April 2022 Newsletter
In this Issue
  • Save the Date!
  • Legislative Team Report: Cooking Up the Next Climate Bill
  • New Website Tracks Progress on Climate Commitments
  • Those Boots are Made for Walkin'! Rallies at the State House
  • MassEnergize: A Great Resource for Local Climate Action
  • "What Can One Person Do?" ECA Presentation for your Group
  • Featured Videos
ECA Mass Legislative Team Report

April will be a busy month for climate in the state legislature as the Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy Committee (TUE) drafts a climate bill for the House to consider and the Senate completes its version of climate legislation to be released near the end of the month. There are a lot of moving parts in the process, but here are the highlights:
●    Rep. Roy, co-chair of TUE, will be considering several of his personal climate priorities for inclusion in a bill, and these include a few ECA Mass priorities: Green financing, building energy performance standards, Mass Save reform, and energy facility siting, as well as transportation electrification, and grid modernization.
●    A local option for municipalities to require all-electric new construction is likely off the table in the House, but might be still alive in the Senate since a Local Option bill is sitting in Senate Ways and Means.
●    Getting the all-electric local option into the specialized opt-in building code under development by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) remains a high priority for ECA and our allies. If we are successful, legislation would not be needed.
●    Some elements of the comprehensive wind energy bill passed by the House will likely be rolled into the Senate climate bill, but it is not clear which parts may be left on the cutting room floor. House leadership wants the wind bill to be passed separately from a climate bill.
●    The wind bill includes grid modernization plans that we will be advocating for among other elements.
●    A stripped-down version of the wind bill without workforce and some other provisions has been submitted by Governor Baker, and this may be influential.
●    The day our newsletter is published the Labor and Workforce Development Committee will likely be reporting out the two climate workforce bills we are supporting. If one or both get a favorable report, we will continue to advocate for them.
●    In May and June our attention will focus on the conference committee that will be crafting a climate bill that both the House and Senate can live with.
Your legislative team is working with members of the Roadmap Coalition under the guidance of Rep. Meschino to identify those elements of climate bills in TUE that we can all get behind. Our members have played leading roles in crafting letters to TUE on building and transportation issues. As we move into April we will be increasingly focused on the Senate climate deliberations.
In the coming months the team will also be focusing on the new 2025, 2030 Clean Energy and Climate Plan, the Future of Gas planning process, the building code development, and the work of the Clean Heat Commission.

Stay tuned for action alerts in your email or in your Climate Action Now cell phone app, and help us advocate for the best possible climate legislation and regulations.
New Website Tracks Progress on Climate Commitments
The Next Generation Roadmap Act, one of the strongest climate laws in the nation, was signed by Governor Baker in March 2021. It requires Massachusetts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030, and to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

To track progress on the law's deadlines and requirements, check out this new website, NetZeroMA.org, by the Environmental League of Massachusetts, with support from the Conservation Law Foundation, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and Elders Climate Action. (Our own Arnie Epstein of ECA Mass wrote the three sections for items due on July 1, 2022.)
Those Boots Are Made for Walkin'!
By Maiyim Baron

After two years without live actions at the State House it’s finally time to get those boots out of the closet and on the street again – and to warm up our voices! On March 16 I joined other ECA Mass members at a live, in-person FIX the GRID rally at the Boston Common, and excitement filled the air. We gathered with people from 350 Mass, Mothers Out Front, and more – with lots of interesting signs and chanting. We heard terrific storytelling by Judith Black (the Climate Courage #Fastingforafuture hunger striker), and a great lineup of speakers. ISO-New England, our regional energy grid operator, is slow-walking the transition to renewable energy and keeping us hooked on fossil fuels. It’s beyond time to Fix the Grid, and we demanded that Governor Baker hold ISO-New England accountable!
The following week, on March 25, ECA joined the Global Climate Strike sponsored by Fridays for our Future, Extinction Rebellion and others. (The choice specimen old beech tree at the site was also a star of the rally, I thought.) XRs Red Rebel Brigade was a stunning, beautiful and intriguing presence. Amidst my familiar gray-haired Elder activist friends I was so happy to see lots of youngers, who made for lively chanting and clapping. What a good coming together of climate action groups in the area!
Stay tuned to our events page for more opportunities to get your boots dusty with our friends and allies! 
Local Angles
MassEnergize: A Great Resource for Local Climate Action
By Roger Luckmann

Climate activism at the local level is becoming increasingly important in:
    Educating residents about climate change
    Promoting home energy efficiency and electrification
    Influencing developers to build all-electric
    Protecting natural lands
    Advocating for strong climate action plans
    Engaging municipal leaders in state climate policy and more.

Many members of ECA Mass are already active in local climate groups in communities across the state. Others of you may be interested in becoming involved at the local level but could use some support to get something going. Our member survey showed that lots of us are interested in getting together with members in our local area.

MassEnergize is a relatively new statewide resource that offers tools that local climate activists can use to start a group or become more effective in their work. Sixteen towns have already signed up to work with them. They offer:
    A community outreach tool kit that can help you develop an overview of all outreach channels in your community including community organizations, media, influential individuals, businesses, and government channels.
    A local website for your town that you can easily customize.
    Software that tracks the impact of local efforts including number of households engaged, actions taken and avoided carbon emissions.
    Playbooks to help you plan a campaign, organize a presentation, a movie screening, a festival, and campaigns and events to promote green heating and cooling, solar energy, food waste management and more.
    A support group of regional peers called a “community of practice,” which comes together monthly to share local experiences and wisdom.
In Natick, MassEnergize was key to reviving a dormant climate organization, renamed EcoNatick.The group is getting support from MassEnergize for their new website and in promoting an Earth Day event that will include activities all around town offered by local residents and organizations.

MassEnergize could provide the boost you need to ramp up climate activism in your community. Check them out here!  https://www.massenergize.org/ 
What Can One Person Do?
It’s a question we often ask ourselves, and one we encounter whenever we speak to friends and family about the climate crisis. What Can One Person Do? is also the name of a one-hour slide presentation that ECA Mass would love to present to your civic group, church group, or senior housing organization.
Members of the ECA Mass Education Team can do the presentation either in person or by Zoom. While we use slides to cover some of the causes, effects, and solutions to the climate crisis, we make sure to leave plenty of time for discussion. After all, the goal of learning about what we can do is igniting participants’ interest in taking action, and that only happens when we talk to one another!
For more information about how to arrange a What Can One Person Do? presentation for your group, please contact Seth Evans.
Featured Videos
Presentations You May Have Missed
(or Want to Watch Again!)
This Newsletter is Published for Members and Friends of the
Elders Climate Action - Massachusetts Chapter
ECA Massachusetts is a chapter of the national Elders Climate Action. We are a movement of elders committed to making our voices heard... to change our nation's policies while there is still time to avoid catastrophic changes in the Earth's climate. Visit the ECA Massachusetts website, event calendar, and Facebook page to learn more about our chapter's activities and climate news. JOIN ECA MASSACHUSETTS AND STAY CONNECTED! Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, and for more active participation, sign up to receive Action Alerts and meeting announcements. Fill out our subscription form.