2019 Climate & Energy Advocacy Training

Thursday, June 13, 7 pm to 9 pm at Temple Beth Elohim, 10 Bethel Road, Wellesley 

Register Here

Please join us at the upcoming 2019 Climate and Energy Advocacy Trainingpresented by the Massachusetts Sierra Club and Mass Power Forward Coalition.  This training will provide a valuable update on clean energy, climate, and environmental justice priorities for this legislative session and share action steps and tools you can use to help move these priorities forward. You’ll hear from Sierra Club trainers and local environmental leaders.

This training will:

  • outline key legislation to expand renewable energy and reduce climate pollution in Massachusetts
  • explain why equity and environmental justice matter and how they are central to the Mass Power Forward Coalition’s climate agenda
  • share action steps you can take and tools to prepare you to engage effectively with state and local officials
  • answer your questions about the clean energy landscape in our state.

Join us for this informative evening and let’s come together to make real progress on a just clean energy transition in our communities and across Massachusetts.  No prior experience required!

Registration requested.  Please use this Sign-Up link.

Co-sponsors include First Parish in Needham UU Green Congregation Committee, Green Needham Collaborative, Jewish Alliance for Law & Social Action, Jewish Climate Action Network, Sustainable Wellesley, Temple Beth Elohim Green Team, Temple Beth Shalom, UU Wellesley Hills, and Wellesley Village Church.


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Keep hearing about Net Zero at building committee meetings and from friends building new homes?

The Mass Climate Action Network (MCAN) is hosting a Net Zero roundtable  on September 25 from 7-9pm at Maynard High School. This event will allow people to learn about net-zero building and ask questions about why net-zero building is important and how to implement net-zero policy in their town or municipality.

The location of the event is 1 Tiger Dr, Maynard, MA 01754. For Google Maps directions, please click here. Also, please RSVP below as there is a capacity limit for the space (and they are providing dessert and light refreshments). Have questions? Please contact Kai Palmer-Dunning at kaipd@massclimateaction.net.

MCAN is co-sponsoring this event with Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Mothers Out Front, Sierra Club, 350Mass, and Environment Massachusetts.


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With great disappointment, we offer an update on the fate of some environmental provisions during the 2017-18 state legislative session, which ended on July 31. We expected our State Legislature to act with vision and courage in the face of disastrous effects of climate change unfolding daily, world-wide — catastrophic wildfires, dangerous storms, record-breaking temperatures, animal die-offs, rising sea levels. They did not.

Sadly, the House shot down the appropriately ambitious legislation that passed in the Senate. We saw no leadership or sense of urgency from the governor, who might have influenced the House to act boldly. In the end, only a modest clean energy bill was enacted (H.4857) — a bill that is not commensurate with the climate crisis we face and that includes a shocking provision that allows trash incineration to be defined as a source of clean, renewable energy.

To quote State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), “There is a serious problem with democracy in Massachusetts, when the voices of tens of thousands of concerned residents and climate change activists, and dozens of clean energy advocacy groups, are ignored. The battle is not just in DC, it’s here, too.”

So — before we review the results — we want to urge you to VOTE this fall in the primary elections on September 4 and the general election on November 6We have an important race for governor coming up, as well as other state and federal elections. Find candidates who will stand up and fight for our planet and our future — instead of those who step back and stay silent. Go to candidate forums, ask tough questions, and then ask your friends and family to vote with you. We can’t count on national leadership right now, so let’s make sure officials at every level of state and local government are ready to take action on environmental issues. 

Click here to let us know you plan to vote on September 4 and November 6 and we will send you a reminder!

Here is a quick round-up of a few key environmental measures we were tracking during this session, followed by links for more details:

Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS): The is the state requirement that specifies the percentage of electricity that utility companies must obtain from qualified renewable energy sources. Under current law, the RPS is 13% and it increases at the rate of only 1% each year. The new law raises the rate of increase to 2% a year starting in 2020, but reduces it back to 1% by 2030. At this level of increase, Massachusetts will fall behind the 2030 RPS mandates of California, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and many others. It also means that Massachusetts will reach an RPS of only 36% by 2030, and a 56% by 2050. We note with gratitude that Wellesley’s State Representative Alice Peisch supported a House amendment that would have raised the RPS increase to 3%, but House leadership ultimately forced the withdrawal of that amendment.

Gas Leaks: The clean energy bill that passed included provisions that would require utility companies to provide more information about gas leaks to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU). The new law defines how utility companies should measure “lost and unaccounted” for gas — which is the difference between the amount of gas purchased by the gas company and the amount that is actually delivered to customers or used by the gas company in its operations. Utility companies must also identify and measure the sources and locations of the lost and unaccounted for gas. The new law also allows the DPU to grant waivers for the development of innovative projects that reduce lost and unaccounted for gas in order to reduce the cost to ratepayers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Methane from gas leaks is at least 80 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.) State Senator Cynthia Creem (who represents Wellesley Precincts A, C, D, E, and H) was a strong advocate for action on gas leaks. 

Plastic Bags: The House blocked a state-wide bill passed by the Senate that would have banned single-use plastic bags. More than 80 cities and towns in Massachusetts — including Wellesley — have bylaws banning the bags. The state bill would have created a uniform regulation that was intended to reduce plastic litter and the hazard that plastic bags pose to animals and our environment. Both State Rep. Alice Peisch and State Senator Cynthia Creem have supported plastic bag bans in the past.

For more information:

Click here for a summary from Massachusetts Sierra Club.

Click here for a summary from the Climate Action Business Association.

Click here for a summary from the Conservation Law Foundation.

And click here to let us know you plan to vote on September 4 and November 6 so we can send you a reminder!