Pages tagged "MA"

  • What is An All Electric Building?

    The Education and Outreach Team for the Clean Heat, Clean Air Campaign is thrilled to present the very first ever Clean Heat, Clean Air educational building block.

    What is an educational building block, you ask? It’s a short, easy learning opportunity. Bite-sized info for busy advocates, delivered every few weeks for the next few months. We are starting by describing key terms and concepts that will be used in our campaign.

    We’re going to use this opportunity to review some key ideas, introduce you to our campaign team, and, most importantly, to hear from you about what you want to learn. 

    Educational Building Block #1: What is an all-electric building?

    Right now, odds are you live and work in buildings that are fueled by gas, propane, or oil heat. These buildings are bad for our climate and bad for our health - we can’t solve the climate crisis when we have hundreds of thousands of little gas pipelines running directly into our homes or trucks pouring oil into our furnaces. Today, the onsite combustion of fossil fuels in Massachusetts' buildings makes up over a quarter of our statewide emissions.[1]

    For this first building block, we’re going to focus on one solution: all-electric buildings

    Gas-Burning HouseClean All-Electric House

    (Image Source: Sierra Club)

    A key goal of our campaign is ensuring sustainable, comfortable buildings for everyone. The campaign team will present goals and strategies for this work in the near future. For now, we want to stress that our goal is new government and utility programs that make this transition affordable for every family. The financial and technical burden for this transition cannot fall on individuals and we don’t expect you to make these changes on your own.

    All-electric buildings burn no fossil fuels onsite. No gas or oil for heat, stoves, hot water, washing machines, fireplaces, or anything else for that matter. All-electric new construction is cost effective and practical with today’s technology. It’s also sustainable. As state law in Massachusetts requires our electricity to come from ever-increasing amounts of renewable energy, an all-electric home will eventually have no direct carbon emissions

    Key Terms:

    Heat Pump

    When we think of electric heat, many of us think of electric baseboard heaters. You know, these guys:

    baseboard

    This? Not what we want.  Meet the heat pump:

    Heat Pump

    Building electrification runs on heat pumps. Heat pumps heat and cool buildings - two for the price of one! They are more efficient than gas heat and effective in cold climates.

    There are two types of heat pumps. Air source heat pumps, which move heat between a building and the outside air, and ground source heat pumps which require digging wells into the ground to exchange heat. All buildings are different, but in general, air source heat pumps are easier to install but ground source heat pumps are cheaper to operate.

    Air Source Heat Pump

    Heat pumps use a compressor to move heat into and out of your home. In the summer, heat pumps operate as air conditioners and in the winter they extract heat from the outdoor air to warm your home. Heat pumps are approximately three times as efficient as gas boilers.

    Air Source Heat Pump

    (Image Source: MassCEC)

    Ground Source Heat Pump

    Ground source heat pumps rely on consistent temperatures deep in the earth to cool buildings in summer and heat them in winter. Once installed, GSHPs are the most efficient heating and cooling system currently available

    Ground Source Heat Pump

    (Image Source: MassCEC)

    Induction Cooking

    Fear not! Electric cooking has also come a long way since the 1950s

    Electric Range

    (Image Source: General Electric Advertisement, FineArt America)

    Induction stovetops, powered by electricity, offer a clean alternative to gas. Cooking with induction is safer, more precise, and faster than cooking with gas, and induction cooktops do not produce the harmful indoor air pollution associated with gas ranges. Flat-top electric ranges are also a safe choice.

    Induction Cooktop

    (Image Source: The Switch is On)

    The sustainable building world has insider language. Net-zero, embodied carbon, retrofit, passive house, weatherization, and beyond - and even experts don’t agree on the definitions for many of these terms. We can dig into some of these concepts in upcoming building blocks. Please let us know which ones you find the most interesting!

    Deep Dive:
    * The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center offers a detailed overview of clean energy solutions for homes and related incentives on their Clean Energy Solutions Website.
    * Benefits of building electrification from RMI
    * Induction cooking factsheet.
    * Sierra Club Gas-Free Homes Video

    Meet the Team: Anne & Kathleen
    Introducing Kathleen Scanlon and Anne Wright, our campaign coordinators, with a short video.

    What’s next?
    In the next few weeks we’re going to talk about sacrifice zones, the truth about “natural” gas, and more. Stay tuned.

    We want to hear from you!
    How do you like to learn? What questions do you have about our campaign? Also, hi, if you’ve read this far please consider joining our team. Please drop us a line with all your ideas at [email protected]


    ________________
    [1] Massachusetts 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap, Page 44 https://www.mass.gov/doc/ma-2050-decarbonization-roadmap/download

  • MA Office Hours

    Office Hours with Laura Davis


    OFFICE HOURS

    Drop-in hours with Massachusetts Community Organizer, Laura Davis for Massachusetts leaders.

    Leaders from community chapters and statewide teams can drop in to learn how put the website, database, and digital tools to work! This is a time for your questions!

    New to Mothers Out Front and not sure where to get started? If you live in Massachusetts - drop in and say hello!


    Zoom Meeting Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87172019587

    WHEN
    May 13, 2021 at 10:30am
    RSVP
  • MA Office Hours

    Office Hours with Laura Davis


    OFFICE HOURS

    Drop-in hours with Massachusetts Community Organizer, Laura Davis for Massachusetts leaders.

    Leaders from community chapters and statewide teams can drop in to learn how put the website, database, and digital tools to work! This is a time for your questions!

    New to Mothers Out Front and not sure where to get started? If you live in Massachusetts - drop in and say hello!


    Zoom Meeting Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87172019587

    WHEN
    May 20, 2021 at 10:30am
    RSVP
  • MA Office Hours

    Office Hours with Laura Davis


    OFFICE HOURS

    Drop-in hours with Massachusetts Community Organizer, Laura Davis for Massachusetts leaders.

    Leaders from community chapters and statewide teams can drop in to learn how put the website, database, and digital tools to work! This is a time for your questions!

    New to Mothers Out Front and not sure where to get started? If you live in Massachusetts - drop in and say hello!


    Zoom Meeting Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87172019587

    WHEN
    June 03, 2021 at 10:30am
    RSVP
  • MA Office Hours

    Office Hours with Laura Davis


    OFFICE HOURS

    Drop-in hours with Massachusetts Community Organizer, Laura Davis for Massachusetts leaders.

    Leaders from community chapters and statewide teams can drop in to learn how put the website, database, and digital tools to work! This is a time for your questions!

    New to Mothers Out Front and not sure where to get started? If you live in Massachusetts - drop in and say hello!


    Zoom Meeting Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87172019587

    WHEN
    May 27, 2021 at 10:30am
    RSVP
  • MA Office Hours

    Office Hours with Laura Davis


    OFFICE HOURS

    Drop-in hours with Massachusetts Community Organizer, Laura Davis for Massachusetts leaders.

    Leaders from community chapters and statewide teams can drop in to learn how put the website, database, and digital tools to work! This is a time for your questions!

    New to Mothers Out Front and not sure where to get started? If you live in Massachusetts - drop in and say hello!


    Zoom Meeting Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87172019587

    WHEN
    June 10, 2021 at 10:30am
    RSVP
  • We Have Your Backs on Climate Bill: Don't weaken the bill, Override ASAP

    A ground-breaking climate bill, “An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy,” passed before the end of the 2019-2020 legislative session and again after the Governor vetoed it. This bill gives us tools to create a livable future for all our children.

    Governor Baker has refused to sign it twice and sent it back with amendments. We want the legislature to pass the amendments that strengthen the bill, like one that gives additional protections to environmental justice communities. But we want the rest voted down.

    Now is the time to support the legislative leadership, our own State Senators and Reps, and encourage them to:

    • not weaken the climate bill
    • quickly move to final passage of the bill

    Then we will have firm ground to stand on as we start the new session with legislation that builds on the victories in the 2020 climate bill. For ongoing updates about the Climate Bill, and ideas for more actions, check here.

    Please sign the petition below. Tweet and share with your legislators.

    783 signatures

    Mothers Out Front and our allies are proud of and grateful to our legislators for being champions of An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy. We consider this legislation the crowning achievement of the leadership of the Senate and House. Senate President Spilka, Speaker Mariano, Senator Barrett, Representative Golden, have shown courage, putting our children and grandchildren first, through their firm stand on quickly refiling and passing the bill with no changes.

    We have your backs! As mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, students, and all who are fighting for bold climate policy, we want you to continue holding fast to your principles, not to accept any amendments that weaken the bill, and quickly override other amendments. We support the speed of your actions to reach final passage of this landmark legislation and to finally finish the tremendous work you did last session. We look forward to continuing to work together in the 2021-2022 session. 

    Add signature

  • 2020 Conference Committee Letter

    August, 2020

    Honorable Members of the Climate Bill Conference Committee:

    Mothers Out Front congratulates the House and Senate on the passage of thoughtful and comprehensive climate legislation. We are gratified that both H4933 and S2500 include the mandate of Net Zero emissions by 2050 and that both authorize geothermal microdistrict projects as originally described in the FUTURE Act. We look forward to seeing these provisions in the final bill. 

    We also ask you to consider the following Mothers Out Front priorities.

    1. Include H4933’s definitions of Environmental Justice Principles and Environmental Justice Population, as found in Sections 15NN-15RR, H.4933 (lines 687-831) They acknowledge that environmental injustice occurs in low-income communities and in communities of color, and they establish clear mechanisms to identify said populations.
    2. The urgency of the climate crisis calls us to tighten the timeline for emissions limits, benchmarking and reporting. We ask the Committee to adopt the emissions limits in Section 3 of S2500.
    3. Include Net Zero stretch code language to enable municipalities to adopt the Net Zero stretch code as set out in S2500, Section 30, clause and in 14, Sections 31, 42 and 54. We also support expansion of the Bureau of Building Regulations and Standards membership as proposed in Sections 15A-15F, S2500.
    4. Increase solar project capacity to 25 kW, as provided in Section 2 of Amendment #16 to H4912. This addresses the need for more solar generation to meet the Commonwealth’s emissions goals and create local clean energy jobs. Also, adopt Section 17 of the final version of H.4933, addressing the cap for certain net metering facilities and any credits accrued in excess of annual electricity consumption by those facilities.
    5. Reject the expanded definition of non-carbon emitting sources now in H4933. Municipal Light Plants should not be allowed to include more biomass, landfill methane gas, trash, anaerobic digestion and wood as in the House’s proposed new greenhouse gas emissions standard. Only resources that are qualified under the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard or the new Clean Energy Standard. 

    Mothers Out Front is a grassroots movement dedicated to a swift, complete, and just transition  from fossil fuels to clean, renewable, and sustainable energy in order to ensure a healthy and viable future for all children. We thank you for your support for these goals and look forward to a climate bill that is robust, equitable and fully committed to mitigating climate change.

     

    Ellie Goldberg, Newton, and Hewon Hwang, Concord

    On Behalf of the Massachusetts Mothers Out Front Legislation Team

  • 2020 House climate bill - amendments

    Below are the amendments Mothers Out Front supported on the Massachusetts House climate bill, H.4912 which passed on July 31, 2020.

    Amendments Passed:

     


    Amendments withdrawn:

  • H.4555 - An Act for Field Safety in Gas Infrastructure

    Sponsors: Rep. Frank Moran of Lawrence in the House and Sen. Cindy Friedman of Arlington in the Senate.

    This bill is based on lessons learned from the tragic Merrimack Valley gas explosion in 2018. This bill significantly enhances safety rules to protect the general public, first responders, and gas workers from dangerous conditions that may occur when crews are working on gas systems.

    Currently, gas utilities depend too much on outside contractors to perform hazardous work. This bill creates a certification process to improve the tracking and rating of these companies. The bill also requires common sense improvements such as improved communication between towns and utilities regarding roadwork and gas leak repairs, increased inspections of gas pipelines, and improved access to under-street gas shutoffs that protect homes and businesses from fires and explosions.

    Read more