Local Action for the Climate Sunday, March 26 – 4-6 p.m. at Millers River Environmental Center — 100 Main St., Athol, MA
Part I – Dr. Nathanael Fortune – Smith College Science Professor and Member of the Whately Energy Committee Speaking on – “The Science and Basics of Climate Change” Followed by Q&A
Part II – Highlights from No. Quabbin Projects on “What Can We Do Now in Our Region? Portal to the Future — Hear about Renewables, Plastic Bag Ban Campaign, Regional Food Systems, Land/Farm Projects, No. Quabbin Energy Work, and Town Energy Activities. Followed by Q&A with Discussion and time to talk with people working on projects.
Light Refreshments Served. Center is handicapped accessible with parking in rear. All are Welcome.
Sponsored by No. Quabbin Energy. Co-sponsors – Athol Bird and Nature Club, Earthlands, No. Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival, Orange Town Energy Committee (ad hoc), Quabbin Harvest, Seeds of Solidarity. and other groups. (Poster Mar 26 (1) C to share and post.) Questions: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org (978-575-1226)
From the Recorder — Dakota Access Pipeline protester: ‘It was a war zone’
By AMANDA DRANE
For The Recorder – 11/26/2016
Locals who lent a hand in the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline this month describe the experience as “life-changing” and the clashes with law enforcement “like being in a war zone.”
Amherst activist Jehann El-Bisi said the juxtaposition of peaceful, prayerful indigenous people with the omnipresent police force made for a lasting impression.
“To have this great beauty contrasted with being assaulted by these agencies — it’s jarring, to say the least, and disturbing,” she said, adding that tear gas burned her throat and she saw rubber bullets hurt fellow organizers. El-Bisi, 48, has traveled to North Dakota twice since September. And she’s not alone.
Simple Actions to take to help the Standing Rock Water Protectors and #NoDAPL — Make phone calls – North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple, at 701-328-2200. The White House, at 202-456-1111.
Army Corps of Engineers, which issued the permit allowing construction of the pipeline, even though it would cross under the Missouri River within a half-mile of the Sioux reservation boundary, at 202-761-5903.
Help Needed to Get a Good Comprehensive Energy Bill Passed for Massachusetts.
Even though the Kinder Morgan NED project is cancelled there is still work to do on clean energy legislation. See Actions to Take before June 30th to help get a forward looking Energy Bill passed for Massachusetts.
Omnibus Energy Bill Includes Off-Shore Wind and Hydro with NO Ban on Pipeline Tax
On June 8, 2016, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted on the long-awaited energy bill. The final version of the bill, which passed 154-1, included 1,200 MW of offshore wind — a historic step forward, although we still need to go much further — and a great amendment on fixing gas leaks. Unfortunately, amendments banning the pipeline tax and increasing the RPS were “laid aside” without coming to a vote. From here, the energy bill will go to the Senate, where citizens and State Senators may be able to make some changes. See MassLive news story on passage of House Bill 4377 by House.
Meanwhile the MA Department of Energy Resource is working to develop a new solar incentive program and will hold “listening sessions” and take written comments during June.
Some June and July happenings continue to be posted under Events.
Warwick “Solar Sunday” Open Houses Set For June 5, 2016
Residents of Warwick have graciously agreed to participate in an “Open – Solar – House” self-tour. The homeowners will be available to answer questions about their solar-electric (PV) systems. Take advantage of this great opportunity to see the real deal and get the scoop on what it is like to “Go Solar.”
State Legislature and Energy Bills – The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy released a large energy bill today. It contains language re: offshore wind and hydropower, and omits language on gas. That is a huge step forward from prior language being thrown around in the legislature!
Local Citizens Launch “Choose Solar Initiative” in Orange, Warwick and Wendell
Several local citizens in area towns formed a working group to start a “Choose Solar Initiative” to inform people of the benefits of buying a home solar system now. This effort was recently launched at an information meeting on homeowner solar electricity (PV) where people learned about the benefits of investing in solar now and taking advantage of tax incentives and a new state solar loan program.
People learned about the benefits of owning solar electricity for their homes from the Solar Store, Northeast Solar and PV Squared recently in Warwick. This was the first information session of the Choose Solar Initiative.
For more information about the Choose Solar Initiative and buying rather than leasing a solar system see
MASS POWER FORWARD Coalition and others lobby for Meaningful Energy Bill in Massachusetts
Both North Quabbin Energy and North Quabbin Pipeline Action are part of this coalition working toward a clean energy future in the state. This includes working with the state legislature in hopes of including the following in the Omnibus Energy Bill scheduled to be released soon.
20% Solar PV by 2025
Eliminate Net Metering caps
Full retail Net Metering credits for community shared solar, low income and municipal projects
No Pipeline Tax/Tariff to help pay for new large gas pipelines
Support meaningful (2000MW) offshore wind development
Ensure consumer and environmental protections for hydro-power brought into the state
Include more energy conservation and energy efficiency programs in energy bill
Build up a diversified array of sources for generating electricity including solar, wind, hydro, and energy efficiency to help the state lessen their carbon footprint instead of using over 50% gas (a fossil fuel) to generated electricity.
All these components for a good energy policy in the state seem important if we are to be able to organize on a local level and move toward the goal of cutting greenhouse gases by 25% by 2020. For immediate actions you can take see Actions.
Come to the Boston Statehouse to Celebrate and Rally for a Renewable Future and No More Pipelines
Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change Hearing: Commonwealth’s Clean Energy Future
We seem to have won a great victory on the NED pipeline – and it’s time to celebrate. It’s also a time to build on our strength to win more! We need to stop all pipeline expansions. We must stop the pipeline tax. And we must get our legislators to support smart, renewable energy and climate legislation to reduce emissions and support clean, renewable energy!
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
11:30 Rally, Celebration & Pizza at the State House Steps
12:00 Training/Opportunities to Visit Legislative Offices
and Push Hard on the Pipeline Tax
1:00 Global Warming Committee Hearing, State House Rm. 428
One or more buses to Boston are available on a sliding scale from $5 to $30. For details and to sign up for a bus, send an email to email@example.com.
Please indicate your top three choices ( leaving from/ returning to Pittsfield, Cummington, Greenfield, Orange, Amherst, or Northampton) and we will do our best to accommodate. Your flexibility is appreciated.
Information about MA Dept. of Public Utilities Hearings and Legislative Work on Energy Bills.
Public Dept. of Public Utilities (DPU) Hearings on Tennessee Gas Petition to Survey on Private Land Begins on March 29th with Greenfield Hearing on March 30. For background information and hearing schedule for all 6 locations see Survey Petition by TGP.
Tennessee Gas Files an Injunction Against Massachusetts — Public Court Hearing on April 15th at 1 p.m. in Pittsfield .In this case, Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. is suing the Commonwealth and its Department of Conservation & Recreation to gain the right of eminent domain to access land in Otis State Forest for the Connecticut Expansion pipeline project.
See Article 97 of MA Constitution for information Otis State Forest in Sandisfield — Guidelines for court hearing remain the same. Watch for information about possible rally across from courthouse building.
Important Note on National Grid, Eversource Petitions to DPU – Deadlines Set for Written Testimony –
• National Grid – DPU Dockets 16-05, 16-07 — Deadline for Written Comments is May 11, 2016 • Eversource – DPU Docket 15-181 — Deadline for Written Comments is May 23, 2016 Please submit written comments to the hearing officer identified in the respective notice, and also please firstname.lastname@example.org on your email. ALSO, send a hard copy of any comments to Mark D. Marini, Secretary, Department of Public Utilities, One South Station, Boston, Massachusetts 02110. For information on hearings and background on petitions see Tariff on Electricity Bills.
Several regional groups have filed motions to intervene with FERC. Intervening helps citizens’ groups and individuals keep their options open in future dealings and FERC hearings on the proposed Tennessee Gas NED Pipeline Project.
North Quabbin Pipeline Action filed a motion to intervene just before Christmas. This letter to FERC states that NQPA opposes the NED project because it is not needed and encourages more use of fossil fuels instead of working toward meeting the goals set forth in the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Action. This law passed in 2008 calls for the state to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020. Other groups in this region filing motions to intervene with FERC include North Quabbin Energy, Warwick Town Energy and Building Committee, Millers River Watershed Council, Mt. Grace Land Conservation Trust, several towns and other groups. Individuals are encouraged to write short motions to intervene. See information under events.
FERC extended deadline for filing motions to intervene regarding Tennessee Gas Northeast Energy Direct (NED) proposal – Docket #CP16-21 until January 15th. This happened on Monday, Jan. 4th after e-filing portal of FERC was shut down for 4 days over New Year’s week-end and four days over Christmas week-end. People emailed and called FERC, elected officials and other government officials protesting this unfair shutdown. It is important individuals and groups file motions to intervene now. See Intervening at FERC Directionsfor step-by-step information on how to file a motion (thanks to NoFrackedGasinMass and others for this information. Also see EVENTS.