A few weeks ago, the Department of Public Utilities opened an investigation into ways to lower energy costs (Docket 15-37). So far, so good: we all want lower electricity and heating costs. The Department of Public Utilities is part of the state government, and they're supposed to be looking out for our interests as consumers.
Unfortunately, the Department of Public Utilities seems to be more interested in protecting the gas industry. The DPU says that they are planning to focus their investigation on ways for utility companies “to contract for new natural gas delivery capacity, with cost recovery through electric distribution rates.”
In other words: the Department of Public Utilities wants new fracked gas pipelines -- and they want ratepayers to pay for them.
We need to shine a spotlight on what the DPU is doing, and show them that Massachusetts ratepayers refuse to bear the costs of dangerous and unnecessary new gas pipelines!
As citizens, we have a right to submit comments to the Department of Public Utilities. Submit your comment by clicking here!
The deadline is Monday, June 15, so submit a comment today if you can!
More than 100 people joined us at the State House yesterday for a crucial hearing on the bill to divest our pension fund from fossil fuels! We filled the hearing room to capacity -- thank you to everyone who came!
Yesterday’s hearing was in front of the Joint Committee on Public Service, which is responsible for the fate of the divestment bill. 350 Mass members, pensioners, students, financial experts, labor leaders, and others testified before the committee. Our message was heard loud and clear: divestment is a moral imperative.
As Reverend Fred Small of First Unitarian in Cambridge put it: "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Where are our hearts? Are they with the industry that is destroying the planet our children will inherit? Or with the sustainable investments that are the foundation of the future?"
In addition to the speakers who presented at the hearing, more than 100 people submitted written testimony by email. If you haven’t submitted testimony yet, it’s not too late — click here for instructions!
Big news! A crucial hearing for the Massachusetts fossil fuel divestment bill has been scheduled for Tuesday, June 9 -- only a few days away.
Tuesday's hearing is in front of the Joint Committee on Public Service. This committee will decide the fate of the divestment bill (S.1350 / H.2269). We need to show them that Massachusetts residents support divestment!
This could be a make-or-break moment for our campaign -- join us!
ATTENDING THE HEARING IN PERSON
WHAT: Hearing of the Joint Committee on Public Service on fossil fuel divestment, preceded by a short rally in front of the State House
WHERE: Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston, Room A-2.
WHEN: Tuesday, June 9. Short rally and photo at 10 am; hearing at 11 am
SUBMITTING WRITTEN TESTIMONY
If you can't make it in person, you can still join our efforts by submitting written testimony! Email your written testimony to Jared.firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to CC Emily Kirkland, email@example.com, and Darcy DuMont, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep your testimony short -- a few paragraphs at most. You can use the following template as a guide:
"Dear Chairman Timilty, Chairman Murphy, and other members of the Joint Committee on Public Service,
My name is _____, and I work with 350 Mass, the statewide volunteer-led climate action network. I'm writing in support of the fossil fuel divestment bill (S.1350/H.2269).
By divesting, we can:
- Make our money follow our climate commitment. Massachusetts has the most ambitious climate change legislation in the nation (in the Global Warming Solutions Act). Yet we undo this progress by investing in companies that stand in the way of reducing carbon emissions and transitioning to a clean, renewable energy future.
- Weaken the political influence of polluting industries. Barriers to meaningful action on global climate change are political, not technological. The fossil fuel industry buys political influence and blocks necessary controls on carbon emissions. By divesting, we send a clear signal to policymakers that the destructive behavior of oil, coal and gas companies is no longer acceptable.
- Highlight the ethical implications of climate change. Past divestment movements (from tobacco companies, from companies that supported apartheid in South Africa, etc.) were effective because they served as a moral call to action. By calling for divestment, we ask our institutions to recognize global warming as a social justice issue that demands immediate action. We force decision-makers to acknowledge that if they remain invested in fossil fuels, they are complicit in creating the climate crisis.
- Protect our pension fund. A growing chorus of financial experts is pointing out that fossil fuel stocks are inherently risky. The value of fossil fuel companies depends on their reserves of oil, coal and gas -- reserves that need to stay in the ground to have any hope of avoiding dangerous climate change. We need to divest before the carbon bubble bursts.
Thank you for your consideration.
[Name, Street Address, City / Town, Zipcode, Email Address, Phone Number]"
IF YOU WANT TO DO MORE:
1) You can make a phone call to your legislators today or anytime this week to ask them to ask the Co-Chairs of the Public Service Committee (Sen. James Timilty and Rep. James Murphy) to give a favorable report to the fossil fuel divestment bills (H.2269/S.1350). Click here to look up contact information for your legislators!
2) You can make an in-person group visit to your representative or senator to make the same request!
3) You can share the Facebook event on Facebook and Twitter!