In August, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court struck down the "pipeline tax," which would have required Massachusetts taxpayers to foot an eight billion dollar bill for the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure. This decision was a major victory, both for Conservation Law Foundation (which led the lawsuit against the tax) and for the state’s climate movement. It came after months of work by 350 Mass and our many partners.
In making this decision, the courts ruled that asking taxpayers to take financial risks on behalf of fossil fuel companies is wrong. It sets a precedent and provides an example for other states considering pipeline taxes; at the end of October, Connecticut announced that it would join Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire in halting a pipeline tax, in large part because of Massachusetts’ earlier rejection. This decision has also opened up the playing field for renewable energy expansion, which will create jobs here in Massachusetts and help break our addiction to extractive resources.
Although we are excited and relieved by this decision, there is always more work to be done to stop pipeline expansion across the state. The defeat of the pipeline tax is a massive (and possibly fatal) setback for several major gas pipeline projects, but our work is still far from done. We’re continuing the fight against new gas pipelines, as are our partners Resist the Pipeline, Fore River Residents Against the Compressor, No Fracked Gas in Mass, South Coast Neighbors United, Mass Power Forward, and more. Join your local 350 Mass node to learn more and get connected!
Nationally, you can participate in solidarity actions to stop the expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which threatens indigenous sovereignty, sacred sites, and the clean water of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.