A time of new encounters
An new troop of activists offers another approach
Katy attended a meeting in Amherst on Sunday afternoon of a new Pioneer Valley chapter of Mothers Out Front ("Mobilizing for a Livable Climate"). This group will be collaborating with us to organize letter-writing campaigns and other actions that can be taken by mothers (and others).
Old friends (and some new) offer much needed help
Both Rose and Katy were invited to talk during Sunday morning's service at the West Cummington Church about their motivations and experiences in starting NoFrackedGasInMass. Realizing that No Fracked Gas in Mass is an all-citizen-volunteer, out of pocket venture, the congregation gathered offerings to help with our expenses and afterward, many shared their thoughts, ideas and asked to join in fighting the pipeline. Donations are very much needed to continue our work and to expand our outreach by other means, such as the low cost lawn signs we're planning to offer as soon as we can raise initial printing costs, and we are deeply grateful for the assistance of the Congregation.
Additional donations may be made directly to No Fracked Gas in Mass, or through the West Cummington Church, by writing mailing a check made out to "West Cummington Church" with "frack" in the memo line to:
West Cummington Church
PO Box 148
Cummington, MA 01026
New Faces at Informational Meetings
At a couple of informational meetings, new attendees have been noticed; folks wearing orange sweatshirts. Turns out they're members of LIUNA - Laborers International Union Of North America, who are hoping for pipe-fitting contracts. Some have voiced concern over the environment and the hard choice of weighing that with the need to make a living, and the point has been made that there would be a lot MORE work if Massachusetts would commit to fixing leaks to the existing pipelines. Their regional director has mentioned that they'll be at most if not all pipeline hearings and selectboard meetings, so don't be surprised if you see them, and don't be afraid to strike up a conversation.
TGP Scheduled to Meet with Various Towns
It looks like more Tennessee Gas Representatives will be attending meetings with town selectboards. See the Events below to see where they intend to be. They have backed out of one meeting before and have sent a silent, note-taking "communications" worker to another, but they may be ready to speak and answer questions.
Ashfield’s Approach and Advice
on Drafting a Community Rights Resolution
A group of Ashfield residents has drafted a rights-based resolution for Town Meeting. They have shared it as a template for people seeking a different approach from the one taken by Cummington residents.
Ashfield’s resolution uses rights-based language inspired by the emerging Community Rights Movement, which started in Pennsylvania in 1998 in response to communities facing unwanted corporate development projects. Instead of merely regulating corporate harms, a rights-based strategy seeks to stop those harms by asserting local, democratic control directly over corporations.
Read Ashfield's Resolution
Ways to Help Stop the Pipeline:
Lots of you have been asking what you can do right now. Here are some actions to choose from that make more of an impact than most people realize:
— If you haven't yet, sign the state-wide Petition to Ban New Gas Pipelines, and send the link to friends across the state
— Write to or call the Governor
— Write to or call your State Representative and State Senator
— Write to or call Richard K. Sullivan, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs
— Write to or call Ann Burwick, Chair of the Department of Public Utilities
You can find contact info for all of them on our site.
— Write a Letter to the Editor to your area newspapers, local blogs or online town bulletins, and radio or television news stations. It need not be long or elaborate, but it can raise awareness to the problems of the pipeline and be an opposing voice to the pro-pipeline press releases that have started hitting regional media.
We have a basic list of Pipeline FAQs that may help when you're wondering what to say when contacting officials or writing a letter to the editor of your local papers.
— Talk to your friends and neighbors, either individually or at any gatherings you may be attending or forward this email
— If you know anyone along the proposed pipeline route, call, email or stop by to check in on them and see if they know what's going on. We've recently obtained more detailed maps from Kinder Morgan of the suggested route.
— Ask your local select board, conservation commission and/or planning board what they've heard. If they haven't heard about the pipeline - inform them!
— Contact any Land Trusts or other Conservation organizations you can think of.
— If you're not sure if anyone in your town is acting to resist the pipeline, check out out Town-By-Town listings to see.
• If there have been no meetings in your area about the pipeline, see where you can host one. It can be an informal discussion of the FAQ points on our site, or you can see if Bruce Winn from Berkshire Environmental Action Team or Rosemary Wessel from No Fracked Gas in Mass would be available to speak at your meeting. Even though we're facing a pipeline, and not an immediate plan to drill in Massachusetts, the gas that would be coming through is from the Marcellus Shale region, among other fracking zones, so some towns have chosen to hold a screening of Gasland or Gasland II as an opener for discussion. We have materials to download and print to help get you started.
• If no one in your town has started a Resolution, By-Law or Ordinance against the pipeline, talk to your selectboard about what needs to be done to start the process. We have a sample Resolution and lots of other resources to start things off.
— If you're hitting writer's block when trying to write to our legislators or letters to the editor, consider hosting a letter writing party with friends.
Monday has great opportunities for meeting fellow activists in the Berkshires, or taking to the street in Boston!
MONDAY - MARCH 31, 2014 – PITTSFIELD
— Kick-Off Meeting for Berkshire “Node” of 350MA: “The Climate Crisis: Only a Movement can Save Us!” Senator Downing will introduce Craig Altemose, executive director of the Better Future Project. Mr. Altermose will speak about building a grassroots movement to address climate change. Followed by kick-off meeting of the Berkshire node of 350 Massachusetts – discussion will include the MA fossil fuel divestment bill and the TGP pipeline.
Berkshire Community College, Room K111
1350 West St, Pittsfield, MA
MONDAY – MARCH 31, 2014 – BOSTON
— Student Walk-Out to Say No to New Fossil Fuel Construction. On Monday, March 31, we will be walking out of class to call for a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure in the Commonwealth. We request that the Governor meet us that day at a public rally on the Boston Common at 11:00 am to answer our call. The energy infrastructure built today will affect our entire lives, and we insist that these decisions not be made without our involvement.
TUESDAY - APRIL 1. 2014 - PEPPERELL
— Update on the TGP Pipeline by Pepperell Conservation Commission.
Town Hall, Conference Room B
TUESDAY – APRIL 1, 2014 – CHESTERFIELD
— An info meeting about the pipeline will be held in Chesterfield. Featured speaker: Bruce Winn, BEAT.
Chesterfield Community Center
400 Main Rd/Rte 143,
All are invited.
For questions, please contact Denise by email or Nancy at (413) 296-4323.
MONDAY – APRIL 7, 2014 – MONTAGUE
— Kinder Morgan Rep. to speak to the Montague Selectboard.
7:00 pm Town Hall
1 Avenue A
SATURDAY – APRIL 5, 2014 – RICHMOND
— Information meeting – Bruce from BEAT will present information about the pipeline and other guest speakers, including Rose Wessel of NFGIM.
Richmond Congregational Church
1515 State Road, Route 41
TUESDAY – APRIL 8, 2014 – NORTHAMPTON (RADIO)
— Enviro Show special on the proposed fracked gas pipeline. Show airs at 6:00 pm on WXOJ-LP, 103.3fm. Northampton, MA Webstreaming at: http://www.valleyfreeradio.org/listen/web-stream-listening-help/ Also on WMCB, Greenfield; 107.9,
Mondays at 9pm, Streaming online.
WEDNESDAY – APRIL 9, 2014 – ASHBY
— Kinder Morgan representatives to meet with Ashby Selectboard according to article in the Lowell Sun. Comments or questions for the meeting can be emailed to the selectboard as stated in the article.
FRIDAY – APRIL 11, 2014 – BOSTON
— The 140th NE Electricity Restructuring Roundtable: New England Governors’ Energy Infrastructure Proposals & ENE’s EnergyVision (2050). We will hear from two of the state leaders in negotiations for increased clean energy and gas pipeline tariffs, Steven Clarke, Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy at Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and Maine PUC Chairman Tom Welch. Ray Hepper, General Counsel and Vice President at ISO New England will then provide ISO’s insights on these recent developments on energy infrastructure in New England and discuss how these requests by the Governors could be translated into tariffs as well as meeting New England’s 2050 75-80% greenhouse gas reduction targets
9 am to 12:30 pm
Foley Hoag LLP 155 Seaport Boulevard, 13th Floor
Boston, MA 02210
Free and open to the public with no advanced registration!
SATURDAY – APRIL 12th – NORTHAMPTON
— Hampshire and Franklin Municipal Conference. One of the Individual sessions from 10:15-11:30 addresses Green Energy. Ben Downing, John Keenan, and Dwayne Breger were invited to talk to the issues given their roles as Chairs of the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committees and Director of Renewable and Alternative Energy Development, Mass DOER. Senator Elizabeth Warren is the keynote speaker at 12:15. For more info, check stanrosenberg.com.
Participants must pre-register by April 7. One can register on line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Northampton, sponsored by Hampshire and Franklin Municipalities.
WEDNESDAY — APRIL 16, 2014 — ATHOL
— Information Session on proposed pipeline project. Bruce Winn from the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) will give a presentation on the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) route and its contents. He will also talk about environmental and health issues along with economic and regulatory issues. TGP, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, is planning to run a pipeline through North Massachusetts to provide natural gas to a Dracut holding spot. Many people in this area could be affected by this project. Discussion with Q & A to follow presentation.
Athol Town Hall
THURSDAY – APRIL 17, 2014 – GREENFIELD (previously listed for W. Hatfield, MA)
— Organizational follow-up meeting with Climate Action Now – MA, Toxics Action Center and other organizations and citizens to build a coalition against the pipeline.
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Green Fields Market Meeting Room
Main Street Greenfield, MA
SATURDAY – APRIL 19, 2014 – SANDISFIELD
— Pipeline information event, including presentation by Bruce Winn of BEAT and Rose Wessel of NFGIM.
Sandisfield Arts Center
5 Hammertown Road
Time to be decided
THURSDAY – APRIL 24 – FITCHBURG
— Information Night on TGP Project
Colomba Legacy Center
59 Walnut Street
NFGIM is accepting donations by PayPal or check (or cash if we're meeting in real life), to cover growing operating expenses. We're hoping to be able to order yard signs and launching other special projects. If you'd like to help us cover these costs and other logistical expenses, please consider donating - any amount is helpful. Visit our Donate page to see how.
We are proud to have Berkshire Environmental Action Team as our fiscal sponsors (501c(3) ).
Join the conversation on Facebook.
If you're on Facebook, feel free to join our Facebook Group and ask if people in your area want to meet and organize. We have more members join every day to connect and share information and ideas.
New to the NoFrackedGas mailing list?
Catch up on previous newsletters:
Issue 1 - Action Report: Steps you can take now!
February 22, 2014
Issue 2 - Updates from the Front Line
February 26, 2014
Issue 3 - Act This Week! Contact Your Legislators
March 3, 2014
Issue 4 - Pipeline Petition Now Collecting Signatures!
March 10, 2014
Issue 5 - New Pipeline Route Maps Available
March 18, 2014
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