On February 8th, over 400 of us rallied in Salem against Footprint Power’s proposal to build a new natural gas plant in Massachusetts on the site of a retiring coal-fired power plant. This action added urgency and power to the lawsuits filed by our partner, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), on behalf of 10 residents and citizen groups including Better Future Project.
We now know how seriously Footprint takes our opposition because yesterday, CLF announced that they have reached a settlement with Footprint Power and Governor Patrick’s administration. Footprint made some major concessions, agreeing to shut down the proposed new natural gas plant by 2050 and committing to emissions reduction targets.
Footprint’s concessions prove our power, but this settlement is not enough. While CLF did the best they could in this situation, the honest truth is that our legal system is not yet able to effectively respond to the scale and urgency of the climate crisis. That’s why we opted out of the settlement.
It’s time for us to draw the line. Governor Patrick has the power to implement a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure, and we will not back down until he does so. This settlement is testament to the fact that our tactics are working, we need to continue that work, and the writing is on the wall for fossil fuels. Legal advocacy and grassroots community organizing forced major concessions from Footprint Energy, including an early shut-down date and new barriers to deter future fossil fuel plants. We will continue to fight in the courts and in the streets because any new fossil fuel infrastructure in the state is an intolerable threat to the health and well-being of our communities and our future. We plan to redouble our efforts to make sure this gas plant is never built. In fact, Grassroots Against Another Salem Power Plant (GASPP) has already responded to the settlement by launching a pledge of resistance to prevent the construction of the plant through non-violent civil disobedience if necessary. Learn more about the pledge of resistance here.
No more gas plants. No more pipelines. No more compromises.