Report on the Clean Energy Future tour at First Parish of Sudbury, May 9, 2017.
Peggy Duesenberry and Sue Swanson from the Bedford Mothers Out Front Community Team attended the MA Clean Energy Future Tour at First Parish of Sudbury on Tuesday, May 9. The Tour is a series of nine open meetings designed for Senators James Eldridge and Marc Pacheco to collect information and opinions from across Massachusetts on behalf of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. Each of the approximately 80 people attending was invited to testify. Although many chose not to speak, those that did included concerned citizens and town officials from several communities, as well as representatives from The Nature Conservancy, Elders for Climate Action, and ChargePoint, an electric vehicle charging manufacturer. Also present was Sudbury Representative Carmine Gentile and Democratic candidate for Governor Jay Gonzalez. As far as we know, Peggy and Sue were the only members of Mothers Out Front. Much of the testimony was fairly technical but should be available online shortly: www.malegislature.gov/cleanenergyfuture.
Both Peggy and Sue spoke. Peggy made a plea that the Legislature keep the need that children and grandchildren have for a livable climate at the front of their minds as they tackle climate legislation. She also spoke about the need for climate justice, since those who contribute least to emissions are often most affected and least able to cope with problems. Noting that the effects of climate change are happening here and now, she asked for the long term goals for 2050 to get less attention than the changes we need to make right away. She also mentioned Mothers Out Front's role in making gas leaks widely known and asked that the Commonwealth stop new infrastructure for fossil fuels. Finally, she echoed earlier testimony that having over 100 separate bills on clean energy and climate makes it difficult for activists to know where to focus their efforts. Sue followed Peggy. Since Peggy had just spoken about much of Mothers Out Front’s agenda, Sue’s remarks were more off the cuff. She emphasized the importance of removing barriers that may exist for individuals seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. She asked the Senators to “make it easy for people to do the right thing” whether by providing financial assistance to low-income households seeking to insulate or by helping to remove obstacles that apartment dwellers and condo owners face who do not have full ownership of their dwellings. Senator Pacheco actually tweeted it out! They are listening!!
Sen. Pacheco is optimistic that off-shore wind and hydroelectric power will take Massachusetts' carbon emissions down to 30% of 1990 levels. These Senators want to hear our message and seem open to learning how well things are working. It would be great to have Mothers Out Front represented at more stops on this tour. Short statements with good facts and moving personal perspectives work best!