SUGGESTIONS FOR ACTION – Pick one or many!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
• COMMENT ON THE FERC DOCKET FOR TGP’s 261 UPGRADE PROJECT •
Tennessee Gas (TGP, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan), as part of the Columbia Gas Reliability Plan, is proposing a project labeled “261 Upgrade“, named for Compressor Station #261 in Agawam. It consists of several components – primarily the “Looping Project” and “Horsepower (HP) Replacement Project”. There is also a proposed new Meter Station planned for Longmeadow. TGP has repeatedly argued that this is not a part of the same project, but the state has demanded that they add it to the Environmental Impact Report, and we keep insisting that leaving it out is segmentation.
Comment on FERC Docket #CP19-7.
» See how to comment on a FERC Docket
• GET YOUR LOCAL BOARD OF HEALTH TO CHIME IN •
The Massachusetts Association of Health Boards (MAHB) are asking local Boards of Health to sign on to a letter to Governor Baker, asking him to say no to further fracked gas infrastructure or, at the very least, not allow any to be approved without a full, independent study of health effects.
Over 60 Boards of Health have approved signing onto it, or written their own!
Residents of our other towns and cities to should ask their Board of Health to sign on to this letter as well. It would be a powerful message to send if every municipality in the state signed on!
• LOCAL ACTIONS FOR GREENING YOUR TOWN / CITY •
There are state programs to help push your city or town toward more clean and efficient power use, including making solar and conversion to clean household heating systems more affordable through aggregate purchasing.
OTHER INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS
• Learn About Massachusetts State Energy Efficiency Programs
From weatherizing and making your home more efficiency through MassSave, adding high efficiency cold weather heat pumps and solar to run them through SolarAccess, to banding together with neighbors to get the power of bulk pricing on going solar with Solarize and more options, check our Energy Efficiency section.
• Spread the word!
— Write OpEds or Letters to the Editor about the pipeline issue. This especially important to counter inaccurate or one-sided reports you may see, but writing about the pipeline issue preemptively is a good way to bring the subject to the general public.
— Talk to your neighbors and friends about pipeline projects near you and let them know why they’re of concern. Maybe share your favorite environmental documentaries with friends.
— Talk to your local selectboard, planning board, conservation commission about what their plans are or what you think they should be. Even if your town isn’t affected by fossil fuel infrastructure expansion, consider creating a 100% Renewables plant for your town (more info coming soon!), becoming a Green Community, or organizing to participate in the Solarize Mass program
— Talk to your State Legislators
Here are links to the major Massachusetts Legislative Committees who would have sway over these issues. These would be key people to contact first, but definitely feel free to contact more:
» Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy
» Joint Committee on Ways and Means
»Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture
— Consider spending some time at the State House.
Nothing beats an actual person talking to you about the issues. Consider making an appointment with either your own Legislators, or with some on the Committees show above to talk to them about your concerns and present some of the evidence for why more fossil fuel expansion is the wrong direction.
— In Your Own Home or Business
• Contact MassSAVE for a free home energy audit. Find out where you can improve your energy efficiency and what incentive programs and rebates you qualify for.
• Sign up for Shave The Peak email or text alerts so you can voluntarily cut back electricity use during “peak” days, when utilities may need to draw on oil- or coal- fired power plants to meet unusually high demand. Small adjustments to air conditioning or household appliance use for a few hours can make a big difference, and help to green the grid.
• Talk to a nearby rooftop or small-scale wind energy provider about systems you could use to generate your own clean energy. If you’re not sure where to find someone, NESEA’s Sustainable Green Pages could be a good place to start.
• If your own energy system isn’t an option, consider adding New England Green Start to your utility account. For pennies more per KWh, you can ensure that the amount of energy you use is purchased by your utility company from clean energy sources.
— DONATE to help keep our efforts moving and expanding!
• Plant a Tree!
— Free Trees from BEAT! Neighborhoods in Pittsfield are now a part of a statewide program to increase canopy cover, reduce energy costs for heating and cooling, and make our neighborhoods healthier. Come visit our table and find out more about getting FREE TREES, PROFESSIONALLY PLANTED, FOR FREE! Hosted by Pittsfield Greening the Gateway City – Free Trees and Berkshire Environmental Action Team.
» Contact Jane Winn of Berkshire Environmental Action Team
» Help other communities fighting similar battles against fossil fuel infrastructure expansion across the country
— Get behind solutions!
» FOCUS ON EFFICIENCY
• Encourage your State Reps. and the Governor to focus on energy efficiency as a way to close the energy gap, not bringing in more fossil fuels to feed existing and fire up more leaky gas-fired plants.
» FOCUS ON ALTERNATIVES
• Support solar, wind, micro-wind, energy efficiency and conservation measures.
REDUCE PLASTIC CONSUMPTION
Plastics aren’t only a pollution problem. Their production relies on fracking to extract ethane along with natural gas. Reducing your plastic use can reduce demand for more fracking wells in communities hosting fossil fuel extraction.
• Paper or plastics? How about neither!
Both plastic and paper disposable shopping bags use far more energy and resources than using re-usable canvas bags. Talk to your local officials about starting a bag-ban in your town, and start a local BagShare program.
• The Bag Share
— The goal of the BagShare is to transition stores to going disposable bag free. Volunteers sew and donate cloth bags to stores, libraries, farmer’s markets, and other venues that want to reduce their bag waste.
• Buy in bulk. Instead of purchasing groceries plastic packaging, find stores that offer products in bulk bins and ask if you can bring your own reusable bags or containers.
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