Join us to discuss the energy issues you care about The Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change is hosting hearings throughout the Commonwealth to get input from you on pressing issues in clean energy and climate. How do you think the legislature should keep our state healthy, sustainable and strong?

Send us your ideas:

Here are some ideas from your neighbors:

Eileen

More solar trash barrels everywhere in Falmouth - at the beaches and on Main Street - nice looking ones that make people feel kind of cool just using them.

Paul Lauenstein

Comments for MA Clean Energy Future Tour Weymouth High School, May 22, 2017 At a time when greenhouse gas emissions are threatening our very existence, spending over $6 billion to expand gas infrastructure in New England is insane, especially considering that demand response and energy efficiency are less expensive ways to meet our energy needs. So why are we even considering such a dangerous and unhealthful expedient? Follow the money. The price for liquefied natural gas is much higher in other parts of the world than it is here in New England. Stockholders and executives of gas companies stand to profit from the export of liquefied natural gas despite the long-term negative consequences for the rest of us in terms of climate change. Ill-advised expansion of gas infrastructure, including the proposed compressor station in Weymouth, cannot be accomplished without the complicity of our government. In the wake of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, the deep-pocketed fossil fuel industry can easily buy influence with elected officials. Until we amend the Constitution to overturn Citizens United and level the political playing field, focusing our finite capital resources on transitioning to a clean-energy economy will be an uphill battle. I urge state legislators to support the We the People Act, H.1926 and S.379. Massachusetts, the cradle of American democracy, should join the other states that have already called for a convention to propose a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United by establishing that corporations are not people and money is not speech. Paul Lauenstein 4 Gavins Pond Rd. Sharon, MA 02067 781-784-2986 lauenstein@comcast.net

Rev. Betsy J Sowers

Thank you for taking the time to listen to the citizens of the Commonwealth as our state legislators consider clean energy policy. I commend you for following up the Global Warming Solutions Act with a wealth of proposed legislation to achieve our goals for a clean energy future. My concern is that the current energy and environmental regulatory structure is so broken that our health and safety, and the preservation of our natural resources remain in critical danger. We need legislation to reform the regulations. Given that environmental protection, and even acknowledgement that climate change exists, are being rolled back in Washington, it is imperative that Massachusetts take leadership. First, we need to reform policies that currently allow permits based on meeting dozens of small, arcane technical requirements, while blocking the ability to consider overarching threats to health, safety, and the slow-motion submersion of our coasts. As I have noticed at meetings and hearings with employees of MADEP, CZM, and DPU regarding the siting of fossil fuel infrastructure in Massachusetts, well meaning public servants are prevented from hearing many of the public’s arguments. Projects have been segmented to make their environmental impact seem less. Cumulative impacts of air, water, wetlands, wildlife, human health and safety are never considered together. Each has its own process. If technical questions are correctly checked off, there are no grounds for denying permits. The process needs to allow regulators to lift their eyes from the technical minutiae to the urgent need to stop allowing more greenhouse gases into our environment, and move to renewable energy. Second, air, water, and health studies, and an Environmental Justice analysis in affected communities must be mandatory before permitting new polluting infrastructure. Here on the South Shore, local citizens groups have had to raise our own funds to purchase and distribute air quality monitoring devices, which have revealed benzene levels in some neighborhoods at four times the EPA maximums already. Other ambient toxins would be pushed above EPA levels with the introduction of the Atlantic Bridge and Access Northeast projects in Weymouth. As taxpayers and citizens, we ask our legislators to require our state agencies to carry out these studies, and to require that the results be included in the permitting process. Before permitting new polluters, DEP should first address the urgent threats to our health from dangerous levels of pollution. Third, legislation is needed to address the too-cozy relationship between regulators and industry, including a five-year ban on regulators working, or lobbying for the industry they regulate. Further, all communications between companies seeking permits and regulatory agencies need to be publicly available, and opportunities for the public to comment must be concurrent with the entire process, not limited to a few weeks. The recent revelation that DEP allowed Spectra/Enbridge to edit the Draft Air Quality Permit for Atlantic Bridge, raising the allowed emissions by a factor of five before reporting is required, and labeling some emissions as “fugitive,” in order to meet requirements has created a crisis of confidence in the DEP. While we expect regulators and applicants to have professional conversations and clarify questions, it is completely unacceptable for applicants to write their own permits and negotiate away emissions standards. We need legislative protection from these practices. Fourth, legislation needs to treat renewable energy companies fairly. Gov. Baker has suggested reducing subsidies for renewables, while at the same time promoting pipeline taxes to the tune of 6 billion dollars to subsidize new gas infrastructure. This despite Attorney General Maura Healy’s study showing that new gas infrastructure is not necessary to meet our energy needs, and failure by energy suppliers to fix thousands of leaks in existing infrastructure. This is unacceptable. Our future survival and economy depend on a speedy transition to renewables, so we need economic stimuli to make that happen. I am pleased to see legislation already being considered at the State House to move toward 100% renewables. As Sen. Elizabeth Warren has said in other contexts, the regulatory system is rigged. If permitted, gas from Atlantic Bridge/Access Northeast will go to Canada for export, money to Texas and Canada, while Mass. residents pick up the cost, both financial, health, and environmental. The citizens of the Commonwealth expect more of our elected leaders and regulatory agencies. This listening tour is a good step in the right direction. Thank you for remembering that you are public servants first and foremost. You have my gratitude and support for any legislation that puts the people of the Commonwealth, and our precious natural environment before special interests that threaten them, and moves us toward a clean energy future.

Rev. Betsy Sowers

Use the grounds of the soon to be decommissioned Pilgrim Nuclear Plant for a state of the art battery storage facility, similar to what Tesla is building in California. Connect to existing electricity infrastructure, which makes it cheaper than building elsewhere, and replaces jobs lost when Pilgrim closes, while moving the Commonwealth toward a renewable energy future. Store energy from proposed offshore and onshore wind, and solar infrastructure.

Robert Clyman

Charter a new state-sponsored energy company whose mission is to build an electric grid with generation from renewable sun/wind/surf sources on every rooftop, in every community and funnel profits back into the state to build a new regional economy built on sustainable energy sources.

Janice Kurkoski

Can you schedule a hearing in north-central MA? Athol or Worcester or Greenfield. There are many people here who are already mobilized to keep moving forward with clean energy. We need each other! Janice, on behalf of North Quabbin Energy

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