Darlene Lombos, the Executive Director of Community Labor United, wrote an editorial piece for Commonwealth Magazine last month about Community Choice Energy and the need for the Mayor’s office to take swift action implementing it for Boston.
As the largest metro area in the state, Boston must play a leading role in meeting our climate goals as a state, while also reducing emissions and increasing resiliency in the city. Through CCE, Boston can expect to increase its clean energy portfolio by at least 5 percent, helping to reach its goal of a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
You can read the whole article here.
BNN News interviewed members of BostonCAN as part of a larger piece on climate readiness in Boston in the wake of two recent “Once in a Generation” storms that caused so much flooding.
Storm Prompts Call for Climate Action from Chris Lovett on Vimeo.
BNN interviewed Boston University professor Nathan Phillips, who discussed the need for Community Choice Energy to be acted on more urgently as a critical part of the climate plan for the City of Boston.
BCAN’s Rising Seas Rally made a splash.
We got picked up by multiple news outlets. The Boston Globe interviewed our campaign coordinator Andy Bean:
Bean said he hopes the city this year implements the Community Choice Energy plan that Boston’s City Council approved in October 2017, which would increase the amount of renewable energy residents and businesses use without raising costs.
The city has a Climate Action Plan, which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020 and be carbon neutral by 2050, but Bean said it is overdue for an update.
We were also in the North End Waterfront neighborhood news and Universal Hub. Attendees were also interviewed by Boston Neighborhood Network News.
The City of Boston’s Department of Environment, Energy, and Open Space (EEOS) has initiated a formal process of information gathering to help it understand the implications of providing a Community Choice Energy program. EEOS Chief Austin Blackmon has released a document called “Request for Information Relating to Community Choice Aggregation Program” (the RFI), which invites electricity consultants, suppliers, and brokers, as well as non-profits, residents, and business owners, to respond to a series of detailed questions by March 20, 2018. The questions cover issues such as potential costs to customers and to city administration, methods of communicating effectively with approximately 673,000 residents, the optimal timing and length of contracts with suppliers, and the experiences of electricity aggregation programs in other municipalities, including opt-out rates and cases where programs have been terminated.
The order passed last October by the Boston City Council did not specifically mandate an RFI, but more generally authorized Mayor Walsh to “direct appropriate departments to research, develop, and participate in a contract or contracts” regarding CCE. The text of the RFI specifies that it is for information only. The decision whether or not to respond will not affect a company’s chances of getting a CCE contract in the future, and the RFI does not obligate the city to issue an RFP.
You can see the announcement of the RFI on page 13 of the City Record newsletter, including instructions on how to get a copy of the RFI itself.
Boston City Councilors Michelle Wu and Matt O’Malley recently filed a new order to monitor the progress of the implementation of CCE for the City of Boston. The direct result of the order will be a new hearing:
THEREFORE BE IT ORDERED:
That the appropriate committee of the Boston City Council hold a hearing to discuss the implementation of Community Choice Energy in Boston, and representatives from the Office of Environment, Energy and Open Space and other interested parties and members of the public be invited to testify.
We don’t know when the hearing will take place, but BostonCAN and its allies will need to show up in full force again to let our officials know that we expect them to take quick and resolute action to implement this energy policy as part of their climate mitigation plans.
We’ll keep you posted on when the hearing happens, so check back here in the coming days.
2017 marked a major milestone in the campaign for Community Choice Energy in Boston — an order passed unanimously by the City Council and signed by Mayor Walsh.
Come celebrate! Boston Climate Action Network invites you to join us this Thursday:
Community Choice Energy Celebration
January 18, from 6-8 PM
The Nate Smith House
155 Lamartine Street, Jamaica Plain
The Nate Smith House is near the Stony Brook T stop. With campaign partners Boston Node 350MA, Sierra Club, Green Justice Coalition, and Mothers Out Front, we will update you on the progress toward implementation and discuss the next steps to keep CCE moving forward. There will be refreshments, music, and time to network and socialize.
Hope to see you there! For more information, email us at email@example.com.
Boston began to feel the toll of sea level rise during last week’s winter storm. The waters came up all over city – in the Seaport, Atlantic Avenue, the South Shore, Neponset, and the North End.
The pictures are pretty astounding.
We’re starting to see these “once in a generation” events several times a year now. Hurricane Harvey in Texas, the devastation in Puerto Rico, endless wildfires across the west.
In recent interviews with Mayor Walsh and EEOS Chief Blackmon, both officials discussed the storm floods last week, and emphasized the importance of building infrastructure to be able to withstand increased sea levels during winter events. But neither mention Boston’s role in cutting emissions to help prevent sea level in the first place.
The City will clearly need to prepare for the new reality of higher sea levels – that reality is already here now. But it will get much worse – too much to handle with bigger sea walls – if we do not act to curb our emissions.
Mayor Walsh and Chief Blackmon must implement Community Choice Energy, as the quickest way to cut greenhouse gases and help stop sea levels from rising past the point of no return.
Joel Wool of Clean Water Action says:
Remember to call, email, vote, tweet, stand up, protest, obstruct, whatever else you can, to keep up the political urgency to fight climate change, to adapt to it. It’s going to take continued action and massive investment. Without your active involvement, the investment that happens is going to protect the 1%. Seriously – be the squeaky wheel. Tell other people to speak up, too.