“Stop the Pipeline” Statewide Relay March and Statehouse Rally Planned for July. Write NE Governors about Energy Policies Now!

NQ Pipeline Action planned for more letter writing and a Statewide Relay March to “Stop the Pipeline” at a recent meeting.  People are asked to write to the New England governors to join with energy and environment groups (over 100) that signed on to a letter asking for a full evaluation of a Low Demand Scenario which does not call for building new pipeline infrastructure.  See Right-Sizing_Energy_Infrastructure_sign-on_letter_06.23.2014(1).   A sample letter to governors that individuals should send to all New England governors is available.  See Letter Writing Campaign – NE Governors.   These individual activities give people an opportunity to write letters and get more information about the energy policy in Massachusetts and other New England states.

Collective actions in July include a Statewide Relay March going through towns along the proposed pipeline route.  In this region people will be organizing walks and rallies in each town including: Erving and Northfield – July 14, Warwick and Orange – July 15, Athol – July 16, Royalston – July 17, and Winchendon – July 18th.  A rally at the Statehouse in Boston is being planned for July 30th.

NQ Pipeline Action is part of a statewide coalition being organized — MassPLAN  is a network of people in various towns and regions working together to stop the proposed pipeline.  The statewide petition circulated this spring has over 9,000 signatures.  Help us get to 10,000 before July 30 and sign at http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/massachusetts-petition

Important Note:  If you are new to the issue of the proposed natural gas pipeline by TGP/Kinder Morgan now called the Northeast Energy Direct Project you can check out several websites and watch informative videos.

Check out www.massplan.org, www.nashobatrust.org/pipeline,   www.nofrackedgasinmass.org   All these sites have excellent background information and news from other towns which we are not duplicating on this site.  Instead we suggest that you go directly to other sites.  Also if you missed the forum on the proposed pipeline held on June 3rd at Greenfield Community College you can watch it at  http://vimeo.com/mctvchannel17.

 

 

Get New Lawn Signs at NQ Pipeline Action Meeting on June 23, 2014 or Now!

New lawn signs are available through NQ Pipeline Action.  Signs were on display outside the Democratic State Convention on June 14th in Worcester with people from NQ Pipeline Action (Rene Lake-Gagliardi) and people from 350.org/Massachusetts.  Inside people gave out information about the proposed pipeline and other climate change issues.

The new lawn signs are available for $5.00 from Rene Lake-Gagliardi at renelake@msn.  They will also be available at the next meeting of NQ Pipeline Action on Monday, June 23rd at 7 p.m. at the Athol Town Hall.

 

NQ Pipeline Action Calls for Massive Letter Writing Campaign

At the May 28th meeting of NQ Pipeline Action, the steering committee introduced a major letter writing campaign.   It is important to write letters at this moment.  Personally written letters are better than form letters.  Phoning is a second tier alternative and emailing a third.   But remember, an original letter is the best thing to do.  Write one and send it to all the names. Each of the 30 people at the meeting were asked to talk with friends and neighbors to get 5 other people to also write letters.  See Actions to Take for a sample letter and a list of government officials with addresses.  Some current officials to write to include:  Governor Deval Patrick;  State Reps and Senators in N.Q. area: Rep. Denise Andrews,  Rep. John Zlotnik (Winchendon, Ashburnham, Gardner),  State Senator Stan Rosenberg (Royalston, Orange, Warwick, Erving), State Senator Stephen Brewer  (Athol, Winchendon, Ashburnham),  Rep. Ann Gobi (will be running for state senate in fall);  U.S. Congressman James McGovern, U.S. Senator Edward Markey, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren;  Maeve Valley-Bartlett replacement for Richard Sullivan in Exec. Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs;  and  Ann G. Berwick, Chair of Commission for Department of Public Utilities.

See Events under “Gas Pipeline” to learn about upcoming forum at GCC on proposed gas pipeline.  Also see links to other organizations and websites to learn more about the proposed gas pipeline issues.

 

 

NQ Pipeline Action Scheduled to Meet on Wed., May 28th at 7 p.m. at Athol Town Hall

NQ Pipeline Action will hold a meeting on Wed., May 28th at the Athol Town Hall at 7 p.m.  This meeting will hear reports from working groups and discuss getting the message out through lawn signs and letter writing.  Lawn Signs will be available for people.  The steering committee for this group includes: Ivan Ussach, Maureen Blasco, Rene Lake-Gagliardi, Mary King, Moonlight, Ken Berthiaume, and Pat Larson.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) – What Do We Need to Know?

The mission of the DPU is to ensure that utility consumers are provided with the most reliable service at the lowest possible cost, to protect the public safety from transportation and gas pipeline related accidents, to oversee the energy facilities siting process, and to ensure that residential ratepayers’ rights are protected.

The proposed pipeline siting process, electricity rate structures, and protecting ratepayers’ rights come under the jurisdiction of the Mass. DPU.  More research needs to be completed on what is happening now.

DPU and Proposed Pipeline by TGP/Kinder Morgan:  Some people who own land that TGP wants to survey are receiving a second letter from Kinder Morgan stating that TGP/Kinder Morgan are intending to file for property access for surveying though the Massachusetts Department of Utilities (DPU).  TGP/Kinder Morgan can file a request to survey through the DPU.    People who may get a second letter from TGP/Kinder Morgan must know their rights as citizens.  At this point Nashoba Conservation Trust (see www.nashobatrust.org/pipeline/) has up-to-date information about latest TGP/Kinder Morgan letters and information about the Siting Division of DPU which includes a nine member commission. Also check out their very informative page on why this pipeline is not necessary.

DPU and Electricity Rate Structure for National Grid Customers:  DPU reviews and approves the Basic Service procurements of the electric distribution companies such as National Grid.   National Grid came before the DPU in 2009-10 to change distribution charges.  These charges do not include the supply costs.  With deregulation the Retail Electricity Industry has been restructured, and the DPU licenses competitive suppliers and electricity brokers. Getting support for restructuring electricity rates could encourage people to use less.  The Department of Public Utilities is the department in state government that sets electricity rates.  North Quabbin Energy worked on a proposal of incentives regarding rates and gathered regional usage data to help encourage people to engage in conservation and efficient use of electricity. Perhaps it is time to get support for this restructuring of electricity rates.   Such a proposal is in accordance with statements made in DPU hearings that “there is a recent direction in energy policy towards greater promotion and reliance on energy efficiency, distributed generation, and renewable technologies as well as a commitment to address the social and economic risks associated with climate change.” (D.P.U. 09-39, November 30, 2009, Petition of National Grid – Mass. Electric Co., pursuant to G. L. c. 164, § 94, and 220 C.M.R. § 5.00 et seq., for a General Increase in Electric Rates and Approval of a Revenue Decoupling Mechanism)

News From the North Quabbin  — Check out what towns are doing that relate to saving energy and also Green Communities.

Other News:

Wed., May 28th at 7 p.m. at Athol Town Hall — NQ Pipeline Action Meeting

May 5th – Warwick townsfolk passed a non-binding resolution at town meeting to ban fracked gas pipelines.

April 30, 2014 — Orange Selectboard voted to deny Tennessee Gas Pipeline/Kinder Morgan access to survey town lands.

 

 

North Quabbin Citizens Continue Efforts to Oppose Proposed Gas Pipeline

Bruce Winn answers questions after his talk at Athol Town Hall on April 16th with over 100 people in attendance at event.

Meeting set for Wed., April 30th at 7 p.m. at Athol Town Hall.  Get Involved! Working Groups will report on what they have done concerning communications with landowners, municipal outreach, messaging, research on conservation laws and Green Communities Act, and research on what is happening in other states. Join us in opposing the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline that could run through our towns.

Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP), owned by Kinder-Morgan LLC, wants to construct a pipeline carrying fracked natural gas, mined from unconventional gas wells in Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. The  project is known as the “Northeast Expansion” and would consist of a 30″ – 36″ pipeline in a 50 ft. right-of-way running between New York State to Dracut MA. It would go through several towns in Berkshire, Franklin, and Worcester counties.

Come to meeting on April 30th, learn what people are doing to oppose pipeline, and join a working group. After planning meetings on March 11 and April 8th, local citizens formed working groups and signed up to work on various activities in opposition to this project. Continue reading North Quabbin Citizens Continue Efforts to Oppose Proposed Gas Pipeline

No. Quabbin Citizens Organize Around Issue of Proposed Gas Pipeline

Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP), owned by Kinder-Morgan LLC, wants to construct a pipeline carrying fracked natural gas, mined from unconventional gas wells in Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. The  project is known as the “Northeast Expansion” and would consist of a 30″ – 36″ pipeline in a 50 ft. right-of-way running between New York State to Dracut MA. It would go through several towns in Berkshire, Franklin, and Worcester counties.

After planning meetings on March 11 and April 8th, local citizens formed working groups and signed up to work on various activities in opposition to this project. Following the April 16th Public Forum mentioned below, there will be another meeting on April 30 at the Athol Town Hall, 7 p.m. Continue reading No. Quabbin Citizens Organize Around Issue of Proposed Gas Pipeline

Sucessful Winsert Workshops Completed in January 2014

          Over 30 people attended two Winsert Workshops during January.  These workshops were funded with a grant from National Grid.  Materials for making winserts (Interior Window Panels) were purchased with the National Grid grant money.  At the first workshop on January 4th, fabricators and others experimented with making frames with mitered joints using spline to fasten film.  This workshop produced 18 winserts for the Millers River Environmental Center in Athol which have been installed to help increase the R-value of windows and cut down on drafts.  On January 25th another workshop was held at the Barre Library.  Thirty-two people gathered at this public workshop to learn how to make winserts for their own homes.  Each participant, who registered, was able to take home a finished winsert. Twenty winserts went home with people to try in their own homes.   North Quabbin Energy Core members and the Barre Town Energy Committee also completed 13 winserts that were installed in windows at the Barre Library. Continue reading Sucessful Winsert Workshops Completed in January 2014

Renewable Energy and Local Living Talks a Success at Garlic & Arts Festival

North Quabbin Energy had an information table at the Garlic and Arts Festival again this year.  People enjoyed spinning the wheel to test their energy sense and discuss lawns, food and energy use with NQE members.

Colby Spins the Wheel for Energy Quiz

Once again many people attended the talks at the Renewable Energy and Local Living  Tent organized by Steve and Janice Kurkoski.    Another highlight was the brief presentation made about the large solar installations contructed on untillable farm land in Orange and Athol (the Hunt Farm in Orange and the Adams Farm in Athol.   Hal Gillam and Kristen Marquis told the story of meeting at the Garlic and Arts Festival five years ago and beginning a conversation about solar development for the No. Quabbin region.  This conversation turned into a reality in the fall of 2013.

You can check out Photos from Garlic and Arts Festival – 2013 under Garlic and Arts 2013.

2013 Local Food Brochure Available

North Quabbin Energy’s 2013 “Fresh & Local Food Guide” is now available.

The listing highlights local farms and food producers in the North Quabbin towns (Athol, New Salem, Orange, Petersham, Phillipston, Royalston, Warwick, and Wendell) and neighboring Barre and Shutesbury.  Foods grown locally include fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, flowers, eggs, dairy products, mushrooms, and herbs.  The brochure also lists area specialties plus non-food and “value-added” products like honey, maple syrup, local cheeses, bakery goods, hay, compost, wool and fleece, and imported fair-trade coffee.  Look for information about area farmers markets, festivals, the local food co-op, “Community Supported Agriculture” (CSA) farms, and more.

Eating locally is an energy-related issue because the food industry in the U.S. is based on energy-intensive modes of farming, processing, shipping, and storing food.  Produce and other foods are typically shipped over hundreds of miles from the source to the consumer, adding to the “carbon footprint” of products that are usually grown with petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides.  Buying closer to local sources not only reduces the energy required to grow and ship food,  but helps support area farmers and food producers who are working to strengthen more sustainable regional food systems.

Printed brochures are available at town libraries in the region as well as locations, including farms and businesses, listed in the brochure.  For an online PDF version of the brochure click 2013 North Quabbin Fresh and Local Food.