Thank you to Phil McKenna from Inside Climate News for this thoughtful analysis of the situation facing nearly 9,000 homes in the Merrimack Valley. Environmental advocates are calling for a "green new deal" that would shift thousands of homes off natural gas and onto electric heating.
Thinking Bigger, with Help from a River
Zeyneb Magavi, research director for the energy efficiency and clean energy advocacy group HEET and a member of Mothers Out Front, said the collapse of the gas system in the three communities calls for a bigger, more outside-the-box solution.
She is proposing a district heating system with an unusual heat source: the Merrimack River, which runs through Lawrence and skirts North Andover.
Find out more:
From our friends at Conservation Law Foundation, written by Bradley M. Campbell—read the case for why it's time to break our addiction to fossil fuels.
On September 23rd, Arlington Mothers Out Front had a big event in Arlington to celebrate the anniversary of community choice aggregation and to publicize the many things Arlington has done in the move to sustainability.
(All photos by Christa Kelleher.)
Gas Leak Allies (including Mothers Out Front and HEET) are in the news!
[Nathan Phillips has] been working with the Gas Leaks Allies — a partnership of groups that typically focus on the environmental impacts of natural gas and other fossil fuels. At the same time, safety has always been part of the discussion. But now, that’s moved to the forefront.
Zeyneb Magavi is part of two organizations that are in the Gas Leaks Allies: Mothers Out Front and HEET. She said this crisis illustrates the dangers of natural gas. “It's shocking and yet not surprising,” she said. “And it creates a sense of urgency about moving to a safer solution for our society.”
Thank you to Mother Out Front Sarah Partan of Amherst for #UsingHerMomVoice and congratulations for getting published!
"It is time for us to leave gas in the past and make a rapid transition to renewable energy for our own immediate safety, our families’ health, and the health of the planet.
That is why I chose to join Mothers Out Front, a nonpartisan movement working to swiftly transition our society to renewable energy. I encourage you to join too, or join another group working toward solutions. Or help by urging your school, your gym, your place of worship or your grocery store to switch to renewables."
Read more here:
"Thousands of residents were evacuated after the explosions last Thursday. Most were allowed back into their homes on Sunday, but while many had electric power, they might not see their gas service restored for weeks. …
Enter The Gas Leak Allies, a group including Mothers Out Front to HEET along with other environmental groups and scientists such as Philips and Boston resident John Lerner. One of their long-term projects is to introduce induction stoves as a safer, more environmentally friendly alternative to gas cooking, but the gas disaster gave urgency to their work."
While the 2018 legislative cycle was disappointing in many ways, we did have an important win on LUAF. What’s LUAF, you ask? “Lost and Unaccounted for Gas!”. The Gas Leaks Allies succeeded in getting our LUAF language into the clean energy omnibus bill that passed in August.
The new language requires the utilities to report on LUAF each year in a clearer and more uniform way, allowing us to tailor our gas leaks strategies more effectively. Until now, utilities’ LUAF numbers have been fuzzy, including a mish-mash of actual leaks, metering errors, gas the utilities use for their own operations, etc. Going forward, these categories must be separately reported in a standardized way, and even actual leaks must be further broken down – for example, how much lost gas comes from deteriorating pipes, versus pipes hit accidentally during construction, or leaking compressor stations. Just like the 2014 law that required the utilities to publicly report leak numbers and locations for the first time, this new law will give us critically-needed information to use in our work.
All of us at Mothers Out Front are holding our neighbors in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover in the Merrimack Valley close in our hearts as we watch the disaster of gas explosions and fires unfold across their communities.
We are deeply grateful to the gas workers, first responders, and others protecting homes and caring for the injured and displaced people. We also are concerned that all affected have the resources needed to face this situation.
Mothers across the state are reaching out to ask what they can do. We welcome all ideas for how we can support the families and children evacuated from their homes, especially those who won't be able to go home. Our members around the state are standing by to help in any way they can. We are looking at different ways that Mothers Out Front members and friends may offer support, and we will keep you updated. Please check our website and social media sites often to learn what you can do.
Going forward, we hope that catastrophes like this one will be prevented by more proactive maintenance of our state's leaky gas infrastructure while we rapidly transition off gas and other fossil fuels.
We, mothers and grandmothers and allies, work hard every day to accelerate the transition we need to renewable energy so that children will not have to face disasters like this one in Massachusetts or like the hurricane in the Carolinas.
Congratulations to Arlington Mothers Out Front, exceeding their goal to get opt-ins for CCA and for being #InTheNews!
"Since CCA rolled out in August 2017, Mothers out Front set goals for the amount of opt ups they wanted to see. From August to December, their goal was 200. They ended up with 395.
'And then we thought, okay that was just because everybody got that letter so we said okay for this next year, 2018, we’ll set a goal of an additional 100 but then by April we’d blown through that so now we’ve had to up our goal again,' said co-coordinator Nili Pearlmutter.'"
Read all about it!
Mothers in Massachusetts respond to National Grid's lockout of union gas works:
To National Grid:
We at Mothers Out Front are deeply concerned about National Grid's lockout of union gas workers. As members of a national movement of mothers and others mobilizing for a livable climate and protecting the health and safety of all children, we urge you to resolve the issue quickly. While we are outside of the negotiations and can’t comment on the details of the dispute, we are concerned for the workers, their families and the communities you serve.