August 2022 Newsletter
In this Issue
  • Important Climate Legislation... Almost Over the Finish Line! Tell Gov. Baker to sign the bill into law!
  • Save the Date!
  • ECA Mass is Out and About! Want to table at an event?
  • The Local Angle: Hudson and Stow Green Groups Work with Local Municipal Utility to Incentivize All-Electric Housing
  • What We're Reading: Water Always Wins: Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge, by Erica Gies
Important Climate Legislation...
Almost Over the Finish Line!
An Act driving clean energy and offshore wind is taking a long and winding road to passage. The bill was sent to Gov. Baker’s desk on July 21. But the Governor declined to sign the bill, sending it back to the Legislature with several proposed amendments. Legislators accepted some amendments and rejected others. The amended bill was passed by the state Senate and House of Representatives on Sunday, July 31, and sent to the Governor on August 1. He has ten days (until August 11) to act:
  1. He can sign the bill and it becomes law
  2. He can veto the bill by August 11
  3. He can do nothing, and the bill will become law after ten days.

The bill contains provisions for off-shore wind development, EV funding, MBTA bus electrification, and building decarbonization funding, rejects bio-mass as a renewable energy source, advances solar energy and provides more funding for the Mass Clean Energy Center and other important ECA Mass legislative priorities. Read more about the bill in this report by Miriam Wasser of WBUR. ECA Mass continues to prioritize funding for clean energy development and will be tracking the use of ARPA funds towards programs and initiatives.

Right now, the odds look good for the governor to sign this bill. And our current understanding is that the climate law will go into effect if the Governor doesn’t sign it. Any so-called "pocket veto" does not apply in this situation because the legislature has technically not adjourned.

THANK YOU to all of our members who emailed, called and wrote to legislators and the Governor over the last few months and especially the last few weeks! This advocacy moved the bill to the finish line! If the situation changes, we will let you know... While we have to be patient and wait, you can still take action if you haven't already!

Tell Gov. Baker to sign the bill into law!
Call: (617) 725-4005 between 9 AM & 5PM 
Use or adapt this template:
This is __[YOUR NAME]__ and I live in __[YOUR TOWN]__. I am a member of Elders Climate Action and am deeply worried about our climate emergency.
I’m calling to ask Governor Baker to sign the climate bill into law. Neither Massachusetts nor the planet can afford any more delays in addressing the climate crisis. Your legacy and all of our legacies are at stake. Thank you for your time.
Email: Your own personalized message to Governor Baker and submit it via his office’s online portal: Submit a Written Comment
You are welcome to use this template.
ECA Mass is Out and About!
Want to table at an event?
It's super fun, and we have resources to make it easy for you.

Tabling is a great way to share information about ECA Mass and recruit new activist members who sign up for the newsletter, chapter announcements, and action alerts. It’s also a way to provide education on climate change, climate solutions and mitigation.
Several ECA Mass members have been engaged this summer in tabling at local events, and have coordinated with local organizations at fairs and festivals. Tina Grosowsky (see photo) and Paul Reisberg hosted a table at the Acton Farmers Market on July 31. They enjoyed a charming conversation with a six-year-old boy who described his understanding of global warming and his story of what is happening to the Great Salt Lake.
ECA Mass has several resources available on our website to use. If you’re interested in tabling at events in your town, we can provide you with an ECA Mass T-shirt, banner, and educational materials. Please contact Seth Evans, for a T-shirt, or Tina Grosowsky for a banner and resources,
The Local Angle:
Hudson and Stow Green Groups Work with Local Municipal Utility to Incentivize All-Electric Homes
Tina Grosowsky and Arnie Epstein

Our towns, Hudson and Stow, are served by a municipal utility – Hudson Light & Power Department (HLPD) – which provides nearly the lowest-cost and cleanest electricity in the state. Municipal utilities are not subject to many of the state-mandated regulations that apply to the large investor-owned utilities such as Eversource and National Grid and, since a municipal utility is a nonprofit serving only a few towns, local action can have a large impact.

Hudson and Stow are looking at major new housing developments. In Stow, there are two large projects which together will increase the number of homes by nearly 13 percent. Environmental groups in both towns, Green Hudson and the Stow Green Advisory Committee, are committed to ensuring these new homes are energy efficient and fossil fuel free. Both groups worked closely with HLPD to find ways to incentivize the developers to change their traditional practices and adopt the techniques and materials needed to make this happen. For HLPD this is a “win-win” proposition that benefits the environment and increases their sale of electricity to new all-electric homes. This collaboration led to the adoption of a new incentive program that pays the developer for each new all-electric home. 

Brian Choquette, HLPD’s General Manager, said “HLPD has committed to meeting Massachusetts’ clean energy goals and is pleased to provide a $2,750/home incentive for developers to build non-fossil-fuel homes. Utilizing the Department’s clean portfolio for residential all-electric housing translates to fewer carbon emissions and more KWH over which our expenses can be spread. This results in downward pressure on our already low electric rates. We’re continuously looking for new technologies, processes or programs that can improve our reliability, maintain low rates, and reduce our overall carbon footprint.”
What We're Reading
Water Always Wins:
Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge
By Erica Gies (University of Chicago Press, 2022)

A new book, Water Always Wins, by independent journalist Erica Gies, informs us about the Slow Water movement, a critical response to the challenge of climate change. She traveled the world with support from National Geographic to study diverse and historical approaches to encourage water to move more slowly and naturally through the landscape. With fascinating stories, she reveals approaches from California agricultural lands to the marshes of Iraq, from early water cultures in India and Peru, to China’s recent ‘sponge cities.’ Exploring water issues from drought to deluge, Gies reveals diverse solutions for a sustainable relationship with water.

We look forward to having the author address us at an ECA Mass meeting in the near future. Signed copies of the book currently are available at Porter Square Books in Cambridge.

-- Irene Fairley
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.