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December 2016

Dear MIP&L members and friends,

People's Climate March-April 29th, 2017

people's climate march

Interfaith Power & Light sent a petition to elected officials signed by more than 4,000 religious and lay leaders emphasizing that climate change is not a hoax and urging them to take the bold action needed to address it. Other faith bodies and organizations are doing the same.

On April 29th, 2017, thousands will gather in Washington, D.C. to call upon Congress to take action to solve the climate crisis. It is being organized by the same people who organized the People's Climate March in NYC. Plans are still unfolding and we'll let you know as they develop. Please save the date and plan to come if you can. With appointments like Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma as EPA Administrator, Rick Perry of Texas as Secretary of Energy and Rex Tillerson President of Exxon as Secretary of State, the faith community needs to turn out in force to remind Washington that they have a moral responsibility to fight climate change and to protect those who are most harmed by it. Please plan to go and march with us. And if you do come plan to visit your Congressional representatives to remind them what needs to be done.



Sunday, February 12, 2017 2 pm to 6 pm
South Church, Andover, 41 Central St, Andover, MA 01810

Attend this informative, hands-on workshop conducted by Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light to evaluate the essential areas of energy use and costs in your House Of Worship:

The workshop fee is only $20 per attendee. Clergy, lay leaders, building & creation care committee members of all faiths welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information contact Vince Maraventano at or 617-244-0755.



outdoor exploration

Calling all youth and youth groups (Grades 7-12) — and adults, too!

Open to Christians of all denominations. Invite youth groups from other churches in your town!

All events held at Mass Audubon Sanctuaries — Free admission with RSVP to group leader!
Sponsored by Environmental Ministries of the Mass. Conference, United Church of Christ

Sunday, January 29, 2017 2-4 PM
Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
For more info or to RSVP: Sue Moore (

Sunday, March 12, 2017 2-4 PM
Boston Nature Center, Boston
For more info or to RSVP: Dr. Barbara Darling (

Sunday, March 12, 2017 2-4 PM
Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, Easthampton
For more info or to RSVP: Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas (

Specifics of each program will depend on the ages and abilities of the participants and the weather.
A portion of each event will be held outdoors. Dress accordingly – warm clothes and boots.
Bring snack and drink. If desired, snowshoes available to rent, or bring your own.


Hearings on DEP Climate Regulations in February

Mass DEP

In accordance with the Supreme Judicial Court's decision, in the case of Kain v. DEP, 474 Mass. 278 (2016), the Mass DEP is promulgating new regulations that establish declining aggregate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions limits on multiple categories of GHG emissions including sulfur hexafluoride, methane and carbon dioxide. They would also require utilities to annually increase the percentage of power from clean energy sources by 2% a year, twice the amount required by the current renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The proposed amendments and a background document are available on MassDEP's website at

Public hearings will be held:

Monday, February 6, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM; 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM; and at 6:00 PM
MassDEP Boston Office, One Winter Street, Boston, MA

Monday, February 6, 2017 at 9:00 AM
MassDEP Southeast Regional Office, 20 Riverside Drive, Lakeville, MA

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM
MassDEP Central Regional Office, 8 New Bond Street, Worcester, MA

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 2:00 PM
Springfield Central Library, 220 State Street, Springfield, MA

Clean Energy Standard: Electric utilities would be required to increase the amount of clean energy by 2% per year so that such sources will constitute 20% of our electricity by 2020, 40% by 2030, and continuing to increase to a maximum of 80% by 2050.

Reducing Sulfur Hexafluoride: Sulfur hexafluoride, (SF6) is 23,900 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2), the most common GHG. The declining emission limits would limit the absolute amount of SF6 that may be emitted each year from all regulated sources.

Reducing Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Distribution Mains and Services. A primary ingredient of natural gas, methane can leak from the pipelines and systems used during distribution to homes and businesses. In the atmosphere, methane is a potent contributor to global warming, roughly 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. MassDEP is proposing to include limits on methane emissions for calendar years 2018, 2019 and 2020,

Global Warming Solutions Act Requirements for Transportation. The regulation would target CO2 reductions from vehicles that travel throughout Massachusetts; and the amount of CO2 that is emitted from the combustion of fuels in mobile equipment owned by, and of heating fuels used at, Mass. DOT and MBTA facilities.


Turbines are Spinning at the Nation's First Offshore Wind Facility

Block Island wind farm

On December 12, 2016, Block Island Wind Farm announced that it had begun delivering electricity to the grid—a historic occasion for both the region and the US. The facility represents the first offshore wind farm in the nation and is paving the way for similar projects to harness New England's significant offshore wind energy potential. As of December 1, three offshore wind projects representing 2,054 megawatts (MW) were requesting interconnection to the regional power system. Federal and state efforts are helping spur the growth of this new industry. Recent Massachusetts legislation, for example, allows the state to procure approximately 1,600 MW of offshore wind.

The wind farm, located 16 miles off the Rhode Island mainland near Block Island, comprises five wind turbines. The facility's 30 MW of total capability will be more than enough to replace the diesel generators that previously powered the island; about 90% of the facility's output will be exported back to the mainland via a new underwater transmission cable to help meet regional electricity demand.


Reflection of the Month

We Were Made for These Times

looking for hope

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

You are right in your assessments. The luster and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.

Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.

We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn't you say you were a believer? Didn't you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn't you ask for grace? Don't you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these - to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do. There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.

By Clarissa Pinkola Estes
American poet, post-trauma specialist and Jungian psychoanalyst, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves.



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, clicking on the DONATE button and making a secure, fully tax deductible donation.



Peace and blessings,

Your friends at MIP&L