Monthly Chapter Meetings

Monthly Chapter Meeting—5/14/24—with Michael Judge, Undersecretary of Energy

After initial announcements, we welcomed Undersecretary of Energy Michael Judge who provided a brief orientation for our members to current issues in Massachusetts Siting and Permitting for energy facilities.  

Michael Judge has served as Undersecretary of Energy since March 2023 in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) which seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. 

Previous to his current role, he served as the Vice President for Policy for the Coalition of Community Solar Access (CCSA), managing its Policy Team and leading its policy advocacy at the federal level and across more than 20 states in which the organization’s members are active. Prior to his time at CCSA, he spent over 12 years in various roles in Massachusetts state government, including over two years as Director of Electric Power, Regional, and Federal Affairs at the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU). Prior to his time at the DPU, he spent over nine years at the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), including four years as Director of its Renewable and Alternative Energy Division. He holds two bachelor’s degrees from UMass Amherst and lives in Boston.

Our Legislative and Research Teams had some good questions for discussion after the presentation.

The video from the chapter meeting is here.

Monthly Chapter Meeting – 4/8/24 – with Elizabeth Mahoney Commissioner of the Department of Energy Resources (DOER)

Our April meeting began with the introduction of Launa Zimmaro, the newest member of our Leadership Team and followed with updates and news on our allies’ EarthDay/EarthMonth activities and how we can participate. We also continued our discussion of Elders for Sound Democracy and their Get Out the Vote (GOTV) projects in breakout groups.

Our feature guest speaker was Elizabeth Mahony, Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner.

Elizabeth Mahony most recently worked for Attorneys General Andrea Joy Campbell and Maura Healey as an Assistant Attorney General and Senior Policy Advisor for Energy. Elizabeth served in the Energy and Telecommunications Division, focusing on utility clean energy procurements, solar program development, clean energy rate design, consumer protections, and legislative engagement. Commissioner Mahony updated us on the Department’s critical work in strategic planning and siting of energy infrastructure, and answered questions about controversial projects. We also heard about updates on DOER “Listening Sessions” being planned and the Massachusetts new statewide media campaign on the clean energy transition.

The video from the chapter meeting is here.

Monthly Chapter Meeting— 3/12/2024 – DPU priorities with Staci Rubin

We were joined by Staci Rubin who was appointed as a Commissioner to the Department of Public Utilities in April, marking her return to the agency. Prior to her appointment Rubin was Vice President, Environmental Justice, at the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF).

Commissioner Rubin told us about priorities for the agency that align with state climate and environmental justice laws. She shared issues pending before the DPU and information about how people can participate and influence these decisions. 

We then heard from Betty Southwick of Third Act and their activities. Third Act is the organization started by Bill McKibben for seniors who want to be active in the Climate Crisis, so this national organization is very compatible with Elders Climate Action, and across the US we are exploring ways the local chapters of both organizations can work together to multiply our effectiveness.

Many of us in this election year will also want to work with ECANational’s group Elders for Sound Democracy. Paul Dryfoos, who left our ECA Mass Leadership Team to help get this program going, made an encore guest appearance and filled us in on their current efforts, and how we can get involved at this critical time. Paul’s presentation is here.

The video from the chapter meeting is here.

Monthly Chapter Meeting—2/13/2024 – Offshore wind and climate legislative updates

At noon, we welcomed Kelt Wilska, Offshore Wind Director at the Environmental League of Massachusetts and his colleague Francis Eanes, Executive Director of Maine Labor Climate Council,

Kelt Wilska and Francis Eanes

Offshore wind is the single biggest lever we can pull to fight the climate crisis and ensure that our planet is habitable for our children and grandchildren. It can also create thousands of good-paying union jobs and bring robust economic benefits to coastal and inland communities that have been left behind.

The New England for Offshore Wind coalition and League of Women Voters of Massachusetts cohosted a three-part webinar series to help attendees learn about the value of critical East Coast offshore wind projects to our climate goals and what is threatening their timely deployment.

We followed this discussion with a debrief of our successful Lobby Day Jan. 24, when 29 ECA members visited over 20 legislative offices in the Statehouse! We had meetings with our Senators and Representatives about the proposed bills we want favorably reported out of the TUE and ENR Joint Committees. With our Legislative and Leadership Teams we considered our follow up on this with some possible 2024 strategic initiatives.

The slides from Kelt Wilska’s presentation are here. The video of the chapter meeting is here.

Monthly Chapter Meeting – 1/9/2024

With Special Guest Rep. Steve Owens
Co-Chair of MA Legislators Clean Energy Caucus


Rep. Steve Owens, co-chair of the MA Legislators Clean Energy Caucus joined us in the first hour of the meeting to discuss the caucus activities, current climate legislation in the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (TUE) committee and other electrification bills.

After, we discussed strategy and options for legislative advocacy in 2024, including meetings with key legislators and You, our members, in legislators’ district offices or in the State House. The Legislative Team is planning a Lobby Day with key committee chairs and other legislators on January 24th, ECA Mass members will show up in the State House in our green ECA shirts to let our legislators know where we stand.

The video of the chapter meeting is here.

Monthly Chapter Meeting – 12/12/2023

We hosted State Representative Jeffrey Roy who was first elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives for the 10th Norfolk District in 2012. He represents the residents of Franklin and Medway on Beacon Hill. Rep Roy was appointed Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, which has responsibility for many bills related to climate. We asked Rep. Roy to offer his perspective on several critical issues the legislature and administration are facing including:

  • What policies and sources of funding can we count on to help us meet our daunting 2030 targets for decarbonization of buildings and transportation?
  • How fast can we transition from natural gas to electricity for heating and other building energy needs?
  • What reforms do we need in the permitting process for siting electric grid infrastructure to ensure we can get the increasing amounts of clean energy we will need without delay?

We then had a presentation from Kathy Raiz from Beyond Plastics Greater Boston about how to do the Winter Holidays more sustainably, with less consumerism driving climate change, LESS PLASTIC, and less trash and waste. What can we do to change that?

For your remaining holiday shopping, check out this plastic free gift giving guide from the Plastic Pollution Coalition.

To round out our meeting Seth Evan led a discussion of COP28, the annual conference on climate change attended by over 200 countries.

The video from the chapter meeting is here.

Monthly Chapter Meeting – 11/14/2023

November’s chapter meeting was our first since the pandemic where we had an opportunity to meet in person or participate via Zoom.  This hybrid meeting was held at the Arlington library, and with just a few technical glitches, it was a success, and we plan to continue this format for our chapter meetings once a quarter.  Below is the group that were at the Arlington library.

Beverly Craig and Justin Packs from the Mass Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) provided an overview of the Center’s activities and a tour of the recently released “Clean Energy Lives Here” website, which offers one-stop-shopping for everything you need to know to decarbonize your home.

This was followed by an update from our legislative team on the status of bills we are following and what to expect for advocacy in the new year.  The meeting concluded with breakout sessions where we discussed what actions we have taken as individuals to reduce our carbon footprint and our plans and challenges for continuing this work.

The video from our hybrid chapter meeting is here.

Monthly Chapter Meeting – 10/10/2023

With Guest Congressman Jake Auchincloss

This meeting took place on October 10, 2023

This meeting was not recorded.

This month, we welcomed Congressman Jake Auchincloss, who is serving his second term representing the Massachusetts Fourth District. In addition to his work on the committees for Transportation & Infrastructure and the Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and China, his areas of focus include healthcare, clean energy, gun violence, and building a strong middle class. We expect to hear updates from him on the IRA and maybe the Farm Bill, with time for discussion and for you to ask your questions too.

Monthly Chapter Meeting – 9/12/2023
with guest Katie Theoharides


Our Chapter Meetings are Monthly on the second Tuesday and held via Zoom

Kathleen Theoharides (Katie) was our guest. Katie is the CEO of the Trustees of Reservations. She is the former Head of US Offshore for RWE, a green energy company. Previously, she was the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In this role, she oversaw the Commonwealth’s six environmental, natural resource and energy regulatory agencies, which include the Departments of Environmental Protection, Public Utilities, Energy Resources, Conservation & Recreation, Agricultural Resources, and Fish & Game. Ms. Theoharides has also served as Chair of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the Energy Facilities Siting Board, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

Ms. Theoharides talked with us about her new position working at a private non-profit and how she is working to prioritize adaptation and mitigation to climate change in this role. She spoke t both the successes and challenges of her new role.

We also watched a brief video together for an update on the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition and their campaign to stop Eversource’s pipeline.

Eversource Gas is planning on building a new high-pressure metering station in Longmeadow that would connect to a new high-pressure gas pipeline which would run 5.3 miles a regulator station in downtown Springfield.

The video of this chapter meeting is here.

Monthly Chapter Meeting – 8/8/2023
Updates on “Make Polluters Pay” & Hanscom Expansion Campaign

At our August chapter meeting, we were informed about several urgent actions to take, and to begin acting on them.

1 – Make Polluters Pay

We heard from Representative Steve Owens about the Make Polluters bill (H.872) that will create a climate superfund, penalizing the worst polluters of greenhouse gasses, and funding resilience and adaptation projects in communities most impacted by climate change.

The Mass Polluters Pay Campaign is part of a national push to Make Polluters Pay, as we are campaigning alongside political leaders and activists in Vermont, Maryland, and New York. For more info, visit: https://www.polluterspayma.org

2. Hanscom airport private jet expansion

Roger Luckmann informed us about plans at Hanscom field to increase capacity for private jets. Take action here to prevent the expansion of Hanscom field and reduce airplane emissions.
• Sign the online Petition to Governor Healey (link below) urging her to stop the
senseless North Airfield private jet hangar expansion plans AND
• Share it widely with your friends, communities, networks, and throughout MA.
You will find options to share on social media on the sign-on page.
Click here to sign on the online petition This petition launches the Campaign to Stop Super-Emitter Private Jet Expansion at Hanscom—or Any Airport.

3 – Sept. 17 National Day of Action

We began to organize for the Sept. 17 National Day of Action.  ECA National is organizing a hub where we will meet up with people from other ECA chapters. We will explore options for going there as a group, with our “accomplices” in 350 Mass, MCAN, Mothers Out Front and friends on buses or on the train. This action is planned to amplify the Sept 20 UN Climate Ambition Summit in New York and make demands on our executive branch to quickly phase out all dependence on fossil fuels. https://www.endfossilfuels.us/
Partnering Organizations: https://www.endfossilfuels.us/partner-orgs

And if you are not going to NYC, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WHERE YOU ARE??

The video from the August chapter meeting is here.

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