Earlier this month, members of the Boston Climate Action Network performed their Cantastoria at the Massachusetts College of Art. This production contains an update reflecting the City Council’s unanimous vote authorizing CCE!
The Cantastoria was one of many ways that BCAN got the word out about CCE and engaged with the community. We gave presentations at civic associations throughout Boston, tabled at farmers markets and innovation events, joined marches, passed out leaflets, and worked hard to increase public awareness of climate change.
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, 350.org, 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.
Climate Ready Boston has announced a grant-funded job opportunity with the City of Boston. Details below:
The Climate Ready Boston Coordinator will be a key player in helping the City build resilient solutions to prepare Boston for the impacts of climate change.
Part of the workload will include supporting neighborhood climate resilience planning, developing specific plans to address risks from longer and more frequent heat waves, and leading innovative community outreach pilots. They will work in the City’s Environment Department alongside the Director of Climate and Environmental Planning and Climate Ready Boston Program Manager.
The position will support our City’s mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for the effects of climate change, and make Boston’s communities greener, healthier, and more resilient.
Learn more about the position here.
Applications are due by Friday, November 17, 2017.
The Boston Globe released an editorial on Community Choice Energy in its October 8th print edition.
There are lots of reasons for Boston to lead the way with this sort of program. One, of course, is that the city sits on the water and is sure to feel the effects of climate change for years to come. But that’s not all.
Boston is an important city. It’s the largest in New England. It’s filled with top-notch scientists and big thinkers, and its citizens increasingly feel like citizens of the world. Boston needs to do something. This is something. Let’s do it.
Read the whole editorial here.
It’s powerful to see the momentum building on this campaign as group after group comes out in support of CCE. Now is the time to keep the pressure on! Call Boston 311 to tell the Mayor’s office that you support CCE and want it to be a priority.
Boston City Council voted unanimously today to authorize Marty Walsh to implement Community Choice Energy. This is a huge step forward toward our goal of having a citywide green electricity purchasing program!
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.
Low- and moderate-income people make up 40 percent of the country’s population, but account for less than 5 percent of all solar customers. And “An equitable and complete transition to renewable energy cannot occur without the full participation of low- and moderate-income households,” says Dr. Martha Nathan of Climate Action Now.
Community Choice Energy would make renewable energy available to all Boston households, including low- and moderate-income residents who rent (67% of the city), lack the credit to put solar panels on their roofs, or can’t use tax credits to recover part of that cost. That’s why we want Community Choice Energy now. And that’s why we support a solar access bill that the state legislature is supporting. Click here for an article about that bill.