PRESS RELEASE/FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2019
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Brookline Bylaw Bans New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure In Major Construction
Bylaw is only such regulation in country to address not only new construction but also renovations, will significantly reduce local emissions
BROOKLINE, Mass. — Brookline Town Meeting tonight approved sweeping legislation prohibiting installation of new fossil fuel infrastructure in major construction. Passed with a vote of 207 to 3, with six votes abstaining, sponsors and supporters of the bylaw, known as Warrant Article 21, are confident that it will reduce Brookline’s carbon emissions from buildings by an estimated 15% over the next 30 years through this single action. The bylaw is part of a wave of fossil fuel bans initiated in July in Berkeley, California. Brookline’s ban is the first one east of the Sierra Nevadas and the only one to include renovation projects.
Great news out of Somerville from the work of Somerville Mothers Out Front, our friends at Green Energy Consumers Alliance and Mayor Joe Curtatone:
In the New Year, every Somerville resident will have 25 percent clean electricity powering their homes, and those inclined can opt in for 100 percent.
This is all made possible through the expanded Somerville’s Community Choice Electricity (CCE) program.
“As mothers, we are deeply concerned about our children’s health and safety,” said Jessica Garrett, a science educator and member of Mothers Out Front, a group dedicated to mobilizing around climate change issues. “Somerville’s CCE program is part of the solution to transition to clean, renewable energy.”
Read the whole story:
Mother Out Front Sonja Tengblad's testimony to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy on November 12, 2019 regarding the FUTURE Act.
There are two days that changed my life forever: the day my beautiful son Soren was born, and a day two months later when I read a Bill McKibben article outlining the climate crisis. That day, I realized that when my son is my age, he might not feel he has the option to have a beautiful child of his own. Not on this planet. That night, I sang him his regular lullaby, and then cried myself to sleep: [Singing] I see trees of green, red roses too, I watch them bloom, for me and you, and I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
Read this opinion piece in The Gardner Newscovering the communities in Worcester continuing the fight against climate change, including Mother Out Front Selina Gallo and her daughter.
One Worcester family’s story
Xochitl Cruz-Gallo, a 13-year-old from St. Peter Central Catholic, and her mother, Selina Gallo, a professor of sociology at the College of the Holy Cross and member of Mothers Out Front, exhibit symptoms of climate anxiety and grief.
When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, Cruz-Gallo readily responded with “climate change activist.”
“She has no other choice,” added Gallo, who could not hold back tears when thinking about her daughter’s future.
“She’s always been super talented in the theater,” Gallo said. “She thought she would be a Broadway actor one day, but this year she told me ‘I can’t do that anymore because I have to work on climate change.’ That really sucks because I can’t tell her she’s wrong.”
On Monday, October 7, the Arlington Select Board passed a resolution in support of the principles of the Future Act. This is state legislation that would make our current gas system safer and provide a road map for the utilities to transition away from gas.
Brucie Moulton, one of the Arlington Team Co-coordinators, first brought this to the Select Board in September. They asked for more information and decided to return to the issue on October 7. Brucie provided them with extensive information about the Future Act and organized people to attend the meeting. Brucie then spoke eloquently in support of the resolution. When she asked all the members of Mothers Out Front to stand, an audible gasp went through the room at the number of us who were there.
Mothers Out Front teams know the value of a Letter to the Editor to get the message out, and they want Bedford, MA to know all the benefits of the Community Choice Aggregation program.
Besides contributing to the reduction of harmful carbon emissions—a huge benefit for all of us who care about our children’s futures—this program provides additional options and benefits to which most of us may not have given much thought. For more information about Bedford’s program, please check the website (https://bedfordcca.com/).
After a big victory getting a Climate Emergency Resolution passed leading up to the Youth Climate Strike, Worcester ended the week of action with a rally on September 27th. The rally started at the Lincoln Square Plaza with a few hundred people in attendance. The march continued a few blocks down Main Street and made a stop in front of the TD Bank. Mothers Out Front Worcester volunteer leaders Wahya Wolfpaw, Christina Wertz and Selina Gallo-Cruz were in attendance and marched with the Mothers Out Front banner. The group met with others in front of the City Hall steps for the remainder of the program.
Wahya represented Mothers Out Front Worcester as one of the speakers in the program. She pleaded with the adults in the rally to support the young people's leadership to protect our community against the climate crisis.
On Sunday, September 29th, Easthampton Climate Response’s group and Mothers Out Front had a gas leak tagging event. This event was sponsored by Easthampton's Democratic party.
We wanted to use the momentum created by last week's "Climate Awareness Week" to let Easthampton residents know about the leaks existing in Easthampton so we can gather people to pressure gas companies to repair these leaks.
Mother Out Front Florrie Wescoat asks an excellent question in her recently published Letter to the Editor at Cambridgeday.com and announces a new campaign from Mothers Out Front in Cambridge, MA:
Let’s take a bird’s eye view of Cambridge. We see mostly empty rooftops, and some with mechanical systems on top to protect them from flood damage. Many of the flat roofs are heat-absorbing black, which can reach upwards of 140 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, increasing the city’s heat island effects. These aren’t the rooftops that a city such as Cambridge, which is committed to fighting climate change, ought to have, and we know it. Why aren’t we acting on what we know? Why don’t we have more white roofs that can reduce surface temperatures by an average of 43 degrees in the summertime? More solar collectors? Where are roofs with growing plants?
Sarah Griffith is a friend of Mothers Out Front and a mother herself. A member of Climate Reality Project, she shares her thoughts on the anniversary of the Merrimack Valley gas explosions.
By Sarah Griffith
Last September 13, three towns in Massachusetts went from a calm, 70° day to a conflagration in minutes. A series of explosions followed by eighty fires suddenly broke out. Roads were chaos as electricity and street lighting went down, communications infrastructure failed, and visibility was cut by billowing fumes. One person died, dozens were injured, and 30,000 people were evacuated. Over a billion dollars has been spent refurbishing 8,500 homes and repairing miles of gas pipelines.
Given the scale of ongoing tragedies in the paper everyday—mass shootings, hurricanes, and political corruption—I have to admit that it was hard to take in the implications of this massive event immediately. It was only over time and by volunteering with Gas Leaks Allies that the dangers of the gas distribution system started to become apparent.