November 9, 2020

 
 
 
 
No Fracked Gas in Mass and EE Pittsfield
offer special webinars for Berkshire Earth Expo

The 5th Annual Berkshire Earth Expo - and the first virtual one! - is running from Nov 1st through November 14, 2020 with Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield. It’s an artful celebration of the earth as well as an educational and networking event centered around young people’s work and engagement on climate and climate-related topics. The Cooler Communities Challenge will again be a part of it, so bring your readiness for action! For more information please e-mail Uli Nagel.

OUR WEBINARS:
Shave The Peak! : Berkshire Earth Expo webinar

Tuesday, November 10, 2020
6:00 PM — 6:45 PM


Learn how peaking power plants pollute our air and increase our electric bill even though they seldom run - then sign up to help Shave the Peak and help eliminate any need for these plants at all.

This educational webinar is free and open to the community. Pre-registration required. And make sure to pledge action to Shave the Peak!

Energy Efficiency In Your Home And Business: Berkshire Earth Expo webinar

Wednesday, November 11, 2020
6:00 PM — 6:45 PM


Save Energy, Save Money, Save The Planet. Come learn how you can save money by saving energy through Mass Save. The Mass Save program has many no-cost, low-cost and rebate items to help you shave money off your utility bills and help cut your carbon footprint and utility bills!

Presented by Rosemary Wessel of BEAT’s Energy Efficiency Pittsfield Program. This webinar is free and open to the community.

» Register here
» Facebook Event Page

BEAT’s Berkshire Zero Waste Initiative (BZWI) also offers a new webinar this week!

Ask and you shall receive!  Are you confused about recycling? Do you want to start composting? Are you generally flustered by what-goes-where and what to do with “x”? This webinar will be short and sweet, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage with BZWI and the LEC on everything related to waste reduction.
» See BZWI's site

For even more environmental news, info, and events, check out the latest newsletters from our colleagues at Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) and Berkshire Zero Waste Initiative (BZWI)!







Provide feedback on Mass Save’s 3-Year Efficiency Plan
Mass Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) Listening Sessions

The planning process for the 2022-2024 Three-Year Energy Efficiency Plan for the Mass Save  energy efficiency programs has begun via public comment listening sessions. Public comment is very important to the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) as it highlights the energy efficiency needs of Massachusetts residents and businesses which helps direct where the Council should focus. The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) wants to hear from residents, businesses, and industry stakeholders on how Mass Save can best serve them through the energy efficiency programs.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the public comment sessions will be held virtually. The schedule for the sessions can be found on the EEAC website. If you are interested in providing public comment during one of the sessions, please email ma-eeac@mass.gov to sign up.

November 17 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
» Meeting link

December 8 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
» Meeting link

December 14 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
» Meeting link

» See the EEAC Calendar here for these hearings and special workshop information, click on event name for details and login information

NEWS
WEYMOUTH COMPRESSOR STATION
Opponents demonstrate against Weymouth compressor station deal

By Fred Hanson, The Patriot Ledger
November 8, 2020

WEYMOUTH — Opponents of the newly constructed natural gas compressor station have a message for Mayor Robert Hedlund. They say the host agreement that the mayor has reached with Enbridge, the owner of the station, is a bad deal and doesn’t go far enough to protect the safety of the community.
“We are not going away,” said Alice Arena, the leader of Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station.

About 70 people gathered in front of Weymouth Town Hall on Friday night, carrying signs with messages of their continued opposition to the compressor station.

Some of the signs read, “A bribe by any other name would smell as bad” and
“Hedlund to Weymouth: Drop Dead.” Some passing drivers honked their horns as a show of support for the demonstrators.

Arena said the group will be organizing similar events as time goes on.

» Read the full story

Weymouth, Enbridge strike deal
worth up to $38 million


By Jessica Trufant, The Patriot Ledger
October 30, 2020

WEYMOUTH —Some residents and local officials say they’re disappointed that Mayor Robert Hedlund’s administration has struck an agreement with the gas company that owns the newly constructed natural gas compressor station, a deal that will provide the town with $10 million upfront and potentially $28 million in tax revenue over the next 35 years.

Hedlund said his administration and representatives from Enbridge, the energy company that owns the compressor station, have reached a host community agreement that covers a range of issues, from the property tax structure for the site to addressing coastal erosion and the ongoing hazardous waste cleanup.

Hedlund said the town has been more aggressive than any other community in fighting such a project, but officials also needed to face the reality of the situation and protect the town’s interests by entering a host agreement.

“The clock has run out on us, and we have a fully permitted facility that we know is going to start up very soon,” he said. The controversial compressor station is part of Enbridge’s Atlantic Bridge project, which will expand the company’s natural gas pipelines from New Jersey into Canada. It has been a point of contention for years among neighbors and some local, state and federal officials who say it presents serious health and safety risks and has no benefit for the residents of Weymouth, Quincy, Braintree, Hingham and surrounding communities.

Alice Arena, leader of the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station, said the agreement will not cover the loss of security, safety, health, environment, and property value resulting from the compressor station.

» Read article
» Read FRRACS letter to Mayor Hedlund  
» More about the Weymouth compressor station  
      
EVERSOURCE PIONEER VALLEY (COLUMBIA GAS)

Activist group urges Eversource CEO to scrap plans for regional natural gas pipeline

By Peter Goonan, MassLive
October 28, 2020

SPRINGFIELD — An activist group has urged Eversource to abandon a long-planned natural gas pipeline project in the region, saying such an expansion is “unwarranted” and counter to energy conservation efforts.

The group, the Columbia Gas Resistance Campaign, addressed the letter this week to Eversource Chief Executive Officer James Judge. It was signed by 92 community organizations and 12 state and local politicians, the campaign said.

The Resistance Campaign’s letter said, in part: “As Eversource embarks on its new venture in Western Massachusetts, and indeed in all three service areas, we ask that you regard this moment as an opportunity to switch from a path involving harmful gas and fossil fuel development to a business plan that embraces green energy, stopping the steamroller of climate change that is now consuming communities across the globe.”

Columbia Gas had pursued pipeline projects with Tennessee Gas Pipeline and its owner, Kinder Morgan, for a pipeline loop project in Agawam, Longmeadow and Springfield. The project is designed to improve the horsepower at an Agawam compressor station; build a 12-inch diameter, create a two-mile pipeline loop in Agawam, and provide a new 16-inch line to Springfield’s South End via a new meter station in Longmeadow, officials said.

The Resistance Campaign welcomed Eversource as the successor company, but asked for a meeting “to discuss transitioning from fossil fuels toward energy conservation project and non-combustible clean energy sources.”

CONNECTICUT EXPANSION PIPELINE
Tennessee Gas and contractor to pay $800,000 in penalties, repairs over controversial natural gas project in Otis State Forest

By Jeanette DeForge, MassLive
November 2, 2020

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company and its contractor which installed a controversial natural gas line through Otis State Forest will pay a total of $800,000 in fines and to make repairs after damaging an ecologically-important vernal pool, failing to protect wetlands and damaging the roadway during the construction.

The damage was done in 2017 while the company was installing a four-mile line through Otis State Forest as part of a 14-mile pipe extension that cut through New York and Connecticut. The work drew multiple protests and led to more than a dozen arrests for civil disobedience.

Under the claim, Tennessee Gas was accused of failing to maintain erosion and sediment controls causing soil and sediment to run into more than 630 square feet of wetlands. It was also accused of excavating and filling portions of a vernal pool and shutting down a required pump temporarily degrading water quality in Spectacle Pond Brook, the Attorney General’s office said in announcing the settlement.

In a second location, the companies were also accused of dumping 15,000 gallons of contaminated pipeline test water directly onto the ground adjacent to Tennessee Gas’ pipeline compressor station in Agawam, the announcement said.

“Tennessee Gas repeatedly assured the state and Sandisfield residents that water quality and wetlands would be protected during pipeline construction, but they failed to make that happen,” Healey said in writing.

» Read article 
» Read AG Healey’s statement   
» More about the CT Expansion pipeline 

A Biden victory positions America for a 180-degree turn on climate change

By Juliet Eilperin, Dino Grandoni and Darryl Fears
November 7, 2020


Joe Biden, the projected winner of the presidency, will move to restore dozens of environmental safeguards President Trump abolished and launch the boldest climate change plan of any president in history. While some of Biden’s most sweeping programs will encounter stiff resistance from Senate Republicans and conservative attorneys general, the United States is poised to make a 180-degree turn on climate change and conservation policy.

Biden’s team already has plans on how it will restrict oil and gas drilling on public lands and waters; ratchet up federal mileage standards for cars and SUVs; block pipelines that transport fossil fuels across the country; provide federal incentives to develop renewable power; and mobilize other nations to make deeper cuts in their own carbon emissions.

In a victory speech Saturday night, Biden identified climate change as one of his top priorities as president, saying Americans must marshal the “forces of science” in the “battle to save our planet.”

“Three Seconds” with Prince Ea is #Film4Climate 1st Prize Short Film Winner


Homeowners, Renters, Landlords - This Program's for YOU!
MASS SAVE Extends 100% Off Qualifying Insulation for Moderate Income Customers

Fill out the Online Home Energy Assessment at MassSave.com/OHEA
or if you're a Small Business owner, call
844-887-1400.
Whether you rent or own your home or business, you'll want to save money!


HELP US TO HELP YOU!
Would you like to engage your community group, neighborhood association or employees in participating in the MassSave program? Talk to us! We’re happy to help get your group stared. Let us know what group communication method works best for you during this time of social isolation: info for your regular organization newsletters, conference call, Zoom meeting or presentation.


Want to help our EE Pittsfield outreach?
We’re looking for volunteers to distribute literature in Pittsfield. COVID-safe, no contact, leave brochures on doors. Contact Rose at rose@thebeatnews.org

» More information on the EE-Pittsfield program

Be sure to check the No Fracked Gas in Mass Weekly News Check-In for these stories and more. If you haven't subscribed yet, look for the Subscribe option at the bottom of each week's post to get the news right in your inbox.

For news on various pipelines, FERC and the industry, climate and more, check out the Latest News Tab on our site.



 
 
 
 
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your support keeps us going
Standing up to fossil fuel projects, chiming in on regulatory issues and promoting energy efficiency.

And don't forget, you can keep sending your support all year by setting up a monthly donation as well.

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