Target: Governor Deval Patrick
Goal: Ban new fossil fuel infrastructure and replace existing pipelines, power plants and export terminals with renewable energy solutions
Recently several hundred students walked out of class to call for climate leadership from Governor Deval Patrick. Organized by Students for a Just and Stable Future, they rallied in front of the Massachusetts State House to support the governor’s previous work on climate issues and call for a ban on building new fossil fuel infrastructure in the state. They have joined with other activist groups to push the governor to act on climate change in his final year in office. Gov. Patrick’s climate initiatives are stronger than most politicians’, but even he needs to take swift action to save the environment for future generations.
Continuing on our current path will result in extreme weather conditions and rising sea levels, leading to food and water supply shortages and societal instability. According to the International Energy Agency, we have until 2017 to stop building new coal, oil and gas infrastructure before we cross a lifetime emissions level that will create dangerous climate change. The alternative is to meet all new energy demands through a combination of renewables, energy efficiency and conservation. Solar power and sustainable public transit will create local jobs and make healthier, stronger communities.
Gov. Patrick needs to build on his history of strong climate action leadership. Massachusetts is a leader in sustainability and has worked on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and more sustainable transport. 80,000 green jobs have been developed in the state, which has seen a growth rate of 11% in green jobs per year since 2011.
Thank Gov. Patrick for his efforts to curb climate change, and urge him to ban all new fossil fuel infrastructure in Massachusetts and request plans for alternative, renewable energy programs.
Dear Governor Patrick,
I am writing to urge you to honor your public commitment to climate action. Massachusetts is a national leader in renewable energy solutions and green jobs. You have an opportunity to build on your strong history of climate action by taking swift, bold steps to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and develop environmentally friendly alternative solutions.
Scientific research has confirmed that fossil fuel emissions contribute to climate change. A ban on new infrastructure, including pipelines, power plants and export terminals, would help the state meet its emissions reductions target for 2030. Existing infrastructure should be phased out and replaced with localized renewable energy, which would help the economy by creating jobs. The Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008 gives you the authority to act without going through the Legislature.
It is time for drastic measures and innovative solutions if we are to reverse our current destructive, unsustainable path. I urge you to ban all new fossil fuel infrastructure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, effective immediately, and request plans to phase out existing infrastructure, to be replaced with renewable energy solutions. Please act now to ensure that future generations do not become victims of climate change.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: User:John via Wikimedia Commons