Toxics Action Conference Coming Up!

The Toxics Action Network will be hosting its annual Local Environmental Action Conference on March 3rd, 2018.  This all-day event brings together environmental activists from all over New England to share stories and strategies.  Attendees can choose from dozens of workshops on environmental and social justice issues.

Don’t meet this chance to connect with like-minded people, while supporting one of our allies in their fight against environmental pollution.  Please register!

Local Environmental Action Conference
March 3, 2018
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115


Boston Climate Ready Leaders Training

The City of Boston is looking for Climate Ready Boston Leaders to raise awareness about climate change – and the City’s initiatives to fight it – at the neighborhood level. Last summer, approximately 70 participants were trained in this new outreach program.  They then held events and gave talks in their neighborhoods.

Climate Ready Boston (CRB) Leaders discuss the immediate effects of climate change on Boston residents, such as coastal flooding, heat waves, and record snowfalls.  Then they explain the City’s efforts to mitigate these effects.  For instance, the City is restoring salt marshes, which will protect coastal areas from flooding.  The City is also encouraging the planting of trees in heat islands, to provide shade for local residents.  Last but not least, the City is trying to cut carbon emissions through energy efficiency, and by increasing the use of renewables.

Help your fellow Bostonians join in the fight against climate change.  Please consider registering for one of the these training sessions:

1 – Tuesday, January 23rd, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Piemonte Room, City Hall

2 – Saturday, January 27th, 11:00am – 1:00pm
Bolling Building 6th floor

3 – Tuesday, January 30th, 11:00am – 1:00pm
Fort Point Room, BSA Space

For more information, contact Program Coordinator, Muge Undemir at


Back Bay Pipeline Delayed

On November 2, 2017, Boston’s Public Improvement Commission (PIC) held a public hearing on a pipeline proposed by National Grid. Transporting fracked natural gas, the pipeline would go through the Back Bay and South End.  Approximately 60 Boston residents attended the hearing in protest.  Organized by the Boston Clean Energy Coalition (BCEC), the hearing’s protestors included members of the Boston Climate Action Network (BCAN), Mothers Out Front,, and the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay.

According to Jom Michel, a Steering Team Member of BCEC, “In the Back Bay, a few activists are trying to wake up their fellow citizens,” most of whom oppose the pipeline. He said that National Grid has not been open at all.  “The planning process was behind closed doors.  Before that, you could call it a rumor.”

To reduce Boston’s carbon emissions, BCEC advocates energy efficiency and clean energy for the City’s buildings, with the goal of making them net zero in terms of their carbon footprint. Jom stated that it doesn’t make sense to construct buildings powered by natural gas.  He said, “The pipeline is going to feed luxury condos so they can have their gas fireplaces and their gas stoves . . .  It’s not passive housing; it’s not what it needs to be.”

For the time being, the City Council has placed a moratorium on the decision-making process to allow National Grid to proceed with its pipeline. This is thanks to BCEC asking Councilor Josh Zakim to introduce a resolution calling for the moratorium.  PIC will hold another hearing regarding the pipeline on November 16, 2017.  The Mayor’s office has also asked National Grid to hold a public hearing, so residents will have a chance to voice their concerns.  Thus far, no date has been set for this hearing.


Big Showing at City Council Today

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Boston City Council hearing this afternoon. We packed the hall, filling every seat, lining up against the back wall, with people standing outside the door. Together, we made our voice heard — our city councilors heard that Bostonians want green energy, and that we want them to vote yes on Community Choice Energy.  The councilors present reacted positively and there was a good vibe going in the room.

The next step is getting Mayor Walsh to agree.

You can help right now by calling Mayor Walsh at 311. Tell his staff members that you want him to implement CCE. To verify that you’re a resident, be sure to give your name and address.

It’s that simple, and that important.

A Good Choice for Boston

It’s not too late to prevent climate change from getting worse.  If we stop burning fossil fuels, we’ll lower our carbon footprint, and the climate will eventually get back to normal.

Community Choice Energy (CCE) is a good way of reducing our carbon footprint here in Boston.  It would authorize the City to negotiate an increase in renewable power of about 5% for Boston residents and businesses.

For most Bostonians, installing solar panels is simply too expensive.  CCE would give everyone the chance to fight climate change directly.  It would also guarantee fair pricing, as well as protect people from scams.

On Tuesday, October 3rd, the Boston City Council will hold a hearing on Community Choice Energy.  Come and tell our city councilors that you support CCE.  Let’s show them that Bostonians want to fight climate change!

CCE City Council Hearing Announced!

Join us to attend the hearing!

Climate change is already affecting the world, including the City of Boston. Record-high temperatures and rising sea levels are serious issues that will only get worse unless we do something now.  Fortunately, the Boston City Council is taking steps in this direction.

On August 2nd, City Councilors Michelle Wu and Matt O’Malley introduced an order to initiate Community Choice Energy (CCE) in Boston.  CCE will add at least 5% more renewable energy to the Eversource default available to Boston consumers.

The Boston City Council will hold a public hearing on CCE to listen to constituents’ input. Please come and tell our councilors that Bostonians are eager to fight climate change, and that we support CCE as a means of achieving this goal.

Boston City Council Hearing
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 2:00pm

Boston City Hall
Ianella Chamber, 5th Floor
1 City Hall Square

Closest subway stop: Government Center
Closest parking garage: Government Center Garage, 50 New Sudbury Street

The fight against climate change starts with us here in Boston. Let’s fill the Ianella Chamber to capacity!

Join us to attend the hearing!

Addressing Concerns About CCE Costs

Mayor Walsh has said he’s committed to making Boston “carbon free” by 2050.  Community Choice Energy (CCE) could be one step towards reaching this goal.  The City of Boston would negotiate with a green power company to increase the percentage of renewable energy available to residents and small businesses by five percent. However, there are concerns that consumers would have to pay higher electric bills, and that the City might face additional expenses in staff time, due to research and negotiation for a CCE contract.

Based on the experiences of other cities and towns in the Commonwealth, CCE rates can be negotiated to be comparable to the Eversource default. Of the seven Massachusetts municipalities that have bid on renewable energy this summer, five of them (Arlington, Cambridge, Lexington, Somerville, and Sudbury) have obtained CCE prices lower than the Eversource default. In the Town of Arlington, residents who choose CCE pay  $0.10756 per kilowatt hour, while those who choose the Eversource default pay $0.10759 per kilowatt hour.

In Arlington, thanks to lots of preliminary work done by Mothers Out Front (MOF) and Sustainable Arlington, preparing the Warrant Article for the Town Meeting to vote on CCE took about 25 hours of municipal staff time. According to Anne Wright of MOF, the Town Manager, Adam Chapdelaine, spent about four hours finding a broker and selecting a renewable energy supplier.  Once the contract was signed, Communications Director Joan Roman spent about 40 hours creating print and digital outreach materials to explain CCE to the public.  This adds up to a total of 69 hours of municipal staff time spent on implementing CCE in Arlington.

If renewable energy costs rise after one year of a municipality being on CCE, it can always decline to renew the contract. However, with a template for CCE already in place, negotiating a future contract, should renewable energy costs come down, will not cost much in terms of municipal staff time.

The City of Boston can learn a lot from other municipalities that have already implemented CCE, and avoid reinventing the wheel. The benefits would be tremendous.  In one year alone, CCE could result in the investment of approximately 17 one-megawatt wind turbines, creating many new local jobs.  It would reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, eliminating the need for new pipelines to transport fracked gas, keeping our air and water clean.  From a global perspective, CCE would reduce Boston’s carbon footprint, helping us meet Mayor Walsh’s goal of a “carbon free” city, while bringing us closer to fulfilling the Paris Accords.