We’ve Got a Date with the Governor

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After eight long months of calls, letters and actions, we have finally confirmed our meeting with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick! We’ll be sitting down with the Governor on May 2nd at 9am to discuss the Climate Legacy platform.

Take a minute to call the Governor’s office (617.725.4005) and thank him for agreeing to meet with 350 Massachusetts / Better Future Project and Students for a Just and Stable Future — then fill out the form here. This is a huge step forward, so congratulations to everyone who has been part of this campaign!

 

Youth Walkout for Climate Justice

1402218_10152278072578699_1160868468_o (1) On March 31st, hundreds of youth from across Massachusetts will walk out of classes and take time away from jobs to converge on the Statehouse, where they will call for Governor Deval Patrick to ban new fossil fuel infrastructure. For months, Better Future Project and our volunteer-led climate action network, 350 Massachusetts, have been calling on Governor Patrick to “build only the best” and meet all new energy demand through renewables and energy efficiency. Now, there’s a chance that Governor Patrick may be considering a ban. This could be a critical turning point in our campaign!

If you’re a current student or young person, sign up here to participate in the walk-out, which is being organized by Students for a Just and Stable Future. Community members of all ages are invited to join for the rally. More information is available on the Facebook page.

Divestment Bill Gets Extension

On Wednesday, March 19th, the Joint Committee on Public Service voted to extend the time period for consideration of S. 1225, the fossil fuel divestment bill, until June 30th at the latest. 
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We consider it a victory that the bill did not get an unfavorable report or get sent to “study”, which would have essentially killed the bill. The extension keeps the bill alive and well — and gives us additional time to continue growing the divestment movement around the state. 

One reason that the bill was given an extension is because the Pension Reserves Investments Board wants to tweak some of the language. This means that PRIM is taking the bill seriously — a great sign!

The bill can be acted on before June 30 and we will push to do that. Volunteers in every part of Massachusetts have been dedicating long hours to organizing their communities around divestment, and it’s paying off. We’ve had legislators from all over the state endorse the bill. Thirty faith leaders just signed a letter of support, and the Mayors of Medford and Somerville are spearheading an effort to build support among Mayors.

We’ll keep working to make Massachusetts the first state in the nation to divest from fossil fuels. Stay tuned for updates!

Climate Action University Teach In

Lesley University Brattle CampusOn March 22nd, 350MA will hold its first Climate Action University (CAU) Teach-In. 350MA is Better Future Project’s volunteer-led climate action network, and CAU is a new 350MA program dedicated to educating and engaging people in climate action. All 350MAers are encouraged to attend CAU Teach-In AND to invite others who are not yet engaged in the climate movement. Do invite your friends, relatives, neighbors, and colleagues!

The CAU Teach-in will be on Saturday, March 22nd at Lesley University’s Brattle Campus at 89 Brattle Street in Cambridge, near Harvard Square. As you can see in this program overview, it will be a full day, with beginner and advanced sessions with speakers, trainings, and information sessions. Topics range from the basics of climate science to how to be a media coordinator in your node. Spots are limited and going quickly. Register for the CAU Teach-In here!

Divestment Rally and Lobby Day

1977470_588656521222679_652591070_nAs part of 350MA’s Statewide Divestment Campaign, approximately 200 activists rallied at the Massachusetts State House on Wednesday February 26th to gain support for proposed legislation S.1225. Following the rally, the activists entered the state house and visited the offices of over 100 legislators.

Massachusetts’ Pension Reserves Investment Trust  invests approximately 2.5 percent of its funds in fossil companies. S-1225, would demand the removal of that stock and prohibit future investments in those companies.

Massachusetts was the first state to pull its pension fund from apartheid South Africa 30 years ago, and the Commonwealth has the ability to be the first again!

 

No more gas plants. No more pipelines. No more compromises.

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.

February 8, 2014 - Climate Legacy Campaign action in Salem, MA

February 8, 2014 – Climate Legacy Campaign action in Salem, MA

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.

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