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Pipeline Action Alert!
 
March 14, 2016
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This is the week! Join the walk along the proposed Kinder Morgan fracked gas pipeline route any time from Thursday to Sunday as we demonstrate our passionate opposition. Everyone is warmly invited to our exciting events each evening of the walk.
Food and lodging provided. Co-sponsored by over 55 groups and organizations. Go to sugarshackalliance.org for detailed information about the walk, evening events and to register.
Josh Fox will attend this free screening of his new film. Josh and local organizers will be available for a discussion about resistance to the Kinder Morgan NED pipeline and building a just and sustainable future. 

Thursday, March 17 at 7 PM
Congregational Church
429 Main Street, Ashfield, Mass.


Event is free, donation is requested

 
This event concludes Day One of the "Taking Steps to a Renewal Future" walk
Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir
Friday, March 18 at 7 PM
Cowell Gymnasium, 51 Maple St., Shelburne Falls 


Event is free, donation is requested

 
This event concludes Day Two of the "Taking Steps to a Renewal Future" walk



 

Another Date with the DPU
  Come to Greenfield on March 30 

 
Where: Greenfield Middle School Auditorium, 195 Federal Street
When: Wednesday, March 30, 2016
 Hearing starts at 7 PM
Please arrive at 6:30 PM  so we can have a vibrant outdoor presence

Kinder Morgan has petitioned the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) for access to over 450 properties; land where owners have steadfastly refused access to the pipeline giant to conduct “surveys preliminary to eminent domain.” Every landowner who resists surveying is slowing Kinder Morgan down; the corporate behemoth needs this on-the-ground data in order to complete their pipeline project planning process.

Please join us to show solidarity with friends and neighbors whose property rights are under attack and who will be making statements to the DPU. More information is available
here in the News & Updates section. Your written comments, due by Friday May 6, 2016, are appreciated; we want to be sure that landowners are able to have priority in speaking at the hearing. Go to nofrackedgasinmass for terrific in-depth analysis and help with comments about this and related pipeline issues.


Photo Attribution: Rene Theberge

 

Town of Montague Needs Donations Right Now for Pipeline Legal Work


The Town of Montague is seeking donations and fundraising  partners to support the Town’s intervention in a case before the Mass. DPU (Dept. of Public Utilities) in which Berkshire Gas seeks approval of a contract to reserve space on the NED pipeline.

Challenging such contracts (also called “precedent agreements”) is crucial to defeating the pipeline—because contracts are ALL that FERC looks at in determining “need” for a pipeline.  FERC spokespeople have always stated this, and (sadly) the FERC commissioners  emphatically re-affirmed that contracts are all they look at to determine “public convenience and necessity” in two major pipeline decisions the FERC Commissioners issued on January 28. Thus, successfully challenging any contract for capacity on the pipeline will weaken the pipeline’s ability to get FERC approval.

Because the DPU has fast-tracked this case, Montague seeks to raise $25,000 by mid-March, and then additional funds for a possible appeal to the Massachusetts courts.  Every donation will help, from $5 to $10,000.  Of course, if one or more “angels” steps forward to give higher amounts, the campaign will be much faster and easier.  The Town will publicly thank and credit any “angel” individual, organization, or business who wishes to be named. 

Montague was accepted as a full intervenor in the proceeding (DPU docket 15-178), which will evaluate Berkshire’s contract for the NED “supply path” from the fracking fields of Pennsylvania to a major gas-distribution hub at Wright, New York.  As a full intervenor, Montague is the ONLY participant representing Berkshire Gas ratepayers in the Pioneer Valley that has the right to hire an expert consultant to examine the confidential data Berkshire is using to justify its contract with NED, and also to investigate Berkshire’s moratorium on new gas service and expansions by existing customers that the Company has imposed throughout the Valley.

This is a unique opportunity.  No other proceeding will allow a confidential evaluation of Berkshire Gas’s contract and the moratorium that has been imposed on Valley communities.  Montague sees itself as representing the interests of all Berkshire ratepayer towns, and all impacted towns.  Town-to-Town grants to support the intervention are also sought, and will be gratefully received.

The Town of Montague has opened a gift fund to receive grants and donations of all types.  We apologize; there is no electronic path to donate yet.  Checks should be made out to Town of Montague, with “pipeline fund” on the memo line.  Mail to:  Town of Montague, One Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA 01376; ATTN: Town Accountant.

Donations should be tax-deductible, though always check with your own tax advisor.  The IRS guidelines for Charitable Contributions state that contributions made to a municipality, state, or Federal government “for a public purpose” are tax-deductible.  The pipeline-intervention gift fund was explicitly opened for a public purpose of the Town.

Anyone who would like more information, or who would like to help as part of a fundraising team for this effort, please contact:  Ariel Elan here  or call 734-545-5569 (no texts, please). To read more including references and press release go here.

Photo copyright: Rene Theberge

 

You are warmly invited to the next Climate Action Now Monthly Gathering

Monday, March 28th

 7 to 9 PM

Unitarian Universalist Society of  Amherst

121 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, Mass
(on a bus line and handicap accessible) 
Come and help us to create an inclusive, unstoppable movement for climate justice!

Questions? Contact us here 
The Sugar Shack Alliance brings together people and local organizations helping to energize and expand the regional activist community as we continue to maintain a nonviolent direct action campaign to prevent the building of the Kinder Morgan NED pipeline. We are forming to build a direct action resistance campaign in Western Massachusetts, to defend New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire from Kinder Morgan’s fracked gas pipeline, compressor stations, and related projects. We aim to engage communities along the pipeline route, as well as other concerned New England residents, in sustained non-violent actions to stop Kinder Morgan’s construction. We are working in solidarity with many groups struggling to abandon the fossil fuel industry, to build a sustainable and equitable future, and to demand climate justice globally.

Climate Action Now

 
Climate Action Now is a grassroots, people powered organization based in Western Mass and dedicated to building a powerful, unstoppable climate justice movement. We work in our communities and in collaboration with diverse partners across the region to educate, advocate, organize and mobilize for climate action. We warmly welcome newcomers so please contact us if you would like to get involved.
 

Special thanks to Rene Theberge

 
Please send feedback, comments and ideas to newsletter writer and editor 
Susan Theberge

 

Copyright © 2016 Climate Action Now MA, All rights reserved.


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