Boston, MA — Boston-area environmental, community and religious leaders joined forces on Wednesday with others across the state to launch Mass Power Forward, a brand-new statewide coalition dedicated to fighting for a just transition to clean energy. The coalition, which includes more than 90 environmental organizations, community groups, small businesses and religious congregations, kicked off today with simultaneous press conferences in Weymouth, Boston, Holyoke, Pittsfield, West Peabody, and Fall River. The coalition will fight for clean energy all over the Commonwealth, including at the State House, where state representatives are currently considering several important energy bills. A major legislative hearing on energy is scheduled for September 29.
Eugenia Gibbons of Mass Energy Consumers Alliance, David Noymer of The Greater Boston Food Bank, and Reverend Anne Bancroft of Theodore Parker Church in West Roxbury spoke at the launch, which was held at The Greater Boston Food Bank, in front of one of the largest solar arrays in the City of Boston.
GBFB CFO David Noymer stands in front of GBFB’s solar panels. GBFB has one of the largest solar arrays in the City of Boston.
“For more than 30 years, Mass Energy has worked to make energy affordable and environmentally sustainable. Whether we’re helping members reduce costs through energy efficiency or working to bring online local renewable resources like wind, solar, and ‘cow power,’ Mass Energy believes efficiency and renewables are the keys to a sustainable future,” said Eugenia Gibbons, Clean Energy Program Director at Mass Energy Consumers Alliance. “As a mother, my energy choices are influenced by the future I want for all our children. Our state has a long history of leading by example: we should be proud of the progress we’ve made so far, but we must do more to accelerate a just transition to clean energy, too.”
Massachusetts leaders will weigh important legislation this fall that will determine how our state will replace aging fossil fuel and nuclear power plants. Investment decisions made this year will determine how we power our communities for decades. This provides state lawmakers with an important opportunity to modernize our energy grid and invest in local energy resources, including energy efficiency, solar and on-shore and offshore wind.
“GBFB was an early organization to adopt energy saving tools and systems, like solar panels, and today we have the largest display of solar panels in the city of Boston. We are proud of the steps we have taken to become energy-efficient. The technologies that we employ are not only forward-thinking, but allow us to save money and operate more efficiently and effectively, which directly helps advance our mission to end hunger here in Eastern Massachusetts,” said David Noymer, Chief Financial Officer of the Greater Boston Food Bank.
The new coalition, Mass Power Forward, says over 90 groups have endorsed its platform, which calls for energy policy that:
1. Advances Massachusetts toward a safer and healthier economy powered by local, clean, renewable sources, maximizing energy efficiency, responsibly sited solar, wind on and off-shore and energy storage and keeping us on track to reduce our climate change pollution by no less than 80% by 2050;
2. Reduces our dependence on polluting energy sources such as coal, oil, gas and nuclear, and frees our power grid from imported fuels, volatile markets and dangerous power generation facilities;
3. Prioritizes neighborhoods, families and our public lands over utility monopolies and the polluting energy industry; and prohibits public subsidies for gas pipelines or other new fossil fuel infrastructure;
4. Modernizes our power grid and empowers everyday people to access locally generated power;
5. Assists workers and communities with retiring power plants to participate in the benefits of the green economy and clean energy transition.
“We are at a crossroads, and once again, Massachusetts has the opportunity to be a visionary leader. We now have the opportunity to put love, respect and care at the top of our list for our energy future. It’s a matter of prioritizing smart and efficient and cost-effective choices that will respect our place on this planet, and care for its keeping and all its creatures,” said Reverend Anne Bancroft of Theodore Park Church in West Roxbury.
About The Greater Boston Food Bank
The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. GBFB distributes more than 50 million pounds of food and grocery products annually to 550 member hunger-relief agencies and more than 30 direct service programs throughout Eastern Massachusetts in a dedicated partnership to end hunger in our region. A member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, GBFB provides meals for more than 500,000 people a year. For more information, visit GBFB.org, become a fan on Facebook, follow us onTwitter, or call 617.427.5200.
“A diverse, clean energy mix can meet our power needs, grow our local economy and keep our communities safe and healthy,” said Joel Wool, Advocate for Energy and Environment with Clean Water Action. “From fracking fields in the Marcellus Shale to unsustainable and unnecessary gas pipelines in our region, we are committed to fight back against the rush of corporate polluters and power Massachusetts forward with clean energy. We have no other choice.”
Joel Wool, Advocate: Energy & Environment, Clean Water Action
88 Broad St, Lower Level, Boston, MA 02110
Tel: 617-338-8131 x205 firstname.lastname@example.org
“MCAN is excited to stand with MA Power Forward because we see how cities and towns benefit from clean energy. This is an issue of our children’s future, and an issue that touches on our local economies and our municipal budgets. Cities and towns want to fulfill the promise of a clean energy future, and supporting dirty energy like coal and natural gas doesn’t get us there.”
Carol Oldham, Executive Director, Massachusetts Climate Action Network
617-953-4954, PO Box 51563 Boston MA 02205 email@example.com
“Before we even consider building new gas pipelines, we need to fix our existing natural gas infrastructure. There are over 3,000 gas leaks in Boston alone, threatening health and safety and emitting powerful greenhouse gasses at rate-payers’ expense.”
Rebecca Tumposky, Boston Climate Action Network
510 780 6429, firstname.lastname@example.org
“With Pope Francis and other faith leaders calling for immediate action to address global warming, and with diplomats preparing to meet in Paris to negotiate a global treaty, the next few months could be a turning point on climate change. Here in Massachusetts, we face a choice: we can spend billions of dollars building polluting new fossil fuel infrastructure, or we can invest in clean energy and demonstrate true climate leadership at a pivotal moment in history. The decision is ours to make.”
Emily Kirkland, Communications Coordinator, Better Future Project
646 623 5271, 30 Bow St, Cambridge, MA, 02143, email@example.com
“I’ve never seen the grassroots movement on energy like this, its a tsunami of passionate citizens calling on their legislators to make the right decisions at this crossroads. From Pittsfield to Weymouth and everything in between, concerned community leaders have a vision to continue whole hog down the path of clean, healthy, local renewable energy. That’s what Mass Power Forward is all about- a healthy, happy economy.”
Claire B.W. Miller, Lead Community Organizer, Toxics Action Center
781-775-1429, 294 Washington St. #500, Boston, MA 02130 firstname.lastname@example.org
“ELM is proud to join Mass Power Forward, a coalition whose members’ diversity in mission and geography speaks volumes.
Communities across Massachusetts want elected leaders to promote local renewable energy resources which keep our energy dollars in the state and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. ELM is eager to work with Mass Power Forward to call on Beacon Hill to make bold investments in the energy resources of the future, not lock us into the resources of the past.”
Josh Craft, Program Director, Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM)
Tel: 617-742-2553 14 Beacon Street, Suite 714, Boston, MA 02108 email@example.com
“Climate change is bad for business. From coastal flooding in Scituate to record breaking snow storms across Massachusetts, the impacts are already being felt. As businesses leaders we see a clear need to bring our emissions down to zero quickly, through energy efficiency and renewable energy investments to protect our place as a national leader. We urge State leadership to strongly support responsible energy policies that will allow us to transition rapidly to a clean energy future.”
Michael Green, Executive Director, Climate Action Business Association
Phone: 617.303.0150 1 Wadleigh Place, Boston, MA, 02127 firstname.lastname@example.org
“Massachusetts stands at a crossroads. Are we going to embrace a future powered by clean energy, good jobs, innovation, and our trademark ingenuity? Or are we going to continue the polluting policies of the past, with more fossil fuel pipelines that destroy our habitat, dirty our air, send energy dollars outside the state, and contribute to the warming of the planet. The solutions are here, all we need is the will.”
Emily Norton, Director, Massachusetts Sierra Club
Tel: (617) 423-5775 10 Milk Street, Suite 417 Boston MA 02108-4600 email@example.com