October 2022 Newsletter
In this Issue
  • Save the Date!
  • ECA Mass Legislative Team Report
  • Elders for Sound Democracy: What YOU Can Do Before Nov. 8
  • Local Membership Gatherings
  • Videos of Recent Meetings: Catch Up or Watch Again
ECA Mass Legislative Team Report
While our state legislators are on the campaign trail, we are still looking for some action on an economic development bill that would provide funding for many of the programs and investments in the recently passed Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind. We are hoping that House and Senate leaders will agree to call a formal session to take up a bill when and if it comes out of the conference committee where it currently sits. Without funding, many of the important measures in the wind/climate bill cannot move forward.
 
In the meantime the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has published its final version of the revised stretch energy building code and the specialized opt-in code. The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (TUE) has an opportunity to comment on the code and call a public hearing, but has no authority to require revisions. The specialized opt-in code requires that buildings 4000 square feet or larger must either be all electric or meet very stringent energy efficiency criteria, which some experts suggest will lead most builders to go all electric.
 
Our Legislative Team is calling on TUE to recommend that DOER allow all municipalities that would like to require all new construction and major rehabs to be all electric to be allowed to do that. If that is not possible, we are asking that the 4000-square-foot limit be reduced to 2000 square feet, so that more builders would likely choose to go all electric. We will be sending out an Action Alert to ask our members to ask their legislators to pressure TUE to address our concerns.
 
On the federal level, we joined hundreds of other environmental organizations in calling for an end to the deal that Senator Manchin made with Senator Schumer to trade federal permission for a pipeline he wanted and some other fossil fuel industry benefits for regulatory reform that would also benefit renewable energy projects. The legislation incorporating the deal was to be attached to the resolution required to continue funding for the government, so it would be hard to oppose even by those who did not support it.
 
Manchin did withdraw his bill. While this may be something of a victory for the climate movement, it could also mean that the regulatory reform needed to speed up approval of renewable energy and transmission line projects may not happen anytime soon. Ideally our federal legislators would find their way to a compromise less favorable to fossil fuel interests, but it is not clear that is a realistic possibility.
 
Your Legislative Team is planning two meetings devoted to review of our advocacy efforts during the last legislative session and setting priorities and strategies for the coming session. ECA Mass members possibly interested in becoming more engaged in advocacy are encouraged to attend one or both meetings. The first meeting is Friday, October 7 at 10:30 AM on Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85116204087?pwd=RVErRTZaRmU4Y1JEdHorUkphdUxBQT09). 
Elders for Sound Democracy
What YOU Still Can Do Before November 8th
Elders for Sound Democracy (ESD), a campaign of our parent organization, Elders Action Network, is moving into high gear in these last weeks before the November 8th midterm election. The goal right now is to reach as many potential voters as possible with information about how to vote. Your help will be key to the success of these high-impact outreach initiatives that are entirely volunteer-driven. Mark your calendar and join these two ESD “Take Action” meetings in the final run-up to the election:

 “12 Things You Can Still Do to Empower Voters for the 2022 Election” 
Wednesday, October 12 at 10 am PT / 1 pm ET
“Voter Empowerment Work-a-Thon” 
Wednesday, October 19 at 10 am PT / 1 pm ET
Local Membership Gatherings
This fall ECA members have gathered locally in Acton, Belmont and soon in Brookline. We met for lunch and socializing at the Acton Arboretum and Irene Fairley’s home. And we will meet on October 10 at Seth Evans' home in Brookline for a burger barbecue with our Leadership Team.
 
It's been great to see each other, and the conversation has been lively about what we are doing at the local level. In the Acton gathering, Tom Amiro reviewed his experience at the Andover Sustainability Fair and showed off our new ECA Mass banner. Thank you, Tom. He is researching new clean energy sources for his house, and we discussed the problem of grid modernization. These topics could be good focus for upcoming chapter meetings or Deep Dialogues.
 
We don’t know what our upcoming schedule of in-person gatherings will be, but they will continue. We are experimenting with face-to-face gatherings in different locations, and it takes a local member in the area to kick off an event. Would you like to host one for members in your area? Let MaiyimBaron@gmail.com know, and she'll work with you to bring your local group together in a convenient area venue.
We do expect our monthly chapter meetings and Deep Dialogues to continue on Zoom so all can gather from across the state. 
Videos of Recent Meetings
Catch Up If You Missed Them
Or 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.