How to Tame an Omnibus (Energy Bill)

Crucial decisions about our energy future – wind? hydro? gas? – are coming up this year, and the Mass. legislature is wrapping them into an omnibus energy bill that will come out next month. This update from Mass Power Forward gives you ways to shape the bill. Please choose at least one!

  1. Timing and Targets
    Our best information is that the House is going to come out with a version of the omnibus energy bill around April 11ish or April 25th. Right now it sounds as if it will have something on offshore wind that we will like, something about Canadian hydro, and something we really don’t like about gas pipeline subsidies. Important House leaders that we should be trying to get other Representatives to speak to include Speaker DeLeo, Dempsey, Haddad and Golden.

    The Senate is likely to wait until after the House to release their version. As of right now, it will likely have something we like about offshore wind and decommissioning Pilgrim, it probably won’t allow something that affirms gas pipelines subsidies, but it may not go so far as to include language to disallow pipeline subsidies. Important Senators to shore up are Downing, Wolf, Pacheco, and Montigny.

    2. How we can take action to influence them

    a) Sign on letter. A sign on letter to stop a pipeline subsidy is cooking, we will be asking you to sign it and to ask your elected officials to sign it. Stay tuned.

    b) Meet with your state legislators. If you haven’t had a district meeting with your Representative or Senator, please consider having one! Contact Claire at claire@toxicsaction.org if you’d like to connect with other Mass Power Forward groups in your area to participate.

    c) Grassroots Lobby Day. Climate Action Now in the Pioneer Valley has initiated a Tuesday, March 29th lobby day at the Nurse’s Hall in the State House. Please mark your calendars to join us if you can! RSVP here so we can coordinate our attendees: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1WDQAfU2B9g99NnxaYyiG3_nT4mLiCQKa_fCylrTS3uA/viewform?usp=send_form

    d) Call-in Day. If you can’t take time off from work for the lobby day, the day after, March 30th, is a call-in day. Please tell your whole community. More materials to follow.

    e) Media. Getting in the news helps our cause. On April 12th, we’re hoping to hold five simultaneous press conferences in Boston, Lowell, New Bedford, Springfield and Pittsfield. We have a new report about the climate impacts of fracked gas. All will be welcome to attend. Please email claire@toxicsaction.org with your name and organization if you are interested in helping.

    f) Fact sheets. Please feel free to use these fact sheets on the gas subsidy, wind, solar, and more:
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0BwQuyiS8GdEDd0twMlg3SjZneTQ&usp=sharing
    They will be revised as updates in the policies shift, including actual legislation guide.

    g) Protect public land from the gas hogs! Kinder Morgan is trying to take public land in the Otis State Forest for their CT Expansion project and run roughshod over out state constitution. Please use this tool to send the Governor and Sect. Beaton a letter to call on the Baker Administration to stand up to Kinder Morgan and FERC now. http://tinyurl.com/DefendOSF

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