*Featured event: Climate Action Now/350MA Pioneer Valley General Meeting*
Scroll down below the pipeline actions for more info.
STOP THE PIPELINE ACTION OF THE WEEK!
BOSTON RALLY – JULY 30, 2014
WHAT: Rally to Stop the Pipeline!
WHERE: Boston Common (across from the State House)
WHEN: July 30, 2014, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
People from across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have been marching from Richmond to Dracut following the route of the proposed Kinder Morgan Fracked Gas Pipeline. Along the way we have been collecting signatures that will be handed to a member of the group of 18 legislators whose districts include the communities impacted by this huge industrial project.
This pipeline issue has far reaching consequences for the State of Massachusetts, New England and the fracking industry as a whole. The July 30th rally, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, at the Statehouse in Boston is a milestone in our efforts to inform the public, our legislators and the Governor about the dangers of continued reliance on toxic hydrocarbon fuels and the necessity of removing the fossil industry’s grip on renewable energy potential by shifting investments away from fossil fuel technology and into renewables.
As has always been the case, in struggles like these, your presence and your voice matters. Our work has been effective because it is built upon a foundation of popular support. I know that you who are reading this also support our efforts but we need you to demonstrate that support to decision makers in our state government.
Please join us in making that statement loud and clear!
We are renting a bus (maybe two) to leave Greenfield (probably from BigY) at 8am, July 30th; return about 3:30pm. The cost is $785 for 45 people…that comes out to just under $20, but if everyone pays twenty, it will cover a tip for the driver, and some financial aid to those who can’t pay full price (let us know so we can account for it). We have to pay a deposit by Wednesday the 23rd, so we need paid commitments by then.
If you can offer a ride or need a ride leaving from Amherst/Northampton please email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘July 30th’ in the subject line or call Susan at 413-575-7345.
Guess Who’s Coming to Town?
Greenfield gets a visit from Kinder Morgan
THIS THURSDAY – JULY 24, 2014 – GREENFIELD
FRCOG Meeting with Kinder Morgan, Review of Tennessee Gas Pipeline
The Franklin Regional Council of Governments and its Franklin Regional Planning Board have rescheduled to July 24 their first-ever joint meeting to review the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. project. This is their second attempt at a meeting that was postponed the first time after vocal opposition from community members who were concerned about the lack of transparency and openness. This is our chance to show them we still want our voices heard!
Greenfield Community College
STOP THE FRACKED GAS PIPELINE
JOIN THE ROLLING MARCH TO THE STATEHOUSE
For more details on the schedule, please visit this page.
WALKERS — Remember to bring water, sun protection, rain gear, a snack, and hopefully some to spare for your fellow walkers!! And don’t forget to invite your State and Congressional Legislators and the Governor to events happening along the walk in your town.
This Week’s Schedule:
Wednesday, July 23- Dunstable & Groton
NOTE: The Dunstable walk will begin shortly after the Groton walk is completed and on the same day.
Assemble at 4:00 pm at the Petapawag boat launch off Route 119 near the Pepperell line. As the two-mile pipeline route through Groton is difficult to access, we will instead walk two miles (with amenities provided along the way) down Main Street (Route 119) at a peak commuting time, past the offices of the Nashua River Watershed Association, past Groton Town Hall, to Minuteman Commons for a rally with music and food. A flyer is attached.
Details will be updated at http://grotonspace.com/pipeline/act/groton-walk/
Your contact for this event is Diane Hewitt, email@example.com
The walk will start at 5:30 at the Groton Dunstable High School on Chicopee Row. It is a 3.7 mile walk. Police will have an officer at intersections and the side of the road route coned off. You may join in along the way if that is too long. But please be sure to park your car in safe place. Also, if you are walking, wear bright colors!
The Dunstable Concert on the Common will start at 6:30. Please bear in mind that this Concert event and the performers are not there in protest of the pipeline. The Dunstable Pipeline Walkers are a guest at the concert event and have been given permission to have a table set up to distribute information and answer questions.
Check out grotonspace.com/pipeline for updates on the July 30 Rally at the Statehouse. If you would like to assist in the planning, please contact Leah Basbanes, Dunstable Walk Coordinator, at 978-649-3839. We hope to see you there.
Thursday, July 24- Tyngsboro
The walk will start at 3:30 pm at the Flints Corner Plaza parking lot, 150 Westford Road (at the corner of Wesford Road and Dunstable Road). Cars should be parked nearest that intersection to be furthest from the storefronts of the shops. The walk will proceed east along Westford Road, on the eastern margin, avoiding part of the interchange with Route 3 at its Exit 34 intersection with Westford Road. In the event of thunderstorms or dangerous weather, the walk may be rescheduled for Friday, July 25 at 3:30 pm.
Saturday, July 26- Dracut
Saturday, July 26th, Dracut/Tyngsboro Pipeline Watch is hosting an event to end the “Rolling March against the Pipeline” Here in Dracut we will pick up the baton filled with signatures from Tyngsboro and hand it over to those taking it to the Statehouse Rally in Boston on July 30.
On July 30th, we’ll deliver the petitions to the statehouse, and a rally will be held from 11:00 am- 1:00 pm on the statehouse steps and across the Boston Common. We (pipeline opponents from around the state) imagine this being populated by any citizens and organizations who have been waiting to bring this fight to the State House.
Details still emerging – for details contact Mary
To see what already happened, see the Rolling March Events Archive
From Toxics Action Center: Organizing with residents to clean up and prevent pollution in New England since 1987
NO SUBSIDY FOR THE GAS PIPELINE
The proposed Tennessee Gas pipeline would carry dirty gas across Massachusetts under high pressure. If built, it would run through everything from wildlife preserves to farms to entire towns, damaging ecosystems and creating serious safety hazards in the process.
The problems with the pipeline are numerous, including increased dependence on fossil fuels, high risk of explosions and gas leaks, financial burdens on landowners, and major damage to the environment. Plus, Governor Patrick has pledged that it would be partly funded by Massachusetts ratepayers.
It’s time to let our Governor know that we don’t want any part of the pipeline. We have a right to say “No!” to a project that threatens the health and safety of our state and locks us into decades more of dirty energy. There is a bill in the legislature that could give this subsidy momentum, and we must also let our legislators know we don’t support it!
To take action, please click here!
Two Fun Events with Mothers Out Front!
This Sunday – join us at Berkshire East with Mass Energy as we celebrate wind and solar power! Tickets for the tours and Barbeque are only $5.00 Register here: https://fourthannualberkshireeast.eventbrite.com
The Mothers Out Front 3rd Monday monthly Family Picnic is moving to the Amherst Common – come join us from 5-7pm on Monday August 18th and learn about what YOU can do to make a BIG difference in just 10 minutes!
AND – if you have already installed solar hot water, solar photovoltaic, switched to a third party provider, installed geothermal, purchase wind energy or otherwise switched to renewables, please BE COUNTED in our Switch Campaign – this will take less than one minute! Click here: http://www.mothersoutfront.org/already_switched
Climate Action NOW/350 MA will hold its monthly general meeting at 7 pm Monday night, July 28th, at the social hall of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst, 121 North Pleasant Street.
Our featured presentation will be from the group Climate XChange who will be talking about a carbon tax; both the momentum surrounding a carbon tax bill and findings from an economic study on the subject.
We will be also be discussing several topics, including our Springfield climate justice work, divestment, organizing for the July 30th Boston rally against the pipeline, and for the September 21 climate march in NYC. Come and get involved in the struggle against climate change and environmental injustice. The meeting is free, open to the public, and handicap accessible.
Some of you may know that a bill to decimate the small-scale solar industry in Massachusetts is in the House/Senate Ways & Means committee right now. Our alternative energy future to nuclear plants and fossil fuels depends on the success of technologies like point-of-use solar, that are among the cleanest, most efficient, and lowest in negative impacts.
CALLS & EMAILS TO LEGISLATORS ON THIS COMMITTEE ARE NEEDED TODAY & ALL THIS WEEK. NO ONE KNOWS WHEN THE BILL WILL LEAVE WAYS & MEANS FOR A FLOOR VOTE. LEGISLATIVE SESSION ENDS JULY 30.
The “mom-&-pop solar shop” in Mass. has become a target due to its great success and growth under a few helpful regulations and credits that the state managed to provide. Now those helpful measures are about to be wiped out, by amendments added in secret meetings by utility companies and “big solar” [think NY venture capitalists financing solar farms], to a bill that was originally quite simple and good. It was intended to raise the solar net-metering cap [amount of energy that panel owners can feed back into the grid] for several more years.
The “little guy/gal” installers are not trying to reduce the business of corporate solar. This is a one-way attack on the small entrepreneurs.
Bill H.4185 is still in House Ways and Means. It could still get voted out. And the other side is gunning up with big hitters. We are going need more voices from everyone.
It has come to our attention that H.4185 includes “model legislative policies” from ALEC. (American Legislative Exchange Council funded by the Koch brothers) The utilities’ proposals to diminish the value of solar net metering are lifted directly from the ALEC play book on Net Metering. The Chair of the ALEC Committee on Energy, Environment and Agriculture is also the Director of Public Policy at American Electric Power (one of the largest utilities in the USA) that owns one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the USA (located in Ohio) that sends pollution and acid rain our way. In Ohio, the utilities, with ALEC guidance, pushed back green energy so hard they persuaded the state legislature to suspend Ohio’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).
In Massachusetts, ALEC’s initial target is solar net metering. What’s next? Eliminating the RPS? Repealing the Global Warming Solutions Act? Arguing no compensation for environmental and social benefits for renewable energy at all? These are the ALEC tenets regarding renewable energy.
We must make the legislators aware of the actions by ALEC behind the scenes to put a stop to solar PV and renewable energy in the Commonwealth. We will not tolerate these shenanigans to keep coal, oil and nuclear power viable. Just Raise the Cap!
Below you will find legislators’ links. Use this sample letter or write your own; phone the offices of the Ways & Means reps; forward this to your lists and contacts, especially in/around Boston & other urban/suburban areas.
House Ways and Means Chair: Brian Dempsey
– firstname.lastname@example.org or 617 722 2990
Vice Chair: Stephen Kulik
– email@example.com 617-722-2380
House Ways and Means committee members https://malegislature.gov/Committees/House/H34
House Representatives https://malegislature.gov/People/House
Just Raise the Cap! Don’t rewrite Massachusetts Solar PV Policy
As a Massachusetts [resident, business, etc], I have a strong interest in the continued growth of and expanded access to solar energy. Solar PV generation has the potential to play a major role in building healthier and more resilient communities, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and maintaining a reliable electricity grid. H. 4185 is an unnecessary rewrite of the Commonwealth’s successful solar PV policies. Among other things, it will undermine the ability of a majority of residents and businesses to fully benefit from solar PV generation. For these reasons, I am asking you to Just Raise the Net Metering Caps before the session ends on July 31st.
Raising the net metering caps now is needed to ensure that new solar projects can be developed. As you may be aware, the net metering cap has already been hit in some utility territories and will be hit soon in others. Without a cap raise, new projects won’t come online and we will not be able to achieve the Governor’s 1600 MW solar target.
While H.4185 does address the net metering cap issue, it also rewrites Massachusetts successful net metering and solar incentive program. The proposed changes will greatly reduce the financial viability of community shared solar and PV projects designed to benefit low income and urban communities; limit the rights of rooftop solar system owners; impose a minimum bill on all electricity distribution customers; and favor large-scale solar development at the expense of local companies and small installers. Citizens, solar owners and customers, consumer groups, environmental organizations and others were not included in these negotiations nor have they had a chance to share their views on the legislation in an open and public forum.
Furthermore, it has come to our attention that H.4185 includes “model legislative policies” from ALEC. (American Legislative Exchange Council funded by the Koch family) The utilities’ proposals to diminish the value of solar net metering are lifted directly from the ALEC play book on Net Metering. The Chair of the ALEC Committee on Energy, Environment and Agriculture is also the Director of Public Policy at American Electric Power (one of the largest utilities in the USA) that owns one of the largest Coal-fired power plants in the USA (located in Ohio) sending pollution and acid rain our way. In Ohio, the utilities achieved a suspension of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).
In Massachusetts, ALEC’s initial target is solar net metering. What’s next? Eliminating the RPS? Arguing no compensation for environmental and social benefits for renewable energy at all? These are the ALEC tenets regarding renewable energy.
At this late stage in the session, the concerns surrounding H. 4185 are too many to fix and the risk of passing the legislation too great. In lieu of passing H. 4185, please support a legislative amendment to Just Raise the Caps and preserve the existing solar policy framework.
Just Raise the Caps! Let’s keep Massachusetts solar moving forward for all.
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