Monthly Chapter Meetings

ECA Mass chapter meeting – 9/13/22 – Megan Herzog, Assistant Attorney General for Climate Change

The September chapter meeting guests were Megan Hertzog and Liz Anderson both lawyers in the Environment and Energy Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General. After reassuring us that they will remain in their positions after the November elections they answered many questions about the role of the Attorney General regarding the Roadmap Law and the new Clean Energy and Off-Shore Wind law as well as oversight of environmental regulations and consumer protections.

ECA Mass chapter meeting – 4/12/22 – Green Heating and Cooling for Your Home, Legislative update

Did you know heating and hot water for buildings in Massachusetts are responsible for over 25% of statewide greenhouse gas emissions and for a typical home, heating and hot water represent 75% of total energy use?  This is the major challenge we face in achieving net zero emissions by 2050 as well as a 50% emissions reduction by 2030.

At our chapter meeting we heard from Bob Zogg, a founder of the HeatSmart Alliance and Joel Boucher, HVAC design engineer for Boucher Energy Systems to learn about real world solutions for “greening our homes” with heat pumps.  We began with a presentation from Bob followed by a lively and informative panel discussion and Q&A.  The slides for the presentation are here.

For more information, you can reach Bob Zogg at bobzogg@luxsci.net or visit the HeatSmart Alliance website at https://dev.heatsmartalliance.org/.  Boucher Energy Systems website is https://boucherenergy.com/ or call 508-473-6648 (note: Boucher Energy Systems does not serve Boston and some surrounding communities).

Roger Luckmann brought us up to date with unfolding state climate legislation with a focus on the Senate climate bill introduced last week – An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward (S.2819)

The video of the “green heating” presentation and panel discussion along with the legislative update are here.

ECA Mass chapter meeting – 3/8/22 – Representative Roy, House Chair Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee (TUE).  Offshore wind legislation and the outlook for climate legislation.

Representative Roy provided us with an overview of the offshore wind bill (H.4524) passed by the house last week.  Massachusetts has the largest offshore wind potential of any state in the country which will be key to making the state more energy independent.  We also heard about the outlook for other initiatives this session including support for electric vehicles and building retrofits to all-electric heating. 

Following the presentation, Rep. Roy answered several questions on a range of topics which provided additional clarity on the outlook for climate legislation this session and moving forward.

The video of Rep. Roy’s meeting at our ECA Mass chapter meeting is here.

ECA Mass chapter meeting – 2/8/22 – Senator Barrett, State Climate Legislation, Elders for Sound Democracy, & Climate Action Now app

More than 80 people joined us on Zoom for our February chapter meeting for two hours of up-to-the-minute climate news and action. If you missed this information-packed meeting or want to see it again, you can watch the video, with all the slides, announcements and Q&A, here.

We were excited to welcome Senator Mike Barrett, lead author of the state’s landmark climate “roadmap” law and the Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy. He shared details about a brand-new (and controversial) building code proposal from the Baker administration and gave us his perspectives on what to expect in coming weeks as climate bills make their way through the House and Senate. Roger Luckmann of our ECA Mass Legislative Team followed with a clear (and entertaining!) slide show and summary (“MA Legislative Sausage Making: What’s Next?”) about the status of our priority bills and strategy. Our Paul Dryfoos, with several other activists from Elders for Sound Democracy, presented “Working for Voting Rights Where It Matters: Don’t Sit This One Out!,”  explaining many ways to make a difference in key states. And we introduced the great new Climate Action Now app, which makes it easy to reach out to legislators on your cell phone

ECA Mass Chapter Meeting – 1/11/22
Senator Eldridge and Legislative Advocacy

Our January chapter meeting kicked off the new year with a focus on state legislative advocacy. First we heard from our special guest, Massachusetts Senator Jamie Eldridge, a longtime climate champion, who offered his perspectives on pending climate bills and what to expect in the weeks ahead from legislative committees and the administration. Now is a key time for advocacy, he said! Watch Sen. Eldridge’s informative presentation and the wide-ranging Q&A in the first 25 minutes of the video below. Next Roger Luckmann of our Legislative Team explained more about the legislative timeline and ECA Mass plans for action. Then Roger guided us in an “actionar” – sending emails via Action Network to our state reps and senators in support of our six top priority climate bills about wind energy, electrifying transportation and buildings, forest protection, and environmental justice. See details about all six bills here.

ECA Mass chapter meeting – 12/14/21
Legislative Advocacy Training

Have you ever lobbied in person or on Zoom with your state legislator? Whether you’re an experienced activist or new to legislative advocacy, you’ll want to watch the video of our December chapter meeting, where we presented a how-to interactive training session for talking with your legislator. The highlight was a demo by members of our ECA Mass Leadership Team, who role-played constituents meeting with their legislator to advocate for one of our priority climate bills. After the demo, we practiced in breakout sessions, gaining skills and confidence.

You can access the meeting video here (the demo starts at 21 minutes into the meeting, and you can access the role-playing script here). Before the training, members reflected on what they found meaningful about the work of ECA Mass and inspiration for the work ahead. The ECA Mass Leadership Team also presented details about six priority bills we support for the 2021-2022 state legislative session, which support implementation of the landmark Next Generation Roadmap law.

ECA Mass chapter meeting – 10/12/21
Federal Infrastructure and Reconciliation Bills, and Offshore Wind in New England and Massachusetts

Another lively and informative chapter meeting! This month we were privileged to welcome four special guests who brought us the inside scoop on some of the most important climate initiatives pending in Washington and New England.

First, on the national scene, we heard from Anna Lenhart, Senior Legislative Assistant to U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan, and from two of U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey’s aides – Katherine Morfill, Staff Assistant, and Nolan O’Brien, Regional Director. They shared the latest news about the federal Infrastructure bill and Reconciliation package, and answered our questions about key climate priorities, strategy for getting these bills passed, and how we can focus our advocacy.

Our meeting’s second hour featured an inspiring presentation by Susannah Hatch, Regional Lead for the New England Offshore Wind coalition, and Clean Energy Director at the Environmental League of Massachusetts. Susanna explained how offshore wind is “the single biggest lever we can pull to meet New England’s climate goals.” She filled us in on the coalition’s work (which ECA Mass supports as one 95 regional coalition partners), and she updated us on the status of the Massachusetts offshore wind bill that’s one of our priorities, H.3302/S.2158.  

ECA Mass chapter meeting – 9/14/21
The Federal Clean Energy Performance Program and state legislation for decarbonizing the building sector

You’ve probably seen the acronyms RPS, CES, and CEPP, but you’re not alone if you’ve been confused about what they mean and why they’re so important in tackling climate change. Arnie Epstein and Roger Luckmann of our Research and Legislative Teams answered our questions and clarified what climate activists need to know about the state Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and Clean Energy Standard (CES), and how those compare with the Clean Energy Performance Program (CEPP) in the $3.5 trillion federal Reconciliation Bill now in Congress.

After their informative talk, we heard from Leah Robins, Senior Government Affairs Specialist at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). Her engaging presentation focused on a state bill we support, H.3350/S.2202, An Act Relative to building energy and decarbonization filed by Massachusetts Rep. Joan Meschino and Sen. Jason Lewis. The bill provides a plan for how the state can address greenhouse gas emissions from new construction and existing buildings, empower municipal leadership, and ensure access for overburdened communities. Leah also told us about the wide-ranging climate initiatives of MAPC.

As usual, we learned a lot at the September chapter meeting! Watch the recording of the meeting with all the presentations, discussion and announcements here.

ECA Mass chapter meeting – 8/10/21
ECA Mass Policy on Climate Solutions

At our August 10 meeting, our Research and Legislative Teams shared a draft policy statement about the climate solutions ECA Mass supports, and why we sometimes differ from the positions taken by friends and allies in the climate movement.

ECA Mass believes that we should be open to all potentially effective technological, socio-economic, and nature-based means of combating climate change. But we disagree with some other environmental organizations, which contend that certain approaches, such as carbon capture and sequestration, carbon fees, and advanced nuclear power, are “false” solutions that should be taken off the table.

We divided up into small break-out groups on Zoom to consider the ECA Mass draft policy statement, and then we all came back to the full meeting group for a lively facilitated discussion about our feedback and questions.

Watch a recording of our meeting here. And read the updated ECA Mass Policy on Climate Solutions here.

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