Members of Mothers out Front, including Randi Soltysiak of Somerville, delivered over 2000 postcards to Governor Baker last Friday in honor of Mother’s Day. These postcards asked the Governor to take a stand and speak out against new pipelines in the state.

By Anne Goodwin

Members of Mothers Out Front Massachusetts, a grassroots movement of mothers and other caregivers focused on climate change, delivered 2,163 postcards to Governor Baker’s Beacon Hill office last Friday.

The postcards, signed by Massachusetts citizens, urge the Governor to “unite with mothers to create a healthy environment today and a livable climate tomorrow for all children.”

This event was part of a nationwide Mother’s Day campaign to remind elected officials and other decision makers of the importance of climate action. The text on the post-cards reads “Natural gas was supposed to be a bridge fuel, easing our transition from coal and oil to wind and solar. Pipelines are not bridges; they are dead ends. Don’t trap us with shortsighted investments that benefit people over industry.”

Jennifer McClain of Lexington spoke for Mothers Out Front. “We are here on behalf of hundreds of people throughout Massachusetts who we have spoken with directly, and the thousands of others who share our sentiments. Together we all ask you to say, no more pipelines. No more placing our future and that of our children at risk. No more placing our children’s present at risk. We have better choices in Massachusetts. Please step up, speak up, and make better choices for us all.”

The postcard delivery was timed to coincide with the daily vigil of Andrea Honore, a mother of two who has been sitting on a couch outside the Governor’s office for 15 minutes on her lunch hour every day since February 28, 2017, hoping to talk to the Governor about a proposed natural gas compressor station in Weymouth. Each time she visits the Governor’s office, she leaves a note for him about the risks associated with the compressor station – part of the Atlantic Bridge pipeline being built by Enbridge, a Canadian pipeline company that is now the largest oil and gas pipeline company in North America.

Weymouth residents opposed to the compressor station, including Honore, are calling on the Governor to oppose a Coastal Zone Management permit for the compressor station, one of several permits necessary for the project to proceed.

Honore stood with Mothers Out Front, saying, “Like California, Massachusetts should be leading the U.S. in renewable energy storage and use. New gas infrastructure is not wanted nor needed in Massachusetts.”

A public forum to learn about gas leaks, how they are found, the damage they cause, the challenges involved, and what is being done about them, is planned for Saturday, May 20th at 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at East Somerville Community School Auditorium, 50 Cross St.

Somerville state representative Christine Barber, lead sponsor of a key gas leaks bill, and other public officials and experts, as well as representatives from National Grid and Eversource will participate.  Meet other concerned citizens, make your voice heard, and learn how you can take action. A link to the event is on the Mothers Out Front – Somerville Facebook page, and a map of Somerville’s leaks can be found at squeakyleak.org.

 

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