Archive for June, 2016

sunGreetings Earthlings. The Summer Solstice is upon us and we are most inclined toward the star we obit. The Good Green Witch returns to remind us what this is all about and then some. Also Michael Kellett of Restore returns for an update on the recent hearing on Massachusetts Alternative Portfolio Standards (APS) that would promote the burning of wood pellets and lead to a run on our forests even worse than what we are experiencing now. We will, as well, take you deep into the Enviro Show Echo Chamber and off to meet this week’s Fool-on-the-Hill and to Meet the New Boss but first it’s time for…..

Revenge of the Critters! The lion is considered a powerful Summer Solstice symbol.  The awesome radiating mane of the male lion even looks like the sun. Combined with its copper color the lion is like a bronzed icon of summer symbolism. The lion represents vitality, energy, confidence and supremacy. So why are folks shocked when a lion named Ken takes a piece out of Joe the trainer at the prestigious Golden Lion Awards in Berlin? See it here (sorry for the hokey TV staging). Ken was just showing Joe who’s really boss, OK?

This weeks Fool-on-the Hill is Repugnican Senator John Barrasso who, according to our friends at Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE): “demanded during an energy bill hearing that the greenwash group Environmental Defense Fund condemn BXE [for protesting outside FERC chairman Norman C Bay’s home].  Barasso accused the totally nonviolent Beyond Extreme Energy of being a threat to the physical safety of FERC officials and their families. POLITICO Magazine in covering Barasso’s outburst called BXE “‪#‎extremists‬,” in these times a clear reference to ‪#‎ISIS‬ / ‪#‎Daesh‬. In this way, Sen Barasso is seeking to exploit the Orlando terror attack and other recent attacks by Daesh to trash talk peaceful opposition to the oil and gas lobbyists he works for…….The ugly remarks in the Senate and in politico are a reminder that the real priority of the US government, the GOP, and the FBI never were to protect the people and remain in as always the protection of the rich and powerful FROM the people.” All we can add to that is: “Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.”

Time to Meet the New Boss. Extra, Extra! Read all about it!  OBAMA SIGNS ‘MONSANTO PROTECTION ACT’ WRITTEN BY MONSANTO-SPONSORED SENATOR! Reportedly, with the president’s signature, agriculture corporados who deal with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) seeds are now given the go-ahead to continue to plant and sell man-made crops, even as questions remain largely unanswered about the health risks these types of products pose to consumers. His legacy, on the other hand, lives on!

How about a Quote of the Week. Can you guess who said this recently? “Secretary Clinton in one way or another wants to quote unquote ‘regulate’ fracking. I think it is too late for regulating. I think fracking has got to be banned in America.” Like we’ve always said: Hillary Clinton wants to be president of Corporate America. Bernie Sanders wants to be president of the United States of America. Got it?

Breaking News! Germany is about to become the first major country to set an official deadline for a ban on gas-powered cars. India, Norway and the Netherlands may be soon to follow. Washington? Are you listening?……Huh? No, we thought so.

The Enviro Show Echo Chamber is partly occupied by The Partnership for Policy Integrity who informed us that “Senate Legislation Cedes the US Forest Carbon Sink to the Biomass Industry – Even as Forests Are Already Declining”.  Said legislation isn’t the laughingly titled Energy Policy “Modernization” Act of 2016 that is reportedly now on its way to Obama’s desk, but rather part of the Appropriations bill. Regardless, this at a time when CO2 levels pass the dreaded 400ppm mark! Time to watch TV! This episode of The Bomb Train should keep you…..um…entertained?  Hey, checkout the Keep Hives Alive Tour headed to DC on the 22nd. The Center for Food Safety national tour  “will finish in Washington, DC for a demonstration outside of the EPA, where [they] will echo the demands of concerned consumers, farmers, and beekeepers for all the government agencies to hear; demanding that EPA, USDA, and Congress take action on toxic pesticides and support a more sustainable food future.” But, is our dysfunctional congress listening? Maybe they should….release some bees to get their attention for this, National Pollinators Week! 😉

We have some E-Valley-uation here. The Place Where Legislation Goes to Die (to our east) actually passed a bill banning fracking in the Commonwealth. Of course, there’s little geology available for fracking in Massachusetts (except for our Valley!) but hey, with extreme energy these days who knows what the fossil fools will come up with.  And this: WAMC reports on that recent DPU hearing on the proposed pipeline tax held in Pittsfield. Check out Rosemary’s quote at the end about….(gulp)..Son of NED. Finally, and in keeping with our focus on the recent stirrings within the Valley anti-biomess/pro-forest movement, we have this report on efforts to get the US Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies to wake-up to the realities of biomass incineration.

 

After our conversation with the guests we take you over to the Bus stop Billboard for this:

 

Saturday, July 2, 1pm. A Celebration of Interdependence! Marches from the Four Directions meet at First Churches on Main Street. Contact:( 413) 268-3588 or Email: bethbirth@crocker.com Go to Facebook page HERE.

 

Wednesday, July 6, 4-5:30pm Bomb Train Vigil at the Greenfield Common to bring attention to the fact that volatile oil trains pass through Greenfield and to honor the people who lost their lives. In line with explosive fossil fuel infrastructure near us, oil trains (aka bomb trains) currently pass through Greenfield, MA. (map here). July 6 will mark the anniversary of the bomb train explosion that killed 47 people and leveled the downtown of Lac Mégantic, Québec. This year the third annual Stop Oil Trains week of action (July 6-12) will call attention to the threat of oil trains across North America, the people who are stopping them, and the need for 100% clean and safe energy. Contact: jablyth@gmail.com

 

July 11 is World Population Day. Fact is, the majority of environmental catastrophes are caused or worsened by our runaway human population growth and overconsumption — 7.4 billion of us are really putting a hurt on the planet. We need to get more people talking, and making changes, fast. Go to: www.un.org/en/events/populationday/

 

Thursday, July 14 – Monday, July 18. 350MA Stop the Pipelines – Special Summer Mobilization. A March and Action against new gas pipelines.  Marchers will spend two days walking the route of Spectra’s proposed Access Northeast pipeline. People will march to West Roxbury to shut down construction on the Spectra pipeline there, alongside our partners from Resist the Pipeline. Finally, people will walk together to the State House, and act together to show Governor Baker and legislators, that we’re ready to do what it takes to stop new fossil fuel pipelines. Go to: www.peopleoverpipelines.org/   Register HERE.

 

 

Saturday, July 16, 12 noon-1pm. Rally for Otis State Forest with music and outreach to folks in the center of Great Barrington where a rally will take place at the gazebe behind Town Hall noon to 1pm. then to Sandisfield’s Spectacle Pond at 2 p.m. for the main rally at the beach and boat launch on delightful Lower Spectacle Pond from 2pm to 3pm for more music and speakers, kayaks, canoes, dessert of local fruit and more, as we celebrate the resistance to further pipelines by our neighbors in the Berkshires, Connecticut and New York. The event will conclude at 4pm. Spectators/participants can enjoy either one or both events. MORE INFO SOON at: www.facebook.com/sugarshackalliance/

 

That does it for this week’s show. Remember to listen to your Mother, OK?

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fercprotestfiGreetings Earthlings. We keep running away to the FERCus because we just can’t get enough of those clowns. But wait, it seems the ring master doesn’t want the public to come to the show??  Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) organizer of The Rubber Stamp Rebellion, Lee Stewart calls in to help us find out why and maybe we’ll talk about any sideshows that might come up in the studio with Ron Coler, Ashfield Selectman and  pipeline activist. As always we’ll take you to visit the Fool-on-the-Hill and into The Enviro Show Echo Chamber among other things, but first it’s time for……….Revenge of the Critters! Gators luncheon disrupted by cops?

This week’s Fool-on-the-Hill is the marvel that is Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It seems Fred is all about jobs, jobs, jobs in the Destroy the Biosphere Industry and his herding the so-called Energy “Modernization” Act to the pass has him making bullshit statements like “This bill is about jobs. It’s about keeping energy affordable. It’s about boosting our energy security here and across the globe”. Au contrair Fred, “This is the legislative equivalent of the middle finger,” says Radha Adhar, a federal policy representative for the Sierra Club. According to Think progress the “bill puts barriers to energy efficiency standards for buildings, locks in fossil fuel generation and consumption well into the future, and creates new subsidies for coal and nuclear power. It also carries dangerous provisions that would allow clear-cutting of up to eight square miles in certain forests without an environmental assessment, and it would hamper the ability of citizens to protest resource management decisions through the courts. It ‘basically expedites logging across the entire forest system.’ ” Did we mention it expedites export of fracked LNG gas?

Time to Meet the New Boss as his administration signs off on continued fracking in the Santa Barbara Channel. Yes, the same place that was trshed back in the day by conventional oil drilling. Daily Kos reports “The announcement from the two agencies responsible for oil drilling, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), ended a court-ordered settlement placing a moratorium on offshore fracking and acidizing for oil in the fish and wildlife-rich federal waters off California.” Fish, wildlife, meh! Thanks Boss!

Now our Quote of the Week from Bernie Sanders on the above: “Make no mistake about it: This was a very, very bad decision by the federal government that will not be allowed to stand if I have anything to say about it,” said Sanders. “And as president, I would have a lot to say about it.”

In our E-Valley-uation segment we have another Must See from Karl Meyer on those beleaguered Sturgeon in the dead reach of the CT River. Outdoor sporting types beware: The biosphere is NOT your personal plaything!  Also this: we pull another quote right off one of our recent Facebook page posts: “OK, so you don’t want any fracked gas pipelines or compressor stations in your state, right? How about some high level nuclear waste??” Can you believe fracking booster Moniz’s Department of Energy is even proposing to “test public sentiment for the “consent-based siting” of deep geological burial of high-level nuclear waste from the nation’s nuclear power stations. More immediately, the federal energy agency is looking for volunteers to be the indefinite and potentially permanent willing host to thousands of radioactive waste casks on fenced parking lots for the questionable future for licensing and building nuclear dumps and designate the hazardous transport routes from nuclear stations by road, rail and barge… which would launch Mobile Chernobyls onto the roads [presumably Valley roads!], rails,[ditto] and waterways of most states, including into the Port of Boston itself.” Also unbelievable, the DOE in their own recently released report “makes clear that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is likely a climate-destroying misallocation of resources.”!  Secretary Ernest Moniz, please step into our office for a word.

In The Enviro Show Echo Chamber let’s begin with an Enviro Show Blog Action link to help save the Monarch Butterflies, OK? How about another 11.5 extra million tons of CO2 per year for our atmosphere? No? Actually when downstream emissions are figured into the numbers from a proposed Pacific Northwest LNG facility in BC it would be even more AND it “poses serious risks” to the Canada’s climate change commitments—particularly those made at last year’s Paris accord. Bad deal, eh? Getting back to Massachusetts, here’s some food for thought from a well known anti-fracked gas pipeline opponent: “The so-called omnibus energy bill is expected out of  [the MA] House Ways & Means early next week.  Representative Kulik led the way in keeping an electric ratepayer subsidy for gas pipelines out of the version that came out of the energy committee. This was a major achievement, as we have heard that earlier drafts had  included this “pipeline tax” on electric ratepayers.  Representative Kulik and Rep. Brad Jones (R-North Reading, House Minority Leader) got 97 members of the House to sign on to a letter that served as a line in the sand. But we can go farther with this bill.  Please contact your own representative, thank him or her for standing with us on the pipeline issue, and ask for an amendment to the energy bill that would clearly prohibit electric ratepayer financing of gas pipelines.  The current bill is simply silent on the question, and the DPU is going forward with the presumption that it is is legal; the question is being litigated, but the legislature could resolve the matter for us so that we don’t have to count on a court ruling our way.”  Got it?

 

After we go to the FERCus we head over to the Bus Stop Billboard:

 

Saturday, June 11, 10am. – 5pm. Resilience, Resistance & Regional Equity Convergence. First Church in Jamaica Plain Unitarian Universalist, 6 Eliot St, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Keynote address by Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute! Across New England, a new world is being built. Grassroots activists motivated by their love for community and the planet are building resilient local communities, resisting fossil fuel projects, and making sure that all people can thrive now and into the future, regardless of race, class, income and more. Register here: https://regionalconvergence.eventbrite.com/

 

Monday, June 13, 6pm. MA Attorney General’s Listening Session on Energy & Environment. This is a crucial time to attend and ask the AG’s office to APPEAL THE CT EXPANSION EMINENT DOMAIN CASE, where Berkshire Co. Court ruled in favor of Kinder Morgan being allowed to condemn the pipeline right of way through Otis State Forest and set a precedent on ARTICLE 97 for all other future pipelines. More info at http://tinyurl.com/OSFappeal  TICKETS REQUIRED – Free. Register at EventBrite or RSVP to: agocommunityengagement@state.ma.us.

 

Tuesday, June 14, 4pm. DPU Hearing on Pipeline Tax & Stand Out Rally! The Department of Public Utilities will conduct a third public hearing on Docket #16-05 National Grid precedent agreement to contract for 20 years gas capacity on Spectra Access Northeast. If approved, it would allow National Grid to charge and extra tariff on your electric bill to cover these gas capacity contracts – helping pipelines get enough business to get approved! #NoPipelineTax  Hearing – 5:00 PM. Berkshire Athenaeum, One Wendell Ave., Pittsfield, MA

 

Tuesday, June 14, 7pm.  Resist the Pipeline meeting. Please come to this meeting if you are planning to come to the action in West Roxbury on June 28th (or thinking about coming) to learn about the day of action and the legal details involved in the non-violent civil disobedience. To get ready for this day of action, Marla Marcum, lead organizer in West Roxbury, will be coming out to give a presentation in Northampton about the pipeline and the movement that’s been fighting it for the past few years. If you are planning on coming to this presentation at the UU Meetinghouse in Northampton, please RSVP to sugarshackalliance@gmail.com.

 

Wednesday, June 15, 1:00 to 3:00pm. Massachusetts APS Renewable Thermal (biomass) Hearing. A Department of Energy Resources (DOER) public hearing will be conducted to receive verbal and written comments on the recently filed Alternative Portfolio Standard Regulations (225 CMR 16.00. New regulations for thermal bioenergy (biomass) will be the focus. Again we see them making promises they can’t possibly keep concerning the types of biomass that “qualify”. This is the place to speak out on Massachusetts’ deplorable management of our public lands that are “managed” without any regard to the Climate Crisis. Room 221, Integrated Sciences Building, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA. Go to: www.pfpi.net/biomass-basics-2

 

Wednesday, June 15, 6pm. Springfield Public Health Council meeting June where they will vote on whether or not to hold a biomass plant Site Assignment Hearing. Come prepared to tell them to DO THEIR JOB! The location is to be determined. Please contact ARISE at 413-734-4948 for the location – we will update you when we have it.

 

Thursday, June 16, 6pm. MA Attorney General Listening Session on Energy & Environment. UMass Center at Springfield 1500 Main St, Ste 260, Springfield, MA. This is a crucial time to attend and ask the AG’s office to APPEAL THE CT EXPANSION EMINENT DOMAIN CASE, where Berkshire Co. Court ruled in favor of Kinder Morgan being allowed to condemn the pipeline right of way through Otis State Forest. More info at http://tinyurl.com/OSFappeal. TICKETS REQUIRED – Free. Register at EventBrite or RSVP to agocommunityengagement@state.ma.us.

 

Sunday, June 19, 7pm. Escalation Summer! Beginning June 19th pipeline fighters and climate warriors from all across Massachusetts and New England will join together in a true show of power: multiple, all-day, mass actions that will completely shut this monstrosity of a company down.
For more information please visit our event page. To take part in an action, visit www.resistthepipeline.org and click PLEDGE TO RESIST on the homepage.

 

Saturday, June 25, 9am. Sugar Shack Alliance NVDA Training. Training is free but we do ask for donations to cover printed materials and some for trainers’ time and gas. Usual donation is $5 – $20 per person. If you have been in an affinity group and participated in a large action that could have involved arrest in the past 5 years, or if you completed part 1 but not part 2 of the training, you can come to just part 2 in the afternoon. First Churches, Main St., Northampton, MA. Go to: www.facebook.com/events/1380608235288382/

 

Monday, June 27, 7 – 9pm. Climate Action Now Monthly Gathering. Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence. Handicap accessible and on a bus line. Go to: climateactionnowma.org/

 

Thursday, July 14 – Monday, July 18. 350MA Stop the Pipelines – Special Summer Mobilization. A March and Action against new gas pipelines.  Marchers will spend two days walking the route of Spectra’s proposed Access Northeast pipeline. People will march to West Roxbury to shut down construction on the Spectra pipeline there, alongside our partners from Resist the Pipeline. Finally, people will walk together to the State House, and act together to show Governor Baker and legislators, that we’re ready to do what it takes to stop new fossil fuel pipelines. Go to: www.peopleoverpipelines.org/   Register HERE.

 

Saturday, July 16, 12 noon-1pm. Rally for Otis State Forest with music and outreach to folks in the center of Great Barrington , then to Sandisfield’s Spectacle Pond at 2 p.m. where there will be music, kayaks, canoes, dessert of local fruit and more, as we celebrate the resistance to further pipelines by our neighbors in the Berkshires, Connecticut and New York . MORE INFO SOON at: www.facebook.com/sugarshackalliance/

 

 

That’s all, folks! Until next time remember: Listen to your mother!