Choosing Between Two Floods: Responding to Pope Francis' Encyclical

o-pope-francis-facebook.jpg“We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.”
--Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi

We welcome the strong prophetic witness on climate change offered this week by His Holiness Pope Francis in his encyclical “Laudato Si’.”  

Pope Francis addresses this encyclical to people everywhere: “Now, faced as we are with global environmental deterioration, I wish to address every person living on this planet.... In this Encyclical, I would like to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home.” We hope that indeed people of all faiths will heed his words and take action.  As the Pope affirms, climate change is largely human-caused. In keeping with his commitment to the marginalized and vulnerable, Pope Francis emphasizes that climate change has especially devastating effects on the poor.  Addressing climate change is an essential aspect of ethics. As individuals we must reduce our personal consumption of fossil fuels; as citizens, we must push for effective governmental and international action.

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Tell the Department of Public Utilities: No Fracked Gas Pipelines!

fracked_gas.jpgA 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!

Thanks for a Great Divestment Hearing!

b_J.JPGMore 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?"

Check out all the photos from the day on our Facebook page!

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!

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