Will the Massachusetts legislature act with boldness to address climate change? As the two-year legislative session comes to a close on July 31st, we will soon find out. As chair of the Massachusetts House Committee on Ways and Means, Jamaica Plain Representative Jeffrey Sánchez is one of the most powerful politicians in the Commonwealth. In this role he will have a lot of influence over what happens. Massachusetts has long been considered a leader when it comes to climate change legislation.
Following a landmark 35-0 vote, the Massachusetts Senate passed a comprehensive climate bill on June 14 aimed to “promote a clean energy future.” Now the bill’s future lies in the hands of the Massachusetts House. The legislative session, and the bill’s chances for passage, end on July 31. Motivated by a sense of urgency for the Senate bill to pass the House before the current legislative session ends, local environmental activist groups Jamaica Plain Forum and 350 MA-Boston Node are organizing a Town Hall Forum with state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez, D-15th Suffolk, who also chairs the House Committee on Ways and Means. Taking place at Unitarian Universalist Church on Eliot Street this Thursday, July 12, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm the town hall will aim to address Rep. Sánchez’s views on the MA Senate Climate Bill and his plans to get a MA House version passed before July 31. The bill includes two key provisions which will be a center of discussion at the Town Hall and are supported by organizers, and the JP-based group Boston Climate Action Network:
Raising the minimum amount of local renewable energy that Massachusetts utilities and competitive suppliers have to provide by three percent each year.
Six people locked themselves together at 9:50 a.m. Saturday to block two construction sites of Spectra Energy's West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline (WRL), which would bring fracked gas into Boston. Bound at the waist and ankles using chains and superglue, they aim to stop the project from endangering the community and disrupting the climate. While the pipeline goes through West Roxbury, not JP, the fight against has attracted many JP residents. They are demanding that Spectra Energy keep fracked gas in the ground and stop forcing the project through a community that overwhelmingly opposes the pipeline. Trevor Culhane said, “This pipeline would irresponsibly lock us into decades of climate pollution and community disruption.
Follow and submit questions for my live #EarthDay twitter chat at 3PM today! Use #AskMJW pic.twitter.com/DZaoyN95E4— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) April 22, 2015
Do you have a question for Mayor Marty Walsh about the city's response to climate change? Want to quiz the city's chief of environment, energy and open space about sustainability? The two are hosting a chat on Twitter starting at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Use #AskMJW to ask questions and follow the chat.
Tagging by JP's chapter of Mothers Out Front, a climate change action group. Credit: Courtesy of Viki Bok
The JP chapter of the climate-change action group Mothers Out Front has been writing messages on the neighborhood's snowbanks. "Time to call it like it is," wrote resident Viki Bok in an email. "This is climate change. Eight feet of snow.