Members of the core North Quabbin Energy group are currently working on many projects, including town energy committees, pipeline resistance, local food, and winsert-making workshops. The group is not currently meeting as a whole, but we’re working on keeping this website up to date with new developments and information. Keep an eye on new posts here if you’re interested in finding out more about any of the above issues and projects in north-central Massachusetts!
Warwick earns Green Community Designation — December, 2014
Warwick is now one of 13 new Green Communities, recently designated on Dec. 3 2014, and awarded $137,850 to begin implementing their 20% energy reduction plan over the next 5 years.
“Never say never” says Janice Kurkoski, chair of the Warwick Buildings and Energy Committee, who from the beginning had felt that there was much too much paperwork and too many hoops to jump through to apply for this grant. But when Warwick’s Town Coordinator David Young offered to be the point-person, the Committee stepped up to the plate and presented an Energy Reduction Plan that the State thinks is good enough to use as a model for other small towns to follow. With a total of 136 participating cities and towns, more than half of all Massachusetts residents now live in a Green Community.
Presentation of check to Warwick as one of newest Green Communities in MA — David Young and Janice Kurkoski accept Green Communities grant from Dept. of Energy Resources in Boston.
Proposed Pipeline and Alternative Route – As the move to stop the Kinder Morgan/TGP Northeast Energy Direct widens to southern New Hampshire more and more people are thinking and talking about taking steps in their communities to be more energy efficient and use all forms of energy including electricity wisely. For January events in region see Events.
Watch for more information about January Events regarding continuing work to stop the Kinder Morgan/TGP natural gas pipeline project. For more information now go to www.nofrackedgasinmass.org
Low Demand Scenario Study — The MA Department of Energy Resources hired Synapse Consultants to do an analysis of the “low demand scenario” between October and December 2014. After a stakeholder meeting in Boston on December 18th, the release of the final study was delayed. Many people attending stakeholder meetings feel that the final study will just focus on natural gas and not fully evaluate a range of solutions to meet the state’s energy needs as stated on the Synapse website. The Synapse website stated, “The purpose of the analysis is to consider various gas demand scenarios and to evaluate a range of solutions to meet Massachusetts’ short and long-term resource needs, considering greenhouse gas reductions, economic costs and benefits, and system reliability.” Many comments concerning the final report voiced concerns about staying in compliance with the Global Warming Solutions Act and reducing greenhouse gases. People from environmental groups, land trusts, and stop the pipeline groups participated on December 18, 2014. To learn more about the on-going study, more stakeholder meetings, and to read comments from groups and see what Synapse is doing go to http://synapse-energy.com/project/massachusetts-low-demand-analysis.
Rolling March of Words in December — People in area towns (Athol, Erving, Northfield, Orange, Royalston, Warwick) gathered to write letters to state senators in December to educate them about Article 97 of the State Constitution and ask them to uphold this article regarded protected land in the state. Between 400 and 500 letters were written during December to state officials. Other towns including Bolton also participated in letter writing activities during December.
Petition to speak out against the National Grid rate hike of 37% on MoveOn — Tell the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to roll back the rate increase. The long-term solution for preventing volatile price spikes and halting climate change is investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy. It is time to democratize energy policy in the Commonwealth, making it clean, green and fair.
On September 16, National Grid, the largest electric utility in Massachusetts filed a 37% rate increase with the Department of Public Utilities. Other large utilities, such as NStar, Unitil and WMECO are expected to do the same. Support the roll back of this massive rate increase and demand environmentally sustainable energy policy in Massachusetts. Click on link below to read full petition and sign.
The Garlic and Arts Festival took place under blue skies this year with many people attending workshops at the Renewable Energy and Local Living Tent. Almost 200 people signed letters and a petition to the state legislature regarding the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP gas pipeline project. Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) received approval for their pre-filing application from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on October 2, 2014. See Events for November from NQ Pipeline Action. Kinder Morgan/TGP will begin holding open houses in towns on the proposed pipeline route in November.
Preparing for Winter
North Quabbin Energy may hold winsert making workshops again in the late fall or early winter. But if you want to attend a workshop sooner the Gill Energy Commission is sponsoring several workshops this fall led by Peter Talmage.
Workshop – Weatherize Your Home – Saturday, October 25, 9:00 – Noon
FREE – There are many ways to improve the efficiency of your home that can save you lots of fuel. Many of these measures cost little to nothing. Learn these simple methods as well as some of modest cost and make your home easier to heat and more comfortable. Sources of funding and available rebates will also be discussed. The workshop will be led by Peter Talmage, and takes place at the Gill Town Hall, 325 Main Road, Gill. To register call Janet Masucci at (413) 863-8694 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Workshop – Winsert, Make One to Take Away – Saturday, November 8, 9:00 – Noon
FREE workshop, but there will be a cost for materials – “Winserts” are reusable transparent panels that fit snugly inside window jambs to add two extra layers of glazing. The workshop will be presented by Peter Talmage who has been teaching people in the Renewable Energy field at GCC and elsewhere for many years. A properly-constructed winsert can reduce heat loss from a typical single- or double-glazed window by up to 50%, thus more than paying for the cost of the winserts in less than one year. During the workshop you will assemble a winsert for a window in your own house. In order to have enough materials for everyone’s project, we need to know the size of your window. The participant will pay for the cost of materials only at approximately $1 per square foot of window. Class size is limited to 15, so pre-registration is very important! The workshop takes place at the Gill Town Hall, 325 Main Road, Gill. To register call Janet Masucci at (413) 863-8694 or email email@example.com
Energy and Food Issues — What are people doing?
Workshops at the Energy and Local Living Tent will focus on both energy and food issues which promote clean jobs and projects. For a schedule of the workshops see Garlic and Arts. For a complete listing of events and vendors at the 2014 Garlic and Arts Festival on Sept. 27-28th in Orange see Garlic and Arts Festival (www.garlicandarts.org/).
One of the workshops focusing on energy — “A Pipeline Runs Through It: Un-Natural Natural Gas” — will include a panel discussion with Ken Berthiaume from Orange, Leigh Youngblood from Mt. Grace Land Conservation Trust, and Steve Kurkoski from the Warwick Town Energy and Buildings Committee. Panelists will cover the perceived need for new fossil fuel infrastructure, how lands set aside for conservation might be affected, and how this fits in with our global responsibilty towards averting climate change. For the latest information on Kinder Morgan/TGP Northeast Energy Direct pre-filing application (submitted to FERC on 9/15/2014) with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) see www.massplan.org. You can also learn how to register with FERC, make comments, and read full TGP document (about 360 pages).
Other workshops will focus on energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy projects as well as farming and food issues. Many of these projects contribute in some way to the growing number of jobs in the “Clean Energy Industry.” See the 2013 Clean Energy Industry Report posted by Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.
Chart from 2013 Clean Energy Industry Report and presented by Ken Berthiaume at the NQ Pipeline Action Forum at the Community Church of North Orange and Tully on August 19, 2014. For the full report go to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center website.
Under Gas Pipeline please visit our Actions to Take, Research and Resources pages for more information and check out the Events page to see what is coming your way on a local level regarding the proposed pipeline.
Banner made by Maureen Blasco from Royalston for Boston Rally to Stop the Pipeline.
See Events page for NQ Pipeline Action events and activities in August.
The buses are ready to roll for Wednesday, July 30th as people travel to the Boston Common and Statehouse to speak out against the proposed Kinder Morgan gas pipeline and speak up for a sustainable and wise energy policy. This includes saying Yes to — Fix the Leaks, Energy Conservation and Efficiency, and Renewables.
Check out the Events page to review the schedule for the Boston Rally — both pre-rally activities beginning at 9 a.m. and the Rally speakers starting at 11 a.m.
NQ Pipeline Action, North Quabbin Energy, the Garlic & Arts Festival Committee and others are gearing up for many events this month and in the coming months. Watch for many events in July including Climate Summer Bike Riders, who will be in this area between July 20 and July 30. See Events page and watch for details. A Rally to Stop the Pipeline will be held on July 30th from 11-1 p.m. on the Boston Common. rally to stop the pipeline poster
The Rolling March across the state continues until July 26th. For a complete schedule of the Rolling March that ends in Dracut, MA go to www.nofrackedgasinmass.org/rolling-march/
Renewable Energy and Local Living Workshops are already set for the Garlic and Arts Festival in Orange for September 27-28th. This is a good chance for a beautiful week-end in Orange and to learn about alternatives to the continuing use of fossil fuels.
In many ways all these events link together in our work to build a more sustainable world and break the habit of using fossil fuels.
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.
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.
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.