Governor: We Want a Carbon Fee Not a New Pipeline

Today’s Monday Action we stop the pipeline: Demanding that Baker protect our children from the fossil fuel industry.

Dear Governor,
I am urgently concerned about climate change. This is the defining issue on which future generations will judge us. Therefore we need you to do all you can to get us a carbon fee and stop the building of new pipelines.

The health of our children and the climate must be included in the full cost of burning fossil fuels. That’s what a carbon fee and rebate plan will do. Once we have properly priced carbon, the demand for renewable energy will far exceed the demand for natural gas. Plus, Massachusetts already has a law, the Global Warming Solutions Act, which requires that we move to clean energy in the next 15 years. Why then would your DPU lock us in to fossil fuels now for 20 years by green-lighting long-term contracts to buy fracked gas from proposed, unnecessary pipelines (see Attorney General Healey’s report)? And how could you expect us “rate payers” to foot the bill for building these pipelines?

Natural gas is a fossil fuel, not a clean fuel. The new pipelines will carry fracked gas and toxic chemicals that will pollute our water and air, endangering our children’s health and future.

I vote for a livable future, and that future must be carbon-neutral. I am not going away: I insist that you price carbon and tell the DPU to reverse their decision on the contracts for gas from new pipelines.

Sincerely,
YOUR NAME
YOUR TOWN
With Mothers Out Front
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Contact:
Governor Charlie Baker
To call: Phone: 617.725.4005 or 888.870.7770 (in state)
To email
To write a letter:
Massachusetts State House
Office of the Governor
Room 280
Boston, MA 02133
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Well done, you did your Monday Action! Bye, see you next Monday.
Ask your friends to join. Thank you for being the change you want to see.
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Stronger language:
Governor Baker,
I can’t believe that owners of 450 properties in Massachusetts might be forced to let Kinder Morgan onto their property and then see their land taken by eminent domain. I want to know what you are going to do about this. The Attorney General’s recent report proves that we don’t need Kinder Morgan’s pipeline. Our constitution is very strict that eminent domain should be rare and used only if there is a clear public benefit. Sir, this pipeline company bullying needs to stop.

Furthermore I’m angry and worried that National Grid wants to lock Massachusetts electric users into using more natural gas. I want to know what the Governor is going to do to protect us: National Grid has asked for permission (from the Massachusetts DPU) to make a TWENTY YEAR commitment to charge electric users for the cost of building the Kinder Morgan pipeline. The number I’m hearing is 5 billion dollars in fees that we will be asked to shoulder for a for-profit company. We want and need more green energy. Renewable energy technology is ready, yet our current energy companies want to be sure we keep using their old fashioned technologies to keep their profits up. I want to know what the Governor is going to do to protect us from this.
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Background
:
There are three currently active issues for Massachusetts residents and the MA Department of Public Utilities, or DPU:
(1) Kinder Morgan has initiated proceedings at the Massachusetts DPU to gain survey access to properties where landowners have not granted permission.
(2) National Grid’s electrical distribution companies in MA are seeking DPU approval of capacity agreements on NED (and Access Northeast).
(3) Local Gas Distribution Companies (LDCs), Berkshire Gas and Columbia Gas are filing to be able to buy gas from the Supply Path section of NED.

More Actions:

For (3): Get your town to Intervene on Local Gas Contracts
The town of Montague has taken a bold step, Intervening in the DPU proceedings for Berkshire Gas’ precedent agreement for the Supply Path section of the NED pipeline.  Although the Mass. DPU approved all three customers’ application for the Market Path (proceedings which PLAN-NE is appealing having been left out of), Berkshire Gas and Columbia are filing to be able to buy gas from the Supply Path section of NED.  Other municipalities joining in the fight will help ensure victory.

Challenging the Berkshire Gas application allows us to get answers on Berkshire Gas’ actual needs for gas a chance to prove that their current moratorium on new customers (and the NED pipeline!) aren’t needed.  These local contracts are all Kinder Morgan has to show FERC for need. Stopping them at the state level can stop the whole project.

ENGAGE IN YOUR TOWN!
Please engage your town to join Montague in this fight by getting them to earmark local funds to oppose the pipeline. If the funds are kept for general use, it can allow not only for legal proceedings, but for gas and legal experts to prove that these claims of need for more gas capacity are unfounded.

Town meeting warrant deadlines are coming up soon. If you cannot engage with local leaders to get a warrant article to set aside funding, find a local group of people to take on drafting a proposal and getting enough signatures to get the article on the Warrant for a vote at Town Meeting.

Check with your local Town Clerk or Administrator for:
— The process to get an article on the Town Warrant
— The date of your local Town Meeting

TO DO NOW – Prepare for the Hearing/Comments

Stop and take a breath! These hearings are a chance for you as landowner to make your wishes known. Kinder Morgan /TGP are the ones asking for a favor.  This is a chance to let the DPU know why you say no.
Landowners should work on documenting specifics on their property and why Kinder Morgan shouldn’t be on it (how they were approached by and have been treated by KM so far; what could be damaged by potentially impactful survey processed).

News Articles on the subject:
» Berkshire Eagle
» Salem News / Gloucester Times
» Greenfield Recorder / Hampshire Gazette
» DPU’s Survey Permission Frequently Asked Questions

» See DPU Docket 16-01 Geotechnical Survey
» See DPU Docket 16-02 Vernal Pool Survey
» See DPU Docket 16-03 Affected Properties
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

» See Hearing Schedule and Comment Deadline
The DPU has scheduled hearings for six different locations across the state in late March through mid-April. The comment deadline is set for May 6th, 2016.

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FYI: Your handy list of the representatives we cycle through to contact weekly. Write them anytime you like, they need it:
Contact info for zip code 01002. Live somewhere else? Look up your representatives HERE. (State Reps are faster HERE)
1. President Obama

To call: 202-456-1111
To email
To write a letter:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

2. Senator Elizabeth Warren

To call: (202) 224-4543
To email
To write a letter:
317 Hart Senate Office Building,
Washington, DC 20510

3. Senator Ed Markey

To call: 202-224-2742
To email
To write a letter:
255 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
4. Congressman Jim McGovern
To call: 202-225-6101
To email
To write a letter:

438 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
5. Governor Charlie Baker
To call: Phone: 617.725.4005 or 888.870.7770 (in state)
To email
To write a letter:
Massachusetts State House
Office of the Governor
Room 280
Boston, MA 02133
6. State Senator Stan Rosenberg
To call: (617) 722-1500
To email
To write a letter:
State House Office
24 Beacon Street,
Room 332,
Boston, MA 02133
7. State Representative Ellen Story
To call: 617-722-2012
To email
To write a letter:
State House,
Room 277
Boston, MA 02133

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NOTE: Never hesitate to cut and paste, call, or pour your heart out in email or letters and share your solutions.
Your voice gets counted in each case.

Thank you for making 2015 a watershed year for the climate,

Pioneer Valley Mothers Out Front
See and follow all actions to date on the Monday ActionBLOG: https://mothersoutfront.wordpress.com/

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2 thoughts on “Governor: We Want a Carbon Fee Not a New Pipeline”

  1.      Protect our (Whose, All)Children from the Carbon Fuel Industry?? We are fully dependent on it. Free Nuclear power instead?        Nuclear Power and water based liquid fuel. Trees Manipulate Atoms at a subatomic level. Eugenics or Let the Free Market determine who the 1 in 5 or 1 in 20 is that gets a reasonable amount Food? America has the ability to kill or take what it wants.      Eight calories of Carbon fuel in every calorie you eat. Millions starved (Whose children will this be; starving adults feed themselves first) when we starting using corn for fuel. Still do use corn for fuel at a cost of two gallons of Fossil carbon fuel per one Gallon of Corn based carbon fuel.   We have a bigger problem getting sadly bigger every day. Wishful thinking and or whose the best dressed speaker; muddling around is not going to solve this problem.

      Run the Math and don’t forget the Human Carbon Consumption . Sad part is like most all Carbon usage estimates. Eight calories of Carbon fuel in every calorie you eat is probably understated.    How much personal pain can the general Public stand before…. Speak up; beware of wishful thinking; it is good for the sole. Somebodies got to actually mind the store (DA?) and have a good idea of the Future will require of us.                            John   

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  2.      Our GRID power is mostly Natural Gas. We have no alternate plan. Natural Gas was supposed to be the Bridge to a Future inclusive for all. Low GAS prices are preventing the investment in new wells that is required for the Natural GAS to flow.        If you follow the scientists who, they are not always right, take the time to verify and re-verify all the pieces of sometimes complex math models. All have to take the time to understand and ask for corrections (Many of which in the overall plan don’t matter). Without any other alternatives Natural GAS is it. Solar is a drop in Bucket at best even after massive investment. Economics and our way of doing business has to be fixed first.    Our attention to Money AND THE SECURITY AND EASE OF TRADE IT ALLOWS will be the death of many if not all.    When times are Bad even in this last decade the Bantu still Hunt the Pigmy’s (Some Pigmy’s are capable of giving testimony to the UN)for Meat. The GRID is the easy part; and we are having difficult time with that to say the least.   Pipeline for exporting Natural GAS (Right now it is going to be sort supply within a couple a years) and allowing exportation of US Oil will in the long RUN cost the common man 100’s of times more that what a few greedy people made selling OUR RESOURCES. Our resources are not theirs to sell unless you allow them!     Carbon Fee only hurts the poor. Tax on the common mans essentials such as Tea have never been acceptable. Economy rises and falls with the price of Oil.                      John                                       

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