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BEACON HILL HAPPENINGS
– Another Clean Energy Hearing Scheduled for September 24th: The Joint Energy Committee will hold its first fall hearing this coming Tuesday (Sept 24th) at 1 pm in Statehouse Room 437. The committee will hear testimony on 28 bills focused on ‘Renewables & Grid Modernization.’ These include offshore wind bills from Rep Rogers (H.2920) & Sen Pacheco (S.2010), some focusing on RPS expansion like Rep Elugardo’s (H.2851), and a wonky (but much needed) effort from Rep Benson to spur state-wide grid modernization (H.2808). Pacheco’s so-called ‘clean energy omnibus bill’ from last session is also back. This time its a stand-alone bill (S.2005), with a House-sponsored version from Rep Balser (H.2802).
– Activists Prepare for Friday’s Boston Climate Strike: The strike begins at 10 am on Friday, September 20th with community events at Boston’s City Hall Plaza, followed by a rally that starts at 11:30 am. Later on, starting at 1 pm, activists will march to the State House and perform an ‘action’ that will emphasize their support for environmental justice, climate action, and the other strike demands. The specifics of the action have not yet been announced. Get more info on the strike, and updates at their website here.
Boston’s is part of a larger nationwide strike meant to draw attention to the need for bold climate action ahead of the UN Youth Climate Summit on Sept. 21st and the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23rd in New York City. In the state Boston isn’t alone in hosting a strike: Worcester’s will start at 9:30 am, with folks meeting at Clark University’s Red Square and marching to a rally at Worcester City Hall.
– EV’s, Green Communities Programs Targeted in Gov’s Supplemental Budget: Governor Baker’s latest supplemental budget includes a compromise that extends MOR-EV, the state’s popular (and successful) electric vehicles program which is set to expire at the end of the month. The plan (in “Outside Section 36”) would temporarily reallocate $64M of RGGI dollars over 2 years to support both the Green Communities Program (which is chronically underfunded) and MOR-EV programs.
Past attempts to reallocate RGGI dollars was met with opposition from advocates, but this one has largely balanced their concerns. As Eugenia Gibbons, Policy Director at Green Energy Consumers Alliance, puts it, “The proposal reflected in Section 36 isn’t perfect, but it does represent a compromise that will help to meet an immediate need while enabling decision-makers and advocates to collaborate in developing a long term solution.” The supplemental budget, along with Section 36, must now get approval from both House and Senate leaders.
– “Massachusetts Catholic leaders call for climate change action” (the Associated Press, via Crux): “The leaders of the four Catholic dioceses in Massachusetts are calling on the faithful to address climate change.”
– “Proposed state law would put solar panels on new homes, commercial buildings” (Cesareo Contreras , Daily News Staff): “Legislators filed joint bills in the Senate and the House that if passed would require nearly every new commercial and residential building to be outfitted with solar panels.”
ALL POLICY IS LOCAL
– “Why young people are striking Friday: ‘I won’t go to school and act like everything is normal’” (Greta Jochem, Daily Hampshire Gazette): “On Friday, many students will skip school for a trip to Boston — but it’s not for fun. The students, along with many adults, will attend the youth-led Boston Climate Strike to demand action on climate change. The strike includes a rally at City Hall plaza and a march to the State House. Similar events are planned all around the world for Friday.”
– “‘We don’t want to wait until 2049’: Northampton works toward carbon-neutral goal” (Greta Jochem, Daily Hampshire Gazette): “In January 2018, the City Council passed a resolution with the goal of making the city carbon-neutral by 2050. How does that happen exactly? That’s a question that the city’s developing Climate Resilience and Regeneration Plan is trying to answer.”
– “Forum in Burlington to tackle climate change crisis” (John Laidler, Boston Globe): “Area residents have an opportunity to learn more about the climate change crisis and how they can help in the fight for solutions to it at a forum at the Burlington Public Library on Tuesday, Sept. 24.”
– “Amherst continues push toward reducing emissions” (Scott Merzbach, Daily Hampshire Gazette): “Often at the forefront of sustainability, Amherst is now embarking on its latest effort to develop a comprehensive plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the community and preparing to confront the effects of climate change.”
– “Moving Forward: Our next steps” by Executive Director Michael Green, via Climate XChange.
– “The Injustice Of Climate Change” by Roseann Bongiovanni and John Walkey, via WBUR’s Cognoscenti.
– “One word makes a difference in climate change discussion” by Greta Jochem, via the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
– “The climate crisis is a feminist issue” by Carrie N. Baker, via the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
– “Older generations broke the climate. It’s up to young people to fix it” by Varshini Prakash, via the Boston Globe.
– “Planning for a zero carbon and climate resilient future” by Ezra Small, via the Massachusetts Daily Collegian.
OUR LOCAL ENVIRONMENT
– “Climate Matters: How New England is being impacted by our changing climate” (Boston 25 News): “The world around us is changing fast as the environment’s delicate balance is facing unprecedented challenges from climate change.“Here in the Boston area, we’re just coming off our warmest July on record and that actually mirrors what we’re seeing around the globe…””
– “Climate XChange Submits Comments to Improve TCI Forecasts” (Marc Breslow, Climate XChange): “Climate XChange submitted a set of technical comments to the TCI modelers, intended to get forecast runs that will give us accurate information on what TCI can accomplish in the region. ”
THE GREEN ECONOMY, STUPID
– “To Combat Climate Change, Do We Need The Nuclear Option?” (Bruce Gellerman, WBUR Earthwhile): “For all its problems — radioactive waste, plant safety and cost — Pilgrim produced most of the carbon-free electricity generated in Massachusetts. It was more than solar, wind and hydroelectric combined.”
– “How A New Housing Development In East Boston Is Preparing For Climate Change” (Zoë Mitchell, WBUR’s Earthwhile): “Boston’s sea level could rise 19 inches over 1992 levels by the year 2050, according to one scientific projection.,, A new luxury and mixed-used development in East Boston, called Clippership Wharf, is prepared. The complex was built to anticipate expected sea level rise in the city.”
– “What’s Behind the World’s Biggest Climate Victory? Capitalism” (Lynn Doan, Brian Eckhouse, Christopher Cannon and Hannah Recht, Bloomberg News): “The market triumph of renewable energy marks the biggest victory yet in the fight against global warming… An industry that once relied on heavy subsidies and was propped up by government mandates is now increasingly standing on its own.”
– “The next target in the climate-change debate: your gas stove” (Valerie Volcovici & Nichola Groom, Reuters): “Dozens of cities in liberal-leaning states such as California, Washington, and Massachusetts are studying proposals to ban or limit the use of natural gas in commercial and residential buildings. The movement opens a new front in the fight against climate change that could affect everything from heating systems in skyscrapers to stoves in suburban homes.”
– “Where 2020 Democrats Stand on Carbon Pricing [Updated for the 3rd Debate]” (Tim Cronin, Climate XChange): “With the 2020 Democratic primary campaigns in full swing, we’ve compiled the candidates’ stances on carbon pricing.”
– “Ed Markey could get a boost from young climate change activists in a primary against Joe Kennedy” (Jazmine Ulloa, Boston Globe): “Senator Ed Markey stood in front of the US Capitol on Tuesday surrounded by about 20 climate change activists young enough to be on a school field trip but who are energizing a movement that potentially holds the key to his reelection.”
– “Environment Massachusetts and Environment America endorse U.S. Sen. Ed Markey for Re-Election” (Cape Cod Today Staff): “Environment Massachusetts and Environment America officially announced their support today for U.S. Sen. Ed Markey’s re-election campaign.”
– “We Need More Than Campaign Slogans To Decarbonize The U.S.” (Philip Warburg, WBUR): “proposing bold timelines for ridding our nation of fossil fuels. Two much-touted means of getting there are wind and solar energy, but a sober look reveals a long road ahead in adopting these zero-emission technologies.”
– “2020 GOP Candidate Bill Weld Supports Carbon Pricing, Paris Climate Accord” (Annie Ropeik, New Hampshire Public Radio): “Republican presidential candidate Bill Weld laid out his climate change platform in New Hampshire this weekend, joining several Democrats who did the same in recent weeks.”
– “MSNBC’s Ali Velshi on why cable news is suddenly talking so much about climate change” (Umair Irfan, Vox): “MSNBC is hosting a televised climate change forum this week with 12 candidates running for president in 2020. The event is split across September 19 and September 20.”
TRANSIT EMISSIONS MATTER
– “Trump Rollback Of California Car Emissions Waiver Will Hit Massachusetts” ( Craig LeMoult, WGBH): “President Trump’s decision to revoke a waiver that allowed California to set its own, stricter standard for car emissions drastically impacts the ability of New England states to regulate greenhouse gases.”
BEYOND THE BAY STATE
– “How Big Oil Blocked the Nation’s Greenest Governor on Climate Change” (Marianne Lavelle, InsideClimate News): “Publicly, BP supported carbon pricing. Behind the scenes, it extracted concessions from Gov. Jay Inslee, then dropped its support last minute, emails show.”
GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE
– “Former EPA Head To Young Climate Activists: Drive Your Parents Crazy” (Miriam Wasser, WBUR): “Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy sat down with two young Boston-area climate leaders — 17-year-old Saya Ameli Hajebi and 18-year-old Audrey Lin — to talk about what drives them and the challenges they face.”
Missed the last CXC Roundup? Here are the top climate headlines from last week:
- “The Busy Advocate’s Guide to CNN’s Climate Town Hall: Our Top 6 Takeaways”
- “Offshore wind delays highlight increasing challenge to Massachusetts’ climate goals”