June 5th Roundup: Brookline Moves to Restrict Natural Gas, Again

[Not a subscriber? Sign up here]


– New Report: Connecting Climate and Community Priorities (Christian Morris): A second new report from Climate XChange, this time co-authored by Fairmount-Indigo CDC Collaborative, seeks to understand how green investments in Massachusetts can best support and align with the needs and priorities of frontline communities. The report — Investing in a Better Massachusetts: Conversations with Frontline Organizations on Connecting Climate and Community Priorities — focuses on conversations with individuals from organizations working in communities of color and low-income communities, labor unions, women-led organizations, local colleges, and organizations representing communities affected by sea-level rise. The result was a set of recommendations for investments in four sectors: job creation, housing, design and process, and infrastructure. The research details the priorities made clear through these conversations and provides a roadmap for how investment strategies moving forward can be guided with justice and equity in mind. [Read the full report here]

– Brookline again moves to restrict new fossil fuel use, this time hoping to sidestep legal objections (Tim Cronin): This week (6/2) members of Brookline’s Town Meeting overwhelmingly (with over 97% support) passed two local ordinances designed to reduce the use of fossil fuels like natural gas in new construction. At Town Meeting in 2019, Brookline attempted to ban natural gas in new construction. That 2019 ordinance was declared illegal by Attorney General Healey under state law at the time.

The new attempt received praise from Representative Vitolo, a state lawmaker who represents Brookline, who said, “an exciting and novel use of zoning special permits to restrict the construction of fossil fuel infra[structure] within residential and commercial buildings.” According to WBUR’s Bruce Gellerman, “Instead of a ban, the proposals require that people applying for special construction permits agree to go fossil-free in exchange for permit approval.”

The ordinances now head to the Attorney General’s office for review before going into effect. They have up to 180 days to review and make a final decision.

– “Baker-Polito Administration announce new $2.1 million funding to reduce air pollution” (Sofía Hernández Carrillo, WWLP): [read the article]


– “The municipal solution to climate change”  by Larry Chretien, via Commonwealth Magazine.

– “A Call for Environmental Justice for All” by Meredith Berg, via Tufts Now.


– “This Year’s Haul From Cape Cod Bay: 13 Tons Of Lost Fishing Gear” (Barbara Moran, Earthwhile): [read the article]

– “DEP chief sees need for broader monitoring of PFAS” (Chris Lisinski, SHNS via WWLP): [read the article]

– “Tarr seeks more whale patrols to reduce entanglements” (Christian M. Wade, Newburyport News): [read the article]

– “Cranberry farmers look to sweeten income by pairing crop with solar panels” (Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network): [read the article]


– “Ed Markey tours labs in Billerica and Chelmsford to praise PPP and tout climate work in Massachusetts” (Stefan Geller, Lowell Sun): [read the article]


– “Could batteries replace a proposed peaker plant in Massachusetts?” (Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network): [read the article]


– “A Boston Harbor coastal resiliency system? ‘Layered defense’” (Bill Golden, Boston Globe): [read the article]


– “Study blames climate change for 37% of global heat deaths” (Seth Borenstein, AP): [read the article]


– “Mayflower Wind strikes Brayton Point deal” (Bruce Mohl, Commonwealth Magazine): [read the article]


– “SCPN Spotlight: Abbie Corse on Centering Land, People, and Lived Experience in Agriculture” (Greg Casto, Climate XChange): [read the interview]

–”Hope Clark on Working For A Sustainable Future” (Hope Clark, Climate XChange): [read the interview]


– Carrie Katan named Massachusetts Organizer for Climate XChange. Carrie previously worked in a variety of political and advocacy organizer positions, including at the Progressive Turnout Project and Friends of the Earth Massachusetts.

– Kyle Murray begins new role as Massachusetts Senior Policy Advocate for Acadia Center. Kyle previously worked as Legislative Director and Counsel for Senator Marc Pacheco.


– WEBINAR: Federal Climate Action’s Impact on States (Climate XChange): [register]


Missed the last CXC Roundup? Here are the top three climate headlines from the previous weeks:

  1. “Report: Green investments create up to 80% more jobs for Massachusetts”
  2. “Senate FY22 budget includes funding for new climate law implementation”
  3. “Energy company reports natural gas release at Weymouth compressor site”

Read the full Roundup here from May 29th, 2021 here.

FOR MORE CONTENT from us subscribe to the Climate XChange Newsletter (Fridays, weekly) and check out the fourth season of the Cooler Earth Podcast.

Featured Image: Photo by Kwon Junho via Unsplash