropriate environmental studies, including opportunities for urban youth to connect with the land and to have hands-on learning outdoors in natural settings, must become a core component of our children’s education. Our local colleges and UMass/Amherst can and should recruit students from Climate Justice neighborhoods so that young people can help their communities to thrive.
6. Asthma, COPD, heart and vascular disease will be aggressively treated in the neighborhoods that have borne the brunt of air pollution. Adequate and affordable health care will be provided for all, including the undocumented.
Springfield is rich in diversity and brings together the talents and cultures of many people. We can and must be leaders in our region. Together, we can prepare for climate change, reduce our city’s carbon footprint, and build a more just and sustainable community.
The Springfield Climate Justice Coalition
Nov 29 Global Climate March: Amherst, Northampton, Spingfield, Athol Join 2,330 actions around the globe!
On the eve of the big U.N summit in Paris, the climate movement is taking to the streets. With climate change in the global spotlight, this is our chance to make the talks work for our movement. This is our chance to set the agenda for ambition.
Our message: keep fossil fuels in the ground and finance a just transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050.
We invite folks Join the March – bring signs and banners; read a short message or sing a song; bring hand drums, string or wind instruments; or just come to witness and support the March.
Many of the major environmental and Climate Justice Action groups in the North Quabbin Region have joined as Sponsors of the March, including: Earthlands, North Quabbin Energy; NQ Pipeline Action, Mt. Grace Conservation Land Trust, Sacred Earth Network, Ritual Expressions, N.Q. Women in Black, Petersham Energy Committee, Ritual Expressions, Common Grow, and many others.
Speakers and musicians are getting lined-up.
After the March, all are invited to the Annual Earthlands Thanksgiving Potluck & Gathering at 39 Glasheen Road, Petersham, MA 01366 for good food, amazing music, stimulating conversation, and inspiring community.
SEE ALL EVENTS https://secure.avaaz.org/en/event/globalclimatemarch
Action alert: Don’t let a pipeline company take our constitutionally-protected Public Conservation Lands
We treasure protected lands in Massachusetts and work hard to conserve our forests, lakes and fields; places where changes reflect the shifts in seasons not the roar of the bulldozer and the blasting of bedrock. More and more of us are learning about Kinder Morgan’s brazen attempt to get our state legislators to undo our hard fought legal protection of these public lands. Here is the story:
- Kinder Morgan, the huge Texas-based gas pipeline company proposing both the Northeast Energy Direct and Connecticut Expansion gas pipeline in Massachusetts, wants to take public lands to construct their pipelines, access roads, work areas, and on-the-ground infrastructure for their private profit.
- They want to clearcut, blast and trench their way to construct pipelines that would damage over 100 conservation parcels for their private profit.
- Eighty five of those parcels, including state forests and parks, are protected by Article 97 of our Massachusetts Constitution.
- Kinder Morgan is lobbying to get the required two thirds of legislators in the Mass House and Senate to vote their way and allow pipeline infrastructure on public lands.
Here is how we are fighting back
- There is a public hearing next TUESDAY, November 10th at 11 AM in the Statehouse in Boston on House Bill 3690 which would strip the protected status (Article 97 of the amended Massachusetts Constitution) from land in Otis State Forest, including old growth forest, to allow for the construction of a pipeline spur to provide natural gas to Connecticut. (Come at 10 am for the rally!)
- If H. 3690 is approved, it increases the likelihood that similar legislation will ultimately be approved to strip Article 97 protection from thousands of acres of additional protected open space to facilitate the construction of NED.
- We intend to make sure that Kinder Morgan’s effort to take our public lands for their corporate profit is met with a resounding “No!” from our elected officials.
- We need to pack the hearing room and send our elected officials a clear message: No way will Kinder Morgan build pipeline infrastructure on our beloved conservation lands.
The MA Interfaith Coalition for Climate Change, one of our coalition partners in Mass Power Forward, also has an action day at the Statehouse on Nov. 10th. Please join their rally for climate justice at 10 AM at the Grand Staircase in the Statehouseand then head downstairs to the Gardner Auditorium for the 11 AM hearing.
If you are able to attend the hearing and either need or can offer a ride please contact Climate Action Now. To send a message to elected officials representing your community and key committee heads go here. For answers to frequently asked questions go here
CAN’s CLIMATE ACTION PACKAGE FOR MASSACHUSETTS
INVEST IN A RENEWABLE ECONOMY
**** SUPPORT CREATION OF A COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY BILL ****
In creating a comprehensive energy bill, we support the principles of the
Mass Power Forward Coalition, which promote an energy policy that:
- Advances Massachusetts toward a safer and healthier economy powered by local, clean, renewable sources, maximizing energy efficiency, responsibly sited solar, wind (on and off-shore), and energy storage; keeping us on track to reduce our climate change pollution by no less than 80% by 2050;
- Reduces our dependence on polluting energy sources, and frees our power grid from imported fuels, volatile markets and dangerous power generation facilities;
- Prioritizes neighborhoods, families and our public lands over utility monopolies and the polluting energy industry; and prohibits public subsidies for gas pipelines or other new fossil fuel infrastructure;
- Modernizes our power grid and empowers everyday people to access locally generated power;
- Assists workers and communities with retiring power plants to participate in the benefits of the green economy and clean energy transition.
**** SUPPORT LIFTING THE CAP ON SOLAR NET METERING ASAP! ****
Context: Under current solar policy, 171 Massachusetts communities have met their local utility’s cap on net metering, leaving many planned projects financially unviable. We need to incentivize more clean energy and allow our solar industry to continue creating clean energy jobs.
S.1770/H.2852 An Act relative to solar net metering, community shared solar and energy storage
Sponsors: Sen. James Eldridge, Rep. Thomas Calter & Rep. Paul Mark
Committee: Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (TUE)
Summary: This bill lifts the cap on solar net metering (until 1600MW are reached), encourages community shared solar projects, sets a 20% solar by 2025 target, and directs the DPU to explore energy storage.
**** SUPPORT CONSUMER PROTECTION FROM PIPELINE TARIFFS ****
Context: Currently proposed natural gas pipelines are expected to provide an export market for private corporations yet would be funded by MA residents.
H.2494 An Act relative to consumer protection with regard to pipeline tariffs
Lead Sponsors: Rep. Lori Ehrlich, Sen. James Eldridge Committee: Revenue
Summary: This bill disallows any cost to be levied on Massachusetts residents to fund a gas pipeline with a liquefied natural gas export terminal.
**** STOP INVESTING IN FOSSIL FUEL – SUPPORT PENSION FUND DIVESTMENT ****
Context: Divestment of the state’s pension fund from fossil fuels makes sense morally, environmentally and financially. We should not invest in companies that accelerate climate change and lobby against clean energy. Further, economists predict that the value of fossil fuel corporations will decline drastically. A current analysis shows our pension fund has already lost $500 million by holding onto fossil fuel investments.
S.1350/H.2269 An Act relative to Public Investment in Fossil Fuels
Lead Sponsors: Sen. Benjamin Downing, Rep. Marjorie Decker Committee: Public Service
Summary: Over five years, divests the state’s pension fund from fossil fuel companies to align Massachusetts’ investment practices with its climate goals.
**** PUT A FAIR PRICE ON CARBON EMISSIONS ****
Context: Economists agree a carbon fee and rebate is the most efficient way to reduce emissions. Raising the price of polluting encourages a shift to cleaner energy sources, without complicated regulations. There are two bills currently in the legislature, one that invests part of the funds into public transportation and renewable energy projects, and the other that refunds the entirety of fees:
S.1785 An Act to protect our environment & reduce the carbon footprint of the Commonwealth
Sponsor: Sen. Marc Pacheco Committee: TUE
Summary: This bill creates a price on carbon emissions, with 80% of generated revenue going to residents and the remainder to public transportation and renewable energy projects.
S.1747 An Act combating climate change
Sponsor: Sen. Michael Barrett Committee: TUE
Summary: This bill is similar except that all the proceeds would be rebated to (1) residents, with each state resident receiving an equal rebate, and (2) employers, in proportion to their share of total employment.
For more information, contact:
Susan Theberge at firstname.lastname@example.org (Mass Power Forward Coalition)
Darcy DuMont at email@example.com (DivestOurPensionsNow)
Dave Roitman at firstname.lastname@example.org (Carbon fee and rebate)
Adele Franks at email@example.com (Solar net metering)
Location: Hearing Room B-1, Statehouse in Boston
Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy.
Carbon pricing means putting a pollution charge on carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, creating a strong incentive to move to renewable energy and energy efficiency. Senate Bill 1747 would return all the fee revenues to the public, thereby protecting households and businesses, and making it “revenue neutral” to the state government. Senate Bill 1786, would rebate 80% of the revenues and use 20% for clean energy programs.
Can’t make it to the hearing? Call your local legislators and urge them to support S.1747 today. Find your legislators at: http://www.wheredoivotema.com/bal/MyElectionInfo.aspx
We’re working to make MA the first state in the nation to pass a fair price on carbon. We’re members of the MA Campaign for a Clean Energy Future, a coalition of environmental, business, labor, and civic organizations, which is using a set of basic principles to insure that carbon pricing policies reduce GHG emissions, strengthen the MA economy, protect vulnerable populations, and are fair to households, businesses, and institutions.
PEOPLE NEEDED! Make your leaf-peeping count and head out to beautiful Painfield to lend a hand to our Painfield neighbors. Western MA says NO to Kinder-Morgan’s plans to take over our farmland!
Carpool information: email climateActionNowMass@gmail.com