November 27, 2018

 
 
 
 

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Contact your Senators today and tell them
to VOTE "NO" on McNamee for FERC

Right now, FERC in is an odd position. Two of the four current commissioners are business-as-usual rubber stampers, but the other two have apparently been visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past. They're starting to dissent on multiple dockets on grounds that cumulative impacts and climate need to be considered. Choosing someone for the currently open fifth seat could tip the balance of the commission either way. Call your Senators now and urge them to say NO to McNamee, a gas industry yes-man, for FERC Commissioner #5.

If you're wondering why we’re urging folks to tell their Senators to vote no on McNamee for FERC, take a step into the pro-industry / anti-environmental-group mindset he embraces. This is a presentation by the Texas Public Policy Foundation in February of this year, in which McNamee goes on at length about environmental groups as foisting “propaganda” on the public. McNamee also says that the American public needs to understand  “that fossil fuels are not something dirty, something you have to move and get away from, but understand that they are the key, not only to our prosperity, but to the quality of life, but also towards the environment,” and key to “furthering the human condition.”

This presentation is a must-listen to gain insight info pro-industry talking points and strategy, including countering environmental efforts and even environmental education in elementary and high school.

As a fifth FERC commissioner and tie-breaker, we can be fairly certain of which way he’ll vote on project approvals.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee just voted today 13-10 to forward McNamee's nomination for FERC to a full Senate vote. We don't know when the Senate vote will take place, but Lisa Murkowski, chair of the Energy and Natural Resources committee, is determined to get it done soon.  Make sure to contact your Senators and tell them to VOTE NO on McNAMEE.



Ed Markey vows to change federal gas regulations in wake of Merrimack Valley explosions

By Shannon Young, MassLive
November 26, 2018
LAWRENCE -- U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, pledged Monday to push for changes to federal gas pipeline safety regulations in the wake of the September explosions that destroyed homes and killed one person in the Merrimack Valley.
The senator, who joined other Massachusetts lawmakers in holding a U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing in Lawrence, told reporters that they're committed to ensuring that no other communities in the United States ever have to face such disasters.

» Read the full story


» Follow news on the continuing developments on the Merrimack Valley Columbia Gas disaster. News articles at bottom half of the page.
Berkshire Gas moratorium continues indefinitely
By Richie Davis, Greenfield Recorder
November 23, 2018

Berkshire Gas Co.’s 4-year-old moratorium on new hookups and expanded service in its eight-town Franklin Hampshire territory will continue indefinitely, the company says. Berkshire Gas, which began the moratorium in December 2014 in Greenfield, Montague, Deerfield, Sunderland and Whately, and extended it to Amherst, Hadley and Hatfield  the following March, wrote recently to more than 300 people and businesses on a waiting list if the moratorium were to be lifted at some point, advising them to seek alternative energy sources.

The company had been studying either building a new liquefied natural gas storage facility somewhere in its Franklin County service area, as well as an expansion of its 16-mile distribution system between Greenfield and Tennessee Gas Pipeline interconnection in Southwick, after rejecting half a dozen other options as part of the company Forecast and Supply Plan for 2016-17 through 2020-21 approved by its which was ordered in July 2017 by the state Department of Public Utilities.

“Regrettably,” the Nov. 16 letter from Berkshire Gas President and Chief Operating Officer Karen Zink says, “Our analysis has concluded that the two options … have proven to be too costly for our customers. Additionally, the implementation of either option would likely drive our natural gas service rates well beyond those of competing fuels.

» Read the full story
Thanks to PLAN-NE for posting the original Berkshire Gas letter.

List of Boards of Health contacting  Governor Baker grows!

The Massachusetts Association of Health Boards (MAHB) are asking Boards of Health to sign on to a letter to Governor Baker, asking him to consider and appropriately address the health hazards of fracked gas infrastructure development. The list of municipalities is now over 80, with almost 45% of the population represented so far, and with more planning to sign soon. Residents of other Massachusetts towns and cities to should ask their Board of Health to sign on to this letter as well. It would be a powerful message to send if every municipality in the state signed on.

» More information

» View names of towns signed on.
Now with links to view letters from many towns.


Spaces still available in Mass' Solar Access program

Working with an energy expert, you will be guided through the program, which adds a special Solar Access incentive to the existing combination of electric utility, state, and federal incentives for renewable energy. By enrolling in a UMassFive College Credit Union loan, you will own your solar panels and a heat pump and will pay less than you spend now. Solar Access is funded by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Department of Energy Resources (DOER).

To see if you qualify go to this and fill out the survey or call the
Center for Eco Technology at  413-341-0418.

There are also many other programs are community based incentives like HeatSmart, Solarize Mass, combine the purchase power of whole communities for high efficiency heat pumps and solar panels for residential customers.


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

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Continuing our work, thanks to you!
Thanks to your support, we're continuing our work to keep fossil fuel expansion at bay, helping you stay informed to take action for a cleaner, healthier environment and more just energy system.

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No Fracked Gas in Mass is a program of Berkshire Environmental Action Team. Donations made through our direct online Donation button or mailed in check are tax deductible.

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