Comments for the MA Energy Efficiency Advisory Council!

The 3-year plan for the Massachusetts Energy Advisory Council is in its final stages of approval and written comments will be welcome until October 10.

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Join 350 Mass at RISE For Climate, Jobs, Immigrant Rights, & Justice!

RSVP for RISE for Climate, Jobs, Immigrant Rights, & Justice in Boston on September 8th!

Details: East Boston Memorial Park (right outside Airport T-Stop) September 8th, 12-5pm noon 

Climate change impacts people of color, low-wage workers, and Indigenous peoples—here and around the world—first and worst.  Extreme heat, drought, floods, wildfires, storms, and poisoned oceans caused by fossil fuel pollution worsen the war, famine, poverty, violence, and oppression they already face. Many are left with no choice but to leave their homes and seek refuge in the U.S., only to be met with more violence and oppression by our own government.

Families are being torn apart. Ecosystems are collapsing. People are dying. The tide is rising...but so are we.

As governors, mayors, and corporate reps meet at the Global Climate Action Summit in CA—and as our own Governor & Legislature in MA continue to accept money from the fossil fuel industry and then fail to enact commonsense climate and immigration reforms—we’ll prove that real climate leadership rises from the grassroots up and doesn’t leave anyone behind.

On Sept 8 (and beyond), local climate and immigrant justice groups are joining forces to strengthen relationships across our movements, build collective power, and demand accountability and ACTION on climate change and immigrant rights:  100% renewable energy for all.  Dignity & respect for all.

JOIN US to envision & build a JUST TRANSITION in MA: FROM dirty coal, oil, & gas TO clean wind & solar power. FROM prisons & deportations TO freedom & sanctuary. FROM worker abuse TO safe, green, family-sustaining union jobs. FROM gentrification & displacement TO affordable housing & transit. FROM corporate control TO community control. FROM polluted air, water, & soil TO healthy people & planet. FROM extraction & exploitation TO economic & environmental justice.

On Sept 8: Resist - Learn - Build - Connect - Act - RISE - for Climate & Immigrant Justice

Join us for the Climate, Jobs, & Justice outdoor “People’s School.”  It will start with a short kickoff rally that highlights the intersections of our issues, the failings of our political system in MA, and the urgency of this moment for us to come together and take action. The rest of the day will consist of interactive teach-ins, skill-shares, and art-builds that touch on a range of intersectional topics to educate folks, build relationships, and lift up the work of local frontline groups. The day would culminate in a closing action, yet to be determined.

Note about event location: East Boston is an Environmental Justice community, with majority Latinx and immigrant residents facing severe climate impacts from being surrounded by water, environmental burdens from Logan Airport, gentrification and displacement, and challenges due to immigration status--AND a long history of powerful organizing, resistance, and resilience. We are teaming up with local residents and organizations to put a spotlight on local campaigns for immigrant, worker, and climate justice, including GreenRoots' grassroots campaign against the construction of an Eversource electric substation on the banks of Chelsea Creek next to 8 million gallons of jet fuel in an area projected to flood. That's why we're holding our event at the East Boston Memorial Park, just across the road from the proposed substation site. On Sept 8, we will RISE with local community members to resist this and other instances of environmental racism in East Boston and throughout the city.

Out With a Whimper, Not a Roar

In the face of extreme heat, record-breaking wildfires, superstorms like Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and sea level rise that threatens to overwhelm our coastal communities, the Massachusetts legislature is responding not with a roar, but with a whimper.

The Senate deserves tremendous credit for passing a thoughtful, reasoned response that would have banned the public subsidizing of new gas pipelines, increased offshore wind, instituted a carbon pricing system, divested the pension fund from coal, given a needed boost to solar energy’s growth and equitable distribution, and tripled the rate of increase of renewable energy so that it would displace fossil fuels in our electricity sector by the late 2040s.

The House blew yet another opportunity to pass meaningful climate legislation, and clearly chose to align themselves with polluters and industry over people and planet by offering a smaller, temporary doubling of the state’s renewable energy growth that would see us phase out fossil fuels in our electricity sector by 2095 (the current law would do so by 2105) along with a handful of other smaller measures (including signalling but not commiting to additional offshore wind, more incentives for battery storage, and further addressing pipeline leaks). It also advances a clean peak standard which counts burning trash as a renewable energy source. (Not only does it encourage waste, but it produces horrible pollution for those who live near the facility.)

When faced with a stubborn House, the Senate’s leaders are wisely choosing to take the small step forward that they are able to--as in a crisis, every step counts--but we must be clear that we will no longer accept this status quo. We cannot continue to have a House of Representatives so taken over by fossil fuel and utility interests that they sit down when we need to be standing tall.

Many of us are rightfully pretty upset by this, and we’ll be in touch soon with constructive ways to channel our outrage.

Massachusetts missed a critical opportunity to show real leadership today, but let me be clear that the advances we did secure were due to the dedicated and persistent advocacy by this network and our allies. The House had no intention of taking action on energy legislation this year, and the fact that they did move the ball forward is a tribute to our efforts. Yet more is needed, and more will be demanded. Our planet, and people, deserve no less.

Onwards,

Craig Altemose for 350 Mass


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