March 18, 2018

DOER MassSave Listening Sessions coming to Western MA

Mass Dept. of Energy Resources (DOER) has scheduled a series of listening sessions, offering the public a chance to comment on the Mass Save program. This is a great time for the public to give input on ideas as well as concerns they have with the program, so please come and find out more about MassSave.

The two western Mass sessions are coming up in Pittsfield and Springfield:

— Mass Save Listening Session
Ralph Froio Senior Center
330 North Street
Pittsfield, MA
4:00 – 6:00 pm

— Mass Save Listening Session
University of Massachusetts Center
1500 Main Street
Springfield, MA
6:00 – 8:00 pm

This state-wide schedule is rare for DOER, and though Energy Efficiency Coordinator Matt Rusteika has indicated he’s planning to add one for Greenfield - an area that’s under added pressure from gas utility moratoriums, he’s also indicated difficulty in finding a location and arranging logistics.

If you have any suggestions or questions, his contact info is:
Matt Rusteika Coordinator, Energy Efficiency
Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
100 Cambridge Street
Suite 1020, Boston, MA 02114

Some problems noted by energy efficiency advocates include:
• Investor-owned utilities being administrators of the program
• Long wait times when you call them and to get an energy assessment
• Inconsistent quality of implementation of the weatherization measures they allow
• Poor marketing about the program to the general public
• Inconsistent information provided to homeowners about their programs, measures
• A cumbersome process from start to finish for homeowners. Each delay or lack of clarity becomes a barrier to implementation
• Lack of access to clear information on how the program is doing; how many received weatherization, insulation, new heating systems – and how much energy was saved, broken down by provider

» Webinar on Energy Efficiency in Massachusetts
– by Conservation Law Foundation

» Study on Accessing Energy Efficiency in Massachusetts
– prepared for Conservation Law Foundation

— Mass Save Listening Session
Mashpee Public Library
64 Steeple Street, Mashpee, MA
6:00 – 8:00 pm

— Mass Save Listening Session
MA Department of Environmental Protection
8 New Bond Street, Worcester, MA
6:00 – 8:00 pm

— Mass Save Listening Session
Lowell Senior Center
276 Broadway Street, Lowell, MA
6:00 – 8:00 pm

#StopBackBayPipeline Protest. The City of Boston has allowed National Grid to begin construction of its Back Bay Billionaires’ Pipeline, ignoring the winter moratorium, ignoring the unanimous City Council resolution that no decision be made without a robust public conversation, and in spite of the fact that the Attorney General has recommended that the DPU reject the sweetheart financing arrangement. We will bear witness, and make known our opposition to this terrible project that will poison our city, and our planet. Fracked gas is not a “bridge” fuel. We call on our Mayor and elected officials to initiate a moratorium on fossil fuel expansion – stop this madness. Join us for lunch hour, every Wednesday; bring signs, make your voice heard.
12:00 PM
Belvidere Street / Huntington Ave. (By the Prudential Center)
Boston, MA

» Facebook Event Page
If you’re not on Facebook, contact James O Michel for more info.

Call to Action (2) – NVCD Training. This training is general in nature and will help prepare anyone planning to participate in NVCD actions related to the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in our commonwealth.
7:00 – 9:30 PM
Church of the Covenant
67 Newbury St.
Boston, MA

» Facebook Event Page


MARCH  27 – 30, 2018 — JAMAICA PLAIN, MA
West Roxbury Trial. Resist the West Roxbury Pipeline and Climate Disobedience Center invite you to stand with 12 of the 198 amazing people who heeded the call to bold and determined climate action and blockaded construction on the West Roxbury Lateral high-pressure fracked gas pipeline.

Our friends and colleagues will be not only on trial, but will also take the stand as well to testify to the power and necessity of our actions together.
This will be the first climate necessity case in the United States in two years, and climate champions and experts, including Bill McKibben and Dr. James Hansen, are planning to testify to make the case that we are in an emergency, and emergency measures - even if they break existing law - are justified in order to prevent a greater harm.
Join us in court, and show the jury, the press and the world that we have the backs of those who take risk to do the right thing even in the face of insurmountable odds.
8:00 AM Daily
West Roxbury District Court
445 Arborway
Jamaica Plain, MA


Ceremonial Stone Landscape Speaking Tour

Doug Harris, Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office, will be coming to a town near you in April or May to present his talk - Let the Landscape Speak.

The Indigenous Ceremonial Stone Landscape surrounds us in New England, often hidden in plain sight in the forests and fields. Most people who come across enigmatic stone structures don't know that some are remnants of a network built by Indigenous Americans for ceremonial and other purposes. Doug Harris, Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office, has been Tribally certified in the identification of ceremonial stone features for 16 years. He will present an illustrated talk showing various types of Indigenous ceremonial stone features. Ample time will be provided for questions about structures audience members know of. The event is accessible to children 12yrs+ and adults.

Most of these presentations are supported by grants from Municipal Local Cultural Councils, local agencies which are support by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Speaking Schedule:

» Facebook page

Fracking causes extensive environmental, health, safety harms, new study warns

By Dana Drugmand, Berkshire Eagle
March 16, 2018

In December, acclaimed biologist and anti-fracking activist Sandra Steingraber visited the Berkshires and spoke about the health and climate impacts of fracked gas and pipelines. Now, Steingraber and other health professionals have issued a stark warning that unconventional oil and gas drilling is causing serious health and safety hazards.
On Tuesday (March 13), the Concerned Health Professionals of New York and the Physicians for Social Responsibility released a comprehensive assessment of the risks associated with natural gas infrastructure and hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”
According to the “Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking, Fifth Edition,” fracking “poses significant threats to air, water, health, public safety, climate stability, seismic stability, community cohesion, and long-term economic vitality.” The report compiles over 1,300 scientific studies as well as investigative research from journalists and government agencies, providing brief summaries of the findings. Among the harms detailed are air and water pollution, public health effects and safety hazards, noise and light pollution, earthquakes, radioactive releases, exacerbation of climate change, threats to agriculture and soil quality, risks from fracking infrastructure, etc.

» Read the Full Story

» Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking, Fifth Edition
New Report on Green Municipal Aggregation (GMA) in Massachusetts

Municipal Aggregation is easier than it sounds. Mass Energy’s new paper explains the nuts and bolts of this bulk purchase of electricity and ways in which several Massachusetts communities are using the GMA model we helped to design to drive demand for new renewables while reducing their own carbon footprints.

Join Mass Energy Consumers Alliance for a lunchtime webinar on Monday, March 26th at noon! Mass Energy staff will guide you through the key findings of the GMA report and add detail to the topics you are most interested in. See you there!
Register for the Webinar
MLPs Plunge On FERC Proposal To Bar 'Double Recovery' Of Tax Costs

by Christopher Helman, Forbes
March 15, 2018

President Trump's tariffs on imported steel were the first bit of bad news for investors in America's pipeline infrastructure. A worse surprise came today, sending MLP investors into a panic.

The huge moves are the result of this staff presentation today by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which signals dramatic changes ahead in how MLPs are allowed to account for income taxes.

Master Limited Partnerships are pass-through entities -- distributing pre-tax income to unit holders, who then are responsible for paying taxes on it according to their individual situations. For more than a decade MLPs have been able, in the FERC's words, "to recover an income tax allowance in their cost of service" -- effectively boosting the amount of pre-tax income to be passed through.

That perk is likely over, due to a D.C. circuit court decision in United Airlines vs. FERC, which found a pipeline operator to be enjoying a "double recovery" of income tax costs, vacated FERC's orders and remanded the issue back to the commission.

Read the full story

See many more Upcoming Events on our  Events Page
Employment Opportunity

Moving Beyond Fossil Fuels Campaign Associate
Part-time Temporary Position with No Fracked Gas in Mass – A Program of Berkshire Environmental Action Team
» More information

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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.