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January 2016

Dear MIP&L members and friends,

SHOW collage

Saturday January 30th, 2016
9:00 am–1:00 pm
Cathedral Church of St. Paul
138 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02111

Did you know that many congregations spend over $20,000 on energy costs annually but that savings of 20-30% are possible? As importantly, reducing your energy use cares for God's creation by reducing your carbon footprint.

In this half-day session conducted by Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light you will learn:

Register now by clicking here!

Registration Fee is $10 per person. We encourage two people from each congregation to attend.
Registration and coffee at 8:30 am
Workshop begins at 9:00 am

St. Paul's Cathedral is accessible by the Green, Red (Park St.) or Orange (Downtown Crossing) lines.
Parking available at Boston Common Garage.

All are welcome!

For more information contact Vince Maraventano at vince@MIPandL.org or 617-244-0755.

Sponsors

 

Debate Over Massachusetts Energy Policy

Plug politics

A debate is raging over energy policy in Massachusetts. Environmental advocates are pushing for more solar and wind energy. Governor Baker favors more natural gas and importing hydroelectric power from Canada. Attorney General Healey issued a report demonstrating that increased investment in energy efficiency and demand management is more cost effective than building new pipelines. With strong leadership from Senators Downing, Pacheco and Barrett the Senate favors more solar and wind—and there is growing support in the Senate for an economy-wide carbon pricing bill. A bill passed the state Senate strengthening solar incentives but the House passed a bill that will hurt solar.

The social and public health costs of fossil fuel emissions can get lost in the debate. According to the International Monetary Fund, the failure of the market to effectively price carbon pollution represents a $5.3 trillion subsidy to the fossil fuel companies, including $2,180 per American per year.

Eversource and National Grid have mounted strong campaigns to oppose strengthening incentives for solar energy. George Bachrach, the president of the Environmental League of Massachusetts, says "Utilities make their money on natural gas and hydro and they do not make their money on solar and wind. These are private companies with private investors who want a return on their investment. These are big businesses. These are not public utilities." Peter Shattuck, the Massachusetts director of the Acadia Center, an environmental advocacy group, says "Until the incentives change, utilities will continue overbuilding pipelines, poles, and wires, while resisting rooftop solar, smart meters, and other technologies that eat into utilities' returns."

Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light supports:

Read more at: Politics behind the plug—Utilities play key role in energy debate, but who are they looking out for? by Bruce Mohl.

 

Tell the Governor You Support Offshore Wind Power

Today wind power companies are eager to build pollution-free wind farms far off the coast of Massachusetts in federal waters, invisible from the shore. Offshore wind power will generate large amounts of clean electricity, as well as thousands of jobs in Massachusetts. Because the cost of wind turbines has dropped dramatically over time, offshore wind power will have a negligible impact on the average electric bill.

If you agree that we should invest in a pollution-free energy source like offshore wind, add your name to a petition to Governor Baker.

 

Congress Extends Federal Wind and Solar Tax Credits

Solar Interfaith

Congress passed a compromise spending bill in December that extends solar and wind tax credits, while also lifting a ban on US oil exports. The solar investment tax credit (ITC) will remain at the current 30% rate through 2019, after which it will fall to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021 and 10% in 2022. An additional commence-construction clause will extend the credit to any project in development before 2024.

Wind developers get at least five more years to claim a production tax credit, (PTC) while the amount of that credit gradually scales down. The wind PTC will be retroactively applied to 2015 and is extended through 2016, after which it will decline each year until it fully expires in 2020. Read more here.

The tax credits have been crucial to the growth of solar in Massachusetts, though the state's current solar net metering caps are delaying many business and municipal solar projects from moving forward.

 

2015 Shatters Record for Warmest Year Since 1880

Heat map
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

2015 was the warmest year since modern record-keeping began in 1880, according to a new analysis by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, (GISS). Globally-averaged temperatures in 2015 shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit (0.13 Celsius). Only once before, in 1998 has the new record exceeded the old record by this much.

The record-breaking year continues a long-term warming trend—15 of the 16 warmest years on record have now occurred since 2001. "2015 was remarkable even in the context of the ongoing El Niño," said GISS Director Gavin Schmidt. "Last year's temperatures had an assist from El Niño, but it is the cumulative effect of the long-term trend that has resulted in the record warming that we are seeing." The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1.0 degree Celsius) since the late-19th century, a change largely driven by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. The full 2015 surface temperature data set and the complete methodology used to make the temperature calculation are available here.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Merchants of Doubt

Monday, February 29, 2016
7:00 pm
Druker Auditorium, Newton Free Library,
330 Homer St, Newton Centre, MA 02459

Are you confused by conflicting reports that are presented by the media on environmental issues? Join us for a screening of Merchants of Doubt, based on the celebrated book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, that reveals the truth behind the secretive and charismatic pundits-for-hire who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities. They only succeed in spreading maximum confusion about well-studied public threats from climate change to toxic chemicals.

Sponsors

 

Boston Interfaith Community Solar Project
Community Solar Roundtable

Saturday, February 27, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Location to be determined

The goal of Phase 1 of the Boston Interfaith Community Solar (BICS) Project is to develop 1 MW of solar capacity on the roofs of houses of worship and non-profits throughout the Boston Metro Area (Eversource utility zone). Financial details will be made available to house of worship decision-makers, non-profits, and interested community members who would like to participate in the program.

For more information contact Ben Underwood at Ben@cooppower.coop

Co-op Power

 

Climate Solutions: Meeting the Challenge
Getting to Net Zero; Learning From Cambridge

Tuesday, February 2, 7-9 PM
Parish Hall, First Parish in Concord, 20 Lexington Road, Concord

Learn why Net Zero is a solution to climate change, why it is an urgent course to take now, and what action other communities are taking to implement it. Featured speakers are Henrietta Davis, former Mayor of Cambridge, and Quinton Zondervan, President of Green Cambridge. For more information, go to: http://www.concordcan.org/whatshappening.html.

 

Local Environmental Action Conference
Mass Climate Action Network and Toxics Action Center

Sunday, March 13th, 2016
Northeastern University's Curry Center

Registration is now open!

This year's event is easily accessible by T and car.
For more information call Katelyn at 617-747-4362

 

PLEASE DONATE TODAY

make a donation

Mass. Interfaith Power & Light provides a faith based response to global warming by helping people and faith communities to lower their carbon footprints and by advocating for public policies that fulfill our moral responsibility to create a sustainable future.

Please help us carry out this critical mission by going to www.MIPandL.org, clicking on the DONATE button and making a secure, fully tax deductible donation.

 

Peace and blessings,

Your friends at MIP&L

 

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