FOCUS: Climate Action, Consumer Protection, Public Health
GOAL: Express your opposition to any ratepayer-funded pipeline, and affirm support for a gas-leak repairs initiative that will reduce waste and improve public health
DEADLINE: Hearing today, Oct. 26 at 10am (But please – DO send your input even if it’s after the hearing. It will still help!)
Today at 10am in room A-2 of the statehouse the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy is holding a hearing for a number of important bills regarding Natural Gas and Oil Infrastructure.
Several of the bills relate to protecting utility ratepayers from being charged to fund a gas pipeline expansion (H.1769 – An Act prohibiting electric customer support for gas pipeline expansion, Denise Provost; H.2698- An Act protecting ratepayers from gas pipeline expansion costs, Kenneth I. Gordon; S.1855 – An Act protecting ratepayers from gas pipeline expansion costs, Patricia D. Jehlen). While the Supreme Judicial Court ruled positively on this issue last year, we need to support legislative measures.
Additionally, Rep. Barber’s Gas Leak Bill (H.2683 – An Act relative to protecting consumers of gas and electricity from paying for leaked and unaccounted for gas, Christine P. Barber) will also be discussed.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Call or email the members of the committee and let them know that you support funding renewable energy sources – not pipeline construction – for Massachusetts. Mention that we could save money, reduce waste, and improve public health by creating incentives for utilities to repair existing gas leaks, rather than bringing more fossil fuels into the Commonwealth via an expensive pipeline.
Additionally, send a letter to your legislator via The Action Network and Mass Power Forward.
ADDITIONAL READING & INFO:
- The full hearing agenda is posted here
- Somerville Times: Gas Leaks Bill Slow Going at State House
- Wicked Local Somerville: Activists, elected officials and utilities tackle gas leaks
- The Berkshire Edge: Supreme Judicial Court strikes down natural gas pipeline tariff
- WBUR: Mass. Utilities Put $3.2 Billion Natural Gas Pipeline On Hold