Hundreds of People Pack the State House for Energy Hearing

unnamed_(2).pngOn September 29, hundreds of people rallied on the State House steps and then filled Gardner Auditorium for a critical hearing on energy policy. The turn-out at the hearing and the rally was noticed by press and politicians -- thank you to everyone who was there! The hearing went incredibly long; if you didn't get a chance to speak, you can submit your testimony by sending it to Andrew Gordon, andrew@betterfutureproject.org. Sample testimony is here!

Lawmakers are currently considering legislation that would affect solar, wind, gas pipelines, and almost every other component of Massachusetts energy policy. As the hearing made clear, there's lots of excitement in the legislature about solar and offshore wind -- but also plenty of support for new gas pipelines. We'll keep working with the Mass Power Forward coalition to call for legislation that promotes clean energy instead of new fossil fuel infrastructure. Stay tuned for updates! Interested in getting more involved? Contact Marlon Washington, marlon@betterfutureproject.org.

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Gov. Baker Moves Forward with Gas Tariff

unnamed_(3).pngThe Baker administration is starting to move forward with a "gas tariff", a new policy that would add a charge to consumers' electricity bills to pay for new gas pipelines. It's outrageous -- Massachusetts residents and businesses should not be forced to pay for dangerous and unnecessary new gas pipelines that will primarily benefit out-of-state fossil fuel companies.

The 350 Mass ReNEWable team is working to figure out the best way to keep pressure on Governor Baker and stop the gas tariff from being implemented. Stay tuned! Interested in getting more involved? Contact Marlon Washington, marlon@betterfutureproject.org.

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Sept. 29 Could Determine the Future of Energy in Massachusetts

speak_truth_to_power_5.jpgOur state legislators are about to make a series of monumental decisions about energy policy -- the kind of decisions that come only once every few decades. Legislators are considering new legislation to support solar and wind, they're debating new transmission lines and gas pipelines, and they're preparing to spend billions of dollars replacing aging energy infrastructure. 

On September 29, lawmakers are holding a crucial hearing about Massachusetts energy policy, including solar, offshore wind, hydropower, and new gas pipelines. 

This hearing covers a much, much bigger array of topics than normal hearings, and we're working with our allies in the Mass Power Forward coalition to make sure we pack the room. The choices that legislators make after September 29 will determine where we get our energy for many years to come. The stakes have never been higher: we need you there to speak truth to power.

WHAT: Legislative Hearing on Solar, Wind, Hydro and Gas
WHEN: Tue, September 29, 12pm – 5pm 
We're joining the rest of the Mass Power Forward coalition for a rally at noon outside the State House. The hearing itself starts at 1 pm in Gardner Auditorium. Note that you don't have to stay the whole time! 
WHERE: Gardner Auditorium, MA State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston 
RSVP here. 
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Massachusetts Lost Half a Billion Dollars on Fossil Fuel Investments Last Year

trillium_meme_2.jpgHuge news! Earlier today, Trillium Asset Management released a new report showing that the Massachusetts pension fund lost more than $500 million on fossil fuel investments between June 2014 and June 2015.

This is a big deal! For years, financial experts like former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and former SEC Commissioner Bevis Longstreth have been saying that fossil fuels are a bad investment. The Massachusetts pension board ignored those warnings -- and a result, they lost hundreds of millions of dollars that could have gone to Massachusetts retirees.

Several of the state’s major public sector unions have joined us in calling on Massachusetts to divest from fossil fuels. The Boston Teachers Union, which represents 10,000 teachers and support staff, endorsed divestment just a few days ago, joining SEIU 509, SEIU 888, and the Massachusetts Nurses Association! Thousands of hard-working teachers, nurses, first responders, service workers, and public servants who pay into the pension fund have joined the campaign for divestment because they’re worried about the threat of climate change -- and about the risks that fossil fuels pose to their pensions.

Fossil fuels are wrecking the planet, and they’re wrecking our pension fund, too. It’s time to #DivestMA!

To see the 350 Mass / Better Future Project press release about the report, click here!

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Pope Francis Is Coming to the U.S.!

unnamed2.pngIn June, Pope Francis released a landmark encyclical, "Laudato Si", calling for immediate action on climate change to protect the earth and the world's most vulnerable people. Now, Pope Francis is coming to the U.S.! On September 24, Pope Francis will address Congress on climate change. Interfaith organizations are planning a march and rally on the National Mall right after the Pope's address to Congress. If you're planning to go, we encourage you to carpool with others from 350 Mass! You can find a ride, or let others know that you have spots in your car, by using our rideshare board.

The Ignatian Solidarity Network, a national organization that connects Jesuit and Catholic institutions around social justice issues, is also helping to organize house parties all over the country for people to watch the Pope's address to Congress together (either live-streamed or after the address is over). There are several watch parties already in the works in Massachusetts -- you can see the list here.

 If there's no watch party in your area, and you're interested in organizing one, the Ignatian Solidarity Network has put together some great resources.  And, of course, feel free to reach out if you need help organizing something or reaching out to people in your area!

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We're Hiring a Campus Organizer

unnamed_(38).jpgBetter Future Project is hiring a Campus Organizer to continue our 3+ years of work supporting student organizing! The Campus Organizer will play a crucial role in helping students lead ground-breaking campaigns for climate justice on college campuses. This role will focus primarily, but not necessarily exclusively, on fossil fuel divestment. Interested? Check out the job description and apply here! 

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10 Years Since Hurricane Katrina

ten_years_updated_time.jpgOn August 29, it will be 10 years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast. A decade later, the hurricane remains a symbol why we work to confront the climate crisis: as the world warms, super-storms like Katrina will become all too common.

Katrina is also a reminder of the complex ways in which climate change overlaps with other forms of injustice. It’s no accident that those most impacted by Katrina were poor families of color. The criminalization of Black and Latino citizens, the displacement of poor communities by gentrification, and neglect by elected officials and government institutions all contributed to the pain, fear and trauma of the storm. In the ten years since, continued discrimination and systemic racism have made it hard for communities to recover. Reflecting on Katrina reminds us that fighting for climate justice means fighting for an economic and political system that offers dignity, security and freedom to all.

On August 29, we'll commemorate the 10 years that have passed since Hurricane Katrina with an event that will include video profiles documenting climate change in the Gulf South, a panel with climate and environmental justice leaders from organizations like Neighbor to Neighbor and Alternatives for Community and Environment, and a reception. This is a moment to reflect, discuss, and deepen our commitment to justice. Join us!

For more details and to RSVP: http://www.betterfutureproject.org/commemorating_hurricane_katrina

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Calling on the Legislature to Raise the Net Metering Cap

CLK-XwcWoAAk6QB_(1).jpgLast week represented a major push in the effort to keep solar working for Massachusetts! 350 Mass joined Environment Massachusetts, Clean Water Action, and other groups outside the State House for a rally and lobby day in favor of raising the caps on net metering. Net metering is a crucial program that allows solar owners to be paid for the power they generate, but there's a cap on the number of projects that can participate. The cap has been hit in 171 communities across the state, bringing our solar progress to a screeching halt. In addition to rallying, we helped flood Speaker DeLeo's office with phone calls asking him to raise the cap. Unfortunately, the legislature adjourned for their summer recess without taking action. We'll keep building power over the next few weeks, and we'll be back in September stronger than ever and ready to keep fighting for solar! 

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250+ People Gather at Boston-Dedham City Line to Oppose West Roxbury Lateral

unnamed_(29).jpgMore than 250 people gathered yesterday for a worship service, rally and march to oppose Spectra Energy's West Roxbury Lateral gas pipeline! We chanted, sang, and walked together to the Dedham-Boston city line, where we formed a human chain to symbolize our united resistance to the pipeline. Many groups came together to make this event a reality, including Resist the PipelineStop the West Roxbury Lateral PipelineDedham Safety Over ProfitsWest Roxbury Saves Energy, the 350 Mass Boston node, and others! Spectra has started construction on the pipeline, but with local residents and officials still standing strong, there's no way the company will be able to finish the project without a fight. Be sure to check out the photos on Facebook and read more about the action in the Boston Globe, and stay tuned for more updates on the campaign to #StopSpectra!

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Call Your Legislator Today and Ask Them to Support Solar!

solar-power1_(1).jpgThe state legislature is currently considering several bills that would raise the net metering cap and allow our solar industry to keep growing. Of all the bills under consideration, S. 1770 / H. 2852, filed by Senator Eldridge and Representatives Calter and Mark, provides the clearest, most comprehensive framework for supporting the future growth of the clean energy industry in Massachusetts. But passing any of the bills would represent a step forward -- the most important thing is that we raise the cap soon!

Please call your legislator today and ask them to support raising the net metering cap! 

1) Click here to look up the name and contact information of your State Senator and State Representative. 

2) Ask your State Senator and Representative to support legislation that would lift the net metering cap. Here's a basic script you can use: 

I’m a constituent of yours and a member of 350 Massachusetts. I'm calling to urge you to support raising the cap on net metering so that the solar industry can continue to provide clean energy and good jobs to Massachusetts. 

If your legislator is already supportive of raising the net metering cap, you should thank them for their position and ask them to reach out to their colleagues on this issue.   

3) Fill out the form here and let us know how it went! 

 

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