January 26, 2017

FERC issues Certificate for Spectra's Atlantic Bridge expansion project in Eastern Mass.

On January 25th, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a
certificate of public convenience and necessity for Spectra’s Atlantic
Bridge pipeline expansion project, clearing the way for the project to
move forward. This project includes a compressor station in Weymouth,
Massachusetts. The Baker administration still needs to provide state
permits, including  a Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management (CZM)
decision for the Weymouth Compressor Station.

Community leader from Fore River Residents Against the Compressor
Station, Alice Arena in Weymouth responded:

“The Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station are most
disappointed in the issuance of the conditional FERC certificate for the
gas compressor station in Weymouth as part of the Atlantic Bridge
project.  We were stunned at the issuance as the project was not on
FERC's official agenda for today's meeting.”

“We call on Governor Baker to finally do the right thing by the people
of Weymouth and ask that he support our fight against the placement of
this hazardous, polluting compressor in a densely populated,
environmental justice area. Governor Baker must stand with local
residents concerned that this dangerous federal approval will send gas
overseas at the expense of the health, safety, environment, and economic
prosperity of the people in the Fore River Basin and in the State as a
whole. We ask Governor Baker to not follow the lead of President Trump
in his march toward environmental destruction and climate catastrophe.”

We need you to let Governor Baker know that this is unacceptable and that we need his support to stop this unnecessary and dangerous infrastructure. Would you commit to making a call today.  Below is a sample script that you might use. Of course, you are free to say what you are feeling in regards to this, but be sure to ask the Governor for his support.  

The number for the Governor's office is 617-725-4005.  If you would like to share your experience with organizers, send an email to nocompressor@gmail.com.

Stop Weymouth Compressor (Spectra’s Atlantic Bridge expansion) Call-In Day:

Call script:

Hi, my name is __________ and I would like to speak with you about the compressor station proposed for Weymouth, MA.

I’m a resident of ________ and I am concerned about the proposed Atlantic Bridge pipeline expansion that would require a compressor station to be built in Weymouth.
The compressor station, which just received a conditional federal certificate, still needs a permit from the state’s Office of Coastal Zone Management.

Governor Baker needs to show that, unlike President Trump’s reckless promotion of fossil fuel pipelines, he respects local residents’ rights, safety, and concerns about contamination of the Fore River Basin by urging the Office of Coastal Zone Management to deny its permit to the compressor station.

I want Governor Baker to make the right choice to protect the rights of local citizens from this dangerous federal decision.

Thank you for your time.

Five tips for a making a great call:
● Speak clearly and with confidence, you want to grab their attention.
● Practice the script a few times before calling to feel comfortable with what you will say.
● Call from somewhere with little background noise or feedback, and good reception.
● Emphasize whether you are a Massachusetts resident or live along the pipeline route, either way, your opinion holds value!
● Be polite throughout the conversation, regardless of their tone. Make sure to thank them before ending the call.
Hearing: Otis State Forest Settlement
There will be a hearing in Pittsfield on the proposed settlement agreement on Otis State Forest eminent domain takings of the easements and the negotiated compensation package. 

There will be a stand-out rally beforehand as well.

February 6th, 2017

Stand-Out in Opposition to the OSF Settlement

Sidewalks around Park Square area
(See maps for acceptable protest locations and parking)

2:00 pm
Court Hearing

Berkshire County Superior Court
76 East Street
Pittsfield, MA
(See courtroom rules)

Comment period now established for a
portion of the Comprehensive Energy Strategy - Reducing Energy Use in State Facilities

DEEP Notice of Public Informational Meeting and Opportunity for Public Comments (Leading by Example: Reducing Energy Use in State Facilities). Urging the state to leave fossil fuel / natural gas off the table in the new Comprehensive Energy Strategy could eliminate the "need" for the Connecticut Expansion pipeline.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection issued the attached Notice of Public Informational Meeting and Opportunity for Public Comments regarding the draft report on the status of Leading by Example: Reducing Energy Use in State Facilities. Please note that pre‑registration is required. 

» More details are in this Notice

» Please continue to comment on TGP's plans for dealing with Ceremonial Stone Landscapes on the Connecticut Expansion route.


Proposed legislation to clarify authority and responsibilities of the DPU could help prevent fossil fuel infrastructure overbuild.

Last Friday, Rep. Kulik and Senator Eldridge filed House and Senate bills HD3204 and SD1727 (text available here) aimed primarily at strengthening our ability to prevent the overbuild of natural gas infrastructure.  Co-sponsors are critical to give the bill traction.  The deadline for co-sponsors on the House side is February 3rd (senators can sign on later, but the sooner the better for momentum's sake).  

Please reach out to ask your legislators to co-sign (and feel free to send along the attached summary).  For those of you in Minority Leader Jones' district, please also thank him for co-sponsoring last week's State House briefing on gas infrastructure (together with Rep. Kulik - who of course, like Senator Eldridge, can be thanked for filing the bill! Rep. Howitt co-sponsored on Friday).  Please also spread this message among local groups and others who may be interested.  Thank you!

HD3204/SD1727, An act clarifying authority and responsibilities of the Department of Public Utilities, seeks to enhance the review of pipeline capacity contracts and address other needed reforms identified over the course of previous and ongoing proceedings related to gas infrastructure projects. 

This bill would accomplish the following:

-Allow for more involvement from impacted communities and ratepayers
in DPU proceedings, by strengthening intervention rights;
- Protect ratepayers against self-dealing by energy conglomerates;
- Require review of siting impacts and detailed alternative analysis in contract approval cases, including protections to conservation lands;
- Prohibit a “pipeline tax” on electric ratepayers, codifying the August 2016
ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court;
- Allow state agencies to require a hearing to evaluate demand for gas
in intrastate gas infrastructure siting cases; and
- Protect landowners from intrusion by pipeline companies, preventing the
DPU from granting a pipeline company access to property (over landowner
denial of access) before the company has obtained a certificate of necessity
for the project.  


Trump signs executive actions to advance Keystone, Dakota Access pipelines

By Andrew Restuccia and Josh Dawsey, Politico.com
January 24, 2017

President Donald Trump signed executive actions on Tuesday to advance the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, reversing decisions made by the Obama administration and setting off a clash with Democrats and environmental activists who vehemently oppose the projects.

Trump said that approving the cross-border oil line would be “subject to a renegotiation of terms by us,” and though his administration did not make the text of the orders immediately available, his comments suggest that he plans to revive his campaign-trail bid to claim “a piece of the profits” from the pipeline for U.S. taxpayers — a legally and politically risky proposal.

» Read full article and see video of signing and statement
Trump names LaFleur as acting chair of FERC

by Robert Walton, Utility Dive
January 24, 2017

Dive Brief:
• President Donald Trump named Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur as acting chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today, replacing Commissioner Norman Bay as the agency's head.
• While all current FERC members are Democrats, Bloomberg reports LaFleur is seen as more sympathetic to the industry. She previously served as executive vice president and acting CEO of National Grid USA.
• LaFleur is expected to serve as chair until Republicans can be nominated to the commission, Greenwire reports. There are currently three sitting regulators and two vacancies on the five-person commission.

Featured Events
Many more online! Keep up with the latest on our Events Page

Forum: Climate Action in a Time of Crisis. Featured will be representatives from the Massachusetts legislature, climate scientists and activists to discuss the problem and an action plan that will protect our earth from climate destruction. The forum will be one step in forming our segment of the massive movement that will be necessary to protect our earth and the generations to come.
For those of us who are working to fight climate change, if the cabinet choices are any indication of its direction, the effect of the new administration could be catastrophic. We are on the verge of a meteorologic crisis, with elevated temperatures provoking “tipping points” in further emissions and warming that can no longer be stopped by human intervention. Failure to address the climate crisis is creating a political crisis. It will take a smart and thoughtful movement of ALL of us, using every tool available, to accomplish the necessary economic and structural changes our country needs.
3 PM - 6 PM
First Churches of Northampton
129 Main St.
Northampton, MA

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We're fighting the CT Expansion pipeline and AIM, Access Northeast and others, keeping an eye out for possible resurrection of NED or another new projects. We're also working with PLAN-NE, Mass Power Forward and other organizations to help ensure bold steps away from fossil fuel dependency continue and grow!

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.