BEACON HILL HAPPENINGS
– 18 state groups ask House leadership to advance Meschino Roadmap bill: A coalition of eighteen climate and environmental organizations, including 350 Massachusetts, ELM, the Trustees of Reservations, and the Climate Action Business Association, asked House leadership to advance the 2050 Roadmap bill (H.3983). Filed by Rep. Meschino, the 2050 Roadmap commits the state to net zero emissions by 2050, requires more robust climate data reporting, and forces “purposeful inclusion” of environmental justice communities into emissions reductions policymaking. The bill is currently the only major climate bill before the powerful House Ways & Means Committee, and has seen support from members of both the House progressive caucus and House leadership.
– Youth climate coalition holds virtual lobby week this week: The Massachusetts Youth Climate Coalition (MYCC), a group founded in 2020 and co-hosted by Our Climate and Boston Climate Strike, is meeting this week with lawmakers to push for legislation to achieve 100% renewable energy (H.2836), carbon pricing (H.2810), and a series of climate justice and labor bills [see the full list of policy demands here]. In a statement to the Round, MYCC co-lead Eben Bein said 63 youth activists are participating in about 30 lobby meetings, including ones with Sen. Barrett and Rep. Golden. Meetings will occur between yesterday (5/27) and Friday (5/29).
– Grassroots activists push paid media in support of carbon pricing: A “grassroots group of Massachusetts constituents” is pushing members of the House energy committee (i.e. TUE) and House leaders to pass former Representative Jen Benson’s carbon pricing bill (H.2810). Although not affiliated with any specific environmental organization, the group has paid for a website, as well as advertisements in the MASSterlist newsletter and on a local radio station in House TUE Chair Golden’s district. The website (GreenMoneyMA.com) includes a petition and scripts for making phone calls to members of the TUE committee.
– Massachusetts legislators call on Liberty Mutual to cut ties with fossil fuels: In an open letter released yesterday (5/27) to Liberty Mutual CEO David Long, a group of 38 state senators and representatives called on the Boston-based insurance company to address its role in driving climate change and cut ties with fossil fuel projects and companies. The letter was championed by State Senator Jamie Eldridge and State Representative Dylan Fernandes. Read the full letter here.
– Climate activists plan day-of-action ahead of key bill deadline: Mass Power Forward, a progressive coalition of environmental groups, is planning an “all-hands-on-deck day of action” on June 3rd ahead of the June 4th deadline facing climate bills that still need to be reported out of committee. The top two bills the group is hoping to see reported out of committee are a 100% renewable energy bill (S.1958/H.2836) and House carbon pricing legislation (H.2810). Mass Power Forward is also planning a Remote Lobby Day focused on pushing for climate action this session, which is expected to be on June 12th.
– For the most up-to-date info on COVID-19 & Beacon Hill…..
- The State House News Service coronavirus updates tracker” see the latest updates here.
- MassTrac COVID-19 bill tracker: Check it out, and follow updates, here.
ALL POLICY IS LOCAL
– Webinar to feature a Congressman, State House energy chair, & local leader: ELM, a Massachusetts focused environmental group, is hosting a panel of three legislators representing citizens of MA at different jurisdictions. The panel will include U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern, House Energy Committee Chair & State Representative Tom Golden, and Quincy City Councilor Nina Liang. Learn more & register here.
– HEET releases updated community gas leaks maps: The nonprofit HEET has created a new interactive map showing where gas leaks and repaired gas leaks are located in over 300 municipalities across the state. According to a press release, this year HEET overhauled its mapping process to make maps more shareable and increase the accuracy of gas leak data.
CLIMATE ACTION FEATURE
– “Researcher at UMass Boston awarded $100,000 leadership prize” (Caroline Enos, Boston Globe): “A UMass Boston researcher who works to protect marginalized communities from being disproportionately affected by climate change has been awarded a $100,000 prize to advance her work. Rebecca Herst, director of the Sustainable Solutions Lab at UMass Boston, has received the 2020 Zuckerberg Endowed Leadership Prize, the University of Massachusetts said Tuesday.”
TRANSIT EMISSIONS MATTER
– New study hints to post-COVID shift from public transit to cars: A new study out yesterday (5/27) from MassINC Polling Group (and funded by the Barr Foundation) shows a shift in commuter attitudes away from taking low-emission public transit, and towards commuting via car into Boston (since the pandemic started). On top of that, 41% of employed people in Massachusetts say they want to work from home in the future. See the full polling results here.
THE GREEN ECONOMY, STUPID
– “Massachusetts Loses 17,000 Clean Energy Jobs In March And April” (Bruce Gellerman & Bob Oakes, WBUR): [read the article]
– MassCEC launches ‘Clean Energy Lives Here’ campaign: The MassCEC, a quasi-governmental agency focused on promoting clean energy, launched a new public awareness campaign called ‘Clean Energy Lives Here.’ Its goal is to educate Massachusetts residents about reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their homes. The campaign encourages individuals to pledge to replace their heating systems, appliances, and transportation with lower-emissions technologies over time. Learn more here.
GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE
– “Nuclear Fusion Startup Gets $84 Million to Enter Next Phase” (Akshat Rathi, Bloomberg Green): [read the article]
– “Biden vs. Trump: Where the 2020 Candidates Stand on Climate Issues” (Tim Cronin, Climate XChange): [read the article]
– Environmental League announces congressional candidate forum series: ELM announced yesterday (5/27) a series of virtual forums for candidates running in the vacant MA 4th Congressional District. Divided among three one-hour Zoom sessions, the 11 candidates will “respond to crucial questions on environmental and energy policy.” Learn more & RSVP here.
BEYOND THE BAY STATE
– “Quinault Nation Looks to Carbon Pricing to Preserve Cultural Ties and Adapt to Climate Impacts” (Carlie Clarq, Climate XChange): [read the article]
– “‘An exciting milestone’: North Carolina takes first step on offshore wind study” (Elizabeth Ouzts, Energy News Network): [read the article]
– Casey Bowers has been promoted to Assistant Vice President of Government Affairs for the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM). She previously worked as ELM’s Legislative Director.
Missed the last CXC Roundup? Here are the top three climate headlines from last week:
- Lawmakers face June climate bill deadline“
- The most important thing an individual can do, is be a little less of an individual”
- “Tree Deaths in Urban Settings Are Linked to Leaks from Natural Gas Pipelines Below Streets”