On August 17, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the proposed pipeline tax, which we have been advocating against since it was first proposed during the Patrick administration, which we helped persuade over 2/3rds of the legislature to formally come out against and kept from being affirmed in the legislature, and which we just marched 43 miles to defeat, is illegal.
The pipeline tax is dead!
This tremendous victory is thanks to many people, from the Conservation Law Foundation, who helped lead the legal case against the tax, to our partners across the state (especially the Mass Power Forward coalition), to every one of you who took action and spoke out.
Our constant, large presence at DPU hearings, our lobbying, and most recently our march helped show deep public opposition to this tax. Judges are supposed to act as impartial arbiters of the law, but it certainly did not hurt our case for those judges to read, hear, or watch the many, many stories about our opposition to this project. Most importantly, our movement blocked the legislature from passing a law in favor of the pipeline tax. If we hadn't, this case would have been irrelevant.
It is unclear how much this will be a fatal blow to any of Spectra’s proposed projects, but we have absolutely undercut their financing (to the tune of $3 billion), called into question similar pipeline tax proposals in other states, and have given Spectra’s investors greater reason for pause. Either way, we have unambiguously won a victory and established a precedent that the people’s money should be not used for private projects that further commit us to climate catastrophe.
Thank you for all of you who came out to DPU hearings, who sat in on the SJC hearing, who lobbied your legislators against the pipeline tax, who marched one mile of the march, who drove a support vehicle, who donated food, who marched all forty-three miles. Our movement shares in this victory, and it is just as much yours as anyone else’s. Onward!
This is a historic moment: all over the world, people are taking bold direct action to stop new oil, coal and gas infrastructure and demand climate solutions. This July, we're bringing the momentum to Massachusetts with a massive march and action against new gas pipelines. Join us!
We'll spend Thursday, July 14 and Friday, July 15 walking the route of Spectra's proposed Access Northeast pipeline, building community and training ourselves in direct action as we go. On July 16, we'll march to West Roxbury to shut down construction on the Spectra pipeline there, alongside our partners from Resist the Pipeline. Finally, we'll walk together to the State House, where we'll take bold, visionary action together to show Governor Baker, and our legislators, that we're ready to do what it takes to stop new fossil fuel pipelines.
The timing couldn't be better: our legislators and governor are on the verge of major decisions about pipelines and our state's energy future. This summer could be a turning point for our state, and our climate. You won't want to miss it!
On June 4, communities all over the state organized creative actions to spread the word about the pipelines and Governor Baker's plan to make us pay for them. We distributed thousands of mock electric bills drawing attention to Governor Baker's tax, with people out in the streets spreading the word in Weymouth, Lowell, Medford, Cambridge, Brookline, Jamaica Plain, Holyoke, Worcester, Orleans, New Bedford, Newton, and Windsor. Thanks to us, thousands of people heard for the first time on Saturday about Governor Baker's plan to charge us for new pipelines!
Want to organize an action of your own? You can download a printable version of the fake electric bill here!