The Fate of Solar Growth Now Lies in the House

Just 10 more weeks in our 40-week countdown to the UN Climate Summit in Paris. Our 30 actions to date have made a difference!

Today’s Monday Action:
Urge Your Massachusetts House Representative to Be Bold in Keeping the Solar Industry Growing.

Find your personal State Legislators here.  (If your representative is Ellen Story, copy and paste this sample letter; if not see suggestions below)

Dear Representative Story,
I am urgently concerned about climate change.This is the defining issue on which future generations will judge us. Therefore I urge you to be bold in fighting for real solutions to stop climate change. We look to you for your leadership.

Thanks to Senator Ben Downing, the Senate has adopted an amendment that would raise the cap on net metering in the Commonwealth that aligns with our 1600 MW goal of installed solar capacity.

The amendment also directs the Department of Energy and Resources to create a new solar incentive program post 1600MW. This amendment creates long-term guidelines for increasing solar capacity while also promoting continued development prior to the expiration of the Federal Solar Tax credit on December 31, 2016. As you know, we need the House to pass this legislation now.

While we’re growing our renewable infrastructure, we need to reduce our energy consumption to avoid new fossil fuel infrastructure in Mass. Vermont is employing Demand Management as a strategy to reduce demand; could we do this in MA? There are many ways we could reduce energy consumption, level the peak demand, and change the calculations of how much gas we’ll need in the near future. Many of us would be happy to turn down non-system critical equipment to save money and avoid the proposed dirty, disastrous pipelines threatening our aquifers, protected lands and bringing UN-natural toxic gas from Pennsylvania to be sold at our coast to the highest bidders.

Now we urge you, our esteemed State Representative, to please continue pushing for the net metering legislation and to raise the possibilities of reducing energy demand.


With Mothers Out Front
Representative Ellen Story can be reached at:
The State House:
    Room 277
    Boston, MA 02133
    Phone: 617-722-2012
(other sample call or cut-and-paste email) 

Dear Representative ___________________:

I am urgently concerned about climate change.  [you can “spice up” this message yourself by adding how it touches you personally, or by mentioning specific issues that are important to you.] This is the defining issue on which future generations will judge us. Therefore I urge you to be bold in fighting for real solutions to stop climate change. We look to you for your leadership.

With Mothers Out Front
Well done! See you next week.
And remember, friends don’t let friends ignore climate change. Forward Monday Actions today!

Still here? Are you looking for an in-person action?
 Here are events happening this week with the arrival of Pope Francis in the U.S.
Mon 9/21 7pm Interfaith Community Forum on the Papal Encyclical at First Churches Meeting House in Northampton.

A panel of religious leaders from the Catholic, Protestant and Jewish faith traditions will share their perspectives on the critical importance of Pope Francis’ recent papal letter and his call for Climate Justice.

Wed 9/23 8:15pm  Candlelight vigil to oppose climate disruption at First Churches Meeting House in Northampton.

Thurs 9/24 7pm Watch the Pope’s Congressional Address at the Unitarian Universalist Society in Amherst, 121 N. Pleasant St. Amherst

Fri 9/25 7pm Watch the Pope’s Congressional Address at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish Hall, Hawley St. in Northampton.

Sun 9/27 5-8pm Jewish Community of Amherst, 742 Main St.  Inviting Hope Into the Harvest Hut

A potluck (vegetarian) dinner, ritual and discussion on our clean energy future in the Sukkah hosted by the Tikkun Olam Committee and Mothers Out Front – Pioneer Valley. 

Visit our Mothers Out Front webpage for details about other ways to join us in person and online!

In collaboration,
Your Community Organizing Team

Mothers Out Front – Pioneer Valley



Senator, Fall on your Sword for Us!

Are Monday Actions working? Read on…
By making your voice heard each week, you are helping build momentum toward the UN Climate Talks in Paris, now only 11 weeks away. Here are a few stories to validate that our officials read what you write, listen to what you say, and consider your Monday Actions.

Last week we contacted Congressman Neal for our Monday Action. Neal’s staffers told a Monday Actionista they are NOT hearing public support for the pipeline. He also reported that Congressman Neal doesn’t support the pipeline in its current form — that it should not cross protected lands and aquifers. That is not what he was saying earlier!

Did you know that one of our Monday Actionistas was invited to the White House in response to her Monday Action message to President Obama? A few weeks ago this Actionista got a call from the White House Office of Correspondence saying that her message impressed the staff and she was invited to a major event on the South Lawn of the White House for a ceremony with the President and the Pope. Of course, thousands of other people were also invited, but what a validation of our efforts!

This week, for the 4th time, we will write and/or call our state Senator, Stan Rosenberg of Amherst. Have we made a difference? Yes! Senator Rosenberg said on the radio last week that his constituents want him to take more dramatic actions against the pipeline.
Senator Stan Rosenberg

Now are you ready to call or write your state senator? If it’s not Stan, please find your own person using the contact guide below.

Dear Senator Rosenberg,

I’m deeply concerned about climate change. In a recent WHMP interview, you reported that, “People are yelling at me almost every day, ‘Why aren’t you falling on your sword for us, Stan?’” I’m one of those people asking you to do everything in your power for Massachusetts to keep leading the way on climate change legislation. Future generations are relying on us to make the switch to renewables before it’s too late.

Thank you for giving us an opportunity to respond to the proposal for the NED pipeline by hosting your own FERC hearing last week in Greenfield.

Please point FERC’s attention to Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution. Do they know that the taking of conservation land requires passing legislation with a two thirds majority in both houses of the Massachusetts legislature? In a 9/11/15 Letter to the Editor in the Hampshire Gazette, Susan Wright of Northfield pointed this out and highlighted the relevant sections from Article 97:

The people shall have the right to clean air and water, freedom from excessive and unnecessary noise, and the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic qualities of their environment; and the protection of the people in their right to the conservation, development and utilization of the agricultural, mineral, forest, water, air and other natural resources is hereby declared to be a public purpose…. Lands and easements taken or acquired for such purposes shall not be used for other purposes or otherwise disposed of except by laws enacted by a two thirds vote, taken by yeas and nays, of each branch of the general court.

Please remind FERC of our right to be protected, and to protect the future of our land and the life it sustains.

Thank you,

With Mothers Out Front, Pioneer Valley
That’s all for this week. Thank you for using your civic power to be the change you wish to see.
Contact Guide: Find Your State Senator:
Not in Massachusetts? Look up your legislator here.
Look up MA state senators and representatives here.
For finding what parts of what counties are in Stan Rosenberg’s district, use this map.

Stan Rosenberg
Call his Northampton office:  413-584-1649 or Boston office: (617) 722-1500
That’s it, see you next week! Thank you, from your Amherst Mothers Out Front team. Join us Wednesdays at noon at All things Local Coop in Amherst.
Got time for more this week?
• Are you an Amherst resident ready to engage in efforts to build a solar array? Please attend theinformation session regarding a preliminary proposal for a solar program in Amherst on Wednesday, September 16th at 7 PM in the Amherst Regional Middle School auditorium. For more information, please contact Stephanie Ciccarello, Sustainability Coordinator, at or via telephone at (413) 259-3149.

• There are multiple public forums next week that will inspire, inform and connect our community around the Pope’s Encyclical (in Amherst and Northampton and beyond). Details here:

News here:

• You can truly help stop the proposed MA/NH pipeline. There’s still time (and need) for you to send comments to FERC. Here’s inspiration and fodder for your FERC comment – copy, use or write your own. Here’s how to navigate FERC‘s process.
Thank you, Your Pioneer Valley Community Organizing Team
Visit our Mothers Out Front webpage for details about ways to join us in person and online!
Find all our Monday Actions here.

Mothers Out Front – Pioneer Valley

Richie Neal, We’re Starving Over Fossil Fuels

We’re in our “last trimester” — week 12! — of our 40-week count down on the Road to the UN Climate Summit in Paris.

ACTION: Take 5-minutes to tell this U.S. representative that Fossil Fuels are Making People Starve:

Your sample optional copy-and-paste text:

NOTE: We’re all addressing Rep. Neal this week because he’s not on board with taking bold action for our children’s future environment (read this article  for details). Consider who you may know in these towns he serves and please invite them to send this message!

Dear Congressman Neal,

I am urgently concerned about climate change. This is the defining issue on which future generations will judge us. We urge you to be bold in fighting climate change.

As a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, you may want to know about the crowd of students and seasoned activists who will be FASTING from September 8 – 25 at FERC’s Headquarters in protest of any new permits for fossil fuel infrastructure that most scientists concur can make our children’s future planet uninhabitable for humans.

Please consider this carefully and act boldly for our children.


With Mothers Out Front- Mobilizing for a Livable Climate

If you prefer the phone, call Richard Neal’s:
Springfield office 413-785-0325
Pittsfield office 413-442-0946
or his Washington DC office: 202-225-5601
and/or Email his office: Contact

Also contact YOUR elected Official:

To personalize this message for a different MA congressperson or a different state, explore Enter your zip code and search for your representatives’ contact information under the  “BIO” folder.

Thank you for all you do for the little ones looking up at us from waist height!

–Your Pioneer Valley Community Organizing Team

Visit our Mothers Out Front webpage for details about ways to join us in person and online.

Add spice to your message:

• Ask Neal: “What are your official positions on 1) the solar net metering cap and 2) a Fair Price On Carbon? Also, how canyou personally effect Congress on these issues?”


Wait, you want to do even more?!

Consider switching to clean energy even if you rent, and call MassSave every chance you get to take advantage of their conservation subsidies available to all utility customers to the tune $2000 per cycle.

Every customer who chooses renewable energy sources is helping to protect the next generation. Those are the people probably looking up at you from about waist-height these days. Thank you for taking matters into your own hands! Your help makes all the difference. Amplify your power:

Forward this email to a friend today (and share how good it feels to flex your civic muscles!)

Mothers Out Front – Pioneer Valley


Governor Baker Put the Brakes on Climate Disruption!

Good Monday Morning — 
Just 13 weeks to go in our countdown to the UN Climate Talks!Today’s Action:  Put the Brakes on Climate Disruption.

Suggested message:

“Dear Governor,

I am urgently concerned about climate change. This is the defining issue on which future generations will judge us. I urge you to be bold — and help Massachusetts put the brakes on Climate Disruption.

We need cars powered by clean electricity, net zero energy and much more energy efficient homes and buildings. We need to use smart technology to reduce our state’s carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 – or sooner – in keeping with the Global Warming Solutions Act!
I am therefore deeply opposed to your proposed Executive Order 562 that would erode our State’s great environmental strides.

What’s more, I am 100% in support of removing the caps on net metering policy which is hurting our state’s solar business!

Thank you.
With Mothers Out Front – Mobilizing for a Livable Climate

P.S. The Cool Solutions report, just released by Environment Massachusetts can point you in the right direction with ten game-changers that will help fight global warming.

: 617.725.4005

888.870.7770 (in state)
Fax: 617.727.9725
TTY: 617.727.3666

Email form on this Contact Page:

Boston Office
Massachusetts State House
Office of the Governor
Room 280
Boston, MA 02133

Looking to personalize this for a different state?
You can look up your representative here

Search under zip and them find contact info under the BIO folder

That’s it, you’re done. See you next week!
THANK YOU so much for reaching out! Whether or not you voted for the governor, s/he works for you. Emails, letters, calls- all count equally to elected officials. What counts is your voice: Aides tally up issues and zip codes and report to the governor what voters are saying.

Do you have time to do more?
Right now, gas companies are pushing the MA government to make the public pay to build and live with dangerous unnecessary pipelines cutting across hard-won protected lands and aquifers. These pipelines are not for the public good, but will certainly increase our rates and help gas companies take the gas to the global market from our shores. 

People are really pushing back. We saw it in Greenfield last month. It’s working and we need to keep at it:

This terrific grass-roots group MassPLAN has been organizing to stop the pipeline. You can Help Pipe Line Awareness Network for the Northeast, Inc. (PLAN-NE)’s Intervenor Status by becoming a member – it’s free, just add your name to their efforts.

Here is their call to action DEAR GOVERNOR, LET ME TELL YOU…
A physical pile of comments is hard to ignore so: If you like, you might send something each day this month. Print out and clip their list of articles , and send in your own thoughts. Fill Baker’s office with complaints! Do it with your friends and family! This is how to stop the pipeline.
Thank you for doing Monday Actions! You are the change we need to see in the world.
Please invite your people to join you in Monday Actions!

Your Pioneer Valley Community Organizing Team


Week 14: Senator Warren, Help US Put a Fair Price on Carbon

This is week 14 in our 40 week Countdown to the UN Climate Talks in Paris.

Today’s Monday Action: Take 5-minutes now to ask Senator Warren to make carbon polluters pay.

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Your optional copy-and-paste text for email or talking points if you call:

Dear Senator Warren,

I am urgently concerned about climate change. This is the defining issue on which future generations will judge us. Therefore I urge you to be bold in fighting for real solutions to stop climate change.

Thank you for your support of a carbon fee and dividend. Economists across the political spectrum agree that putting a price on carbon is the fastest and fairest way to reduce carbon emissions at this time.

We look to you for your leadership.


With Mothers Out Front

Contact Info:

Boston Office
2400 JFK Federal Building
15 New Sudbury Street
Boston, MA 02203

Boston Office: (617) 565-3170
Springfield MA Office: (413) 788-2690

Looking to personalize this for a different state?
You can look up your Senator here:

Thank you! See you next Monday!

Please forward this Monday Action to a friend today. The key is, to put climate change front and center and for that all voices count.

Still here? Want to learn more about the carbon fee and dividend?

This week’s Monday Action dovetails perfectly with the action of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL). They are sending 868 citizen volunteers to Washington D.C. (some of our friends from the Pioneer Valley will be there). The CCL has succeeded in scheduling over 400 in-person meetings today with members of the House and Senate! The intention – to advance carbon fee and dividend as a solution acceptable to Democrats and Republicans alike.

Want to learn more about Massachusetts legislation and community efforts for a carbon fee and dividend? Check out Climate XChange.

Thank you for doing Monday Actions. 

Your work is already causing waves.
See and follow all actions to date on the Monday Action BLOG

Your Pioneer Valley Community Organizing Team


Week 15: Senator Markey, Hold their Feet to the Fire

Thank you to everyone doing these “3 minute or less” Monday Actions! We’re in week 15 of our 40-week campaign along the Road to Paris, where the UN Climate Summit will take place in December.

Our chorus grows louder every week thanks to YOU (and your friends – ask a few today to join you!)

This Week’s Monday Action:

Tell Senator Markey to hold the fossil fuel barons feet to the fire:

Call his office:  617-565-8519
Email his office: Contact

Are you writing from another state other than Massachusetts? Look up your senator’s contact here

Here’s a sample email or phone script:

Dear Senator Markey,

I am deeply concerned about climate disruption. Every day we read more news about planetary instability. This is the defining issue on which future generations will judge us. Therefore I urge you to be bold in fighting to end fossil fuel subsidies.

In a recent email from your office you noted the $7 BILLION annual subsidies to the fossil fuel profiteers. What are you doing about ending these?

At a recent climate conference, a director of shareholder advocacy specializing in engaging fossil fuel companies reported a few beliefs common to all gas and oil barons:

  • “yes IEA says we can’t burn even 1/3 of the 2800 GT of fossil fuels we have on reserve, but no matter what happens, we’ll be okay”,
  • “demand for our product won’t peak for several decades”,
  • “government’s job is to put a fair price on carbon and since they haven’t done this, we have carte blanch permission to continue”,

As the Chairman of the Senate Climate Change Clearinghouse, I would like you to report on progress being made in this effort. What are you doing to end fossil fuel subsidies?

As a mother and concerned voter, I want assurance that my legislators are being bold leaders on behalf of future generations.

~ Your Name
With Mothers Out Front- Mobilizing for a Livable Climate

Thank you! See you next week.

Please share this with friends in other states. They can look up their senators’ contact here.

You can comment about your experience with these Actions on the Pioneer Valley Mothers Out Front BLOG, where you can review all the actions to date.

Still here and looking for more spice?

You might also consider this:

  • The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs is hosting Environmental Justice Policy Listening Sessions! 
    • The Springfield Listening Session will be held:
    • Wednesday August 19 from 3:30-5:30 at the Community Music School of Springfield. This is sponsored by Partners for a Healthier Community and ARISE for Social Justice
  • Senator Markey has yet to take a position on the Iran nuclear deal that took 2 1/2 years to negotiate and would avert another war in the Middle East. American Friends Service Committee will be planning an action in Senator Markey’s Springfield office on August 26th. Stay tuned for details here.


Thank you for all you do!

Sincerely yours,
The Pioneer Valley Community Organizing Team


Week 16: Obama Gets US Ready for Paris

MONDAY ACTION: Week 16Clean Power Plan – Obama keep moving in that direction!

Dear Mr. President,
I am urgently concerned about climate change. This is the defining issue on which future generations will judge us. Therefore I urge you to be bold in fighting for real solutions to stop climate change. Be our climate hero, there is still time!

Thank you so much for creating our country’s first-ever Clean Power Plan, with national carbon pollution limits for new and existing power plants! I deeply appreciate how this action not only limits climate-warming carbon emissions, but also protects our health and ensures a safer future for generations to come. We’re also sending a message to the world that the United States is committed to the fight against climate change.

I stand by you in this historic effort. Thank you for your continued commitment to action on climate.

Please direct our Paris delegates to be bold on our behalf this December at the UN Climate Talks. I am part of a growing movement united in our desire to halt climate change. Your boldness is crucial to our collective future.

I exercise my right to vote.
With Mothers Out Front
Contact info:
To call: 202-456-1111
To email
To write a letter:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
You did it! Bye. See you next Monday!
Thank you for being the change you want to see!
Wait, you’re still here?
So that took you less than 5 minutes? Want to know more about the Clean Energy Plan?
From League of Conservation Voters:

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 the same in each case.

Thank you for making 2015 a watershed year for the climate!
~ Pioneer Valley Mothers Out Front