Beacon Hill Roundup

In This Issue:

Action You Can Take This Week

Capitol Hill Updates

Beacon Hill Updates

Climate Change & Energy News

Programs, Events & Workshops

Quotation of the Week

Trump also expressed skepticism the globe is warming.

- Bloomberg News, as reported in The Boston Globe; January 29, 2018

Mass Audubon Advocacy

Jack Clarke, Director of Public Policy & Government Relations
Karen Heymann, Legislative Director
Christina Wiseman, Advocacy Associate
Heidi Ricci, Assistant Director of Advocacy
Stefanie Covino, Coordinator, Shaping the Future of Your Community
Dan Brown, Climate Change Education and Outreach Coordinator


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The Beacon Hill Weekly Roundup tracks the legislative priorities of Mass Audubon, focusing on the protection of the nature of Massachusetts.

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February 12, 2018


Action You Can Take This Week

 No actions for our readers to take this week, but we’re staying busy on both Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill. Stay tuned!

Capitol Hill Updates

  Independent Audubon lobby day DC
  Members from the group in DC
Mass Audubon Visits DC
Last week, Mass Audubon traveled to Capitol Hill to discuss federal conservation priorities during the first-ever Independent Audubon Societies’ lobby day. Legislative Director Karen Heymann met with congressional staff for Congressman Moulton, Congressman Neal, Congressman Kennedy, Congressman McGovern, and Senator Warren on federal priorities like defense of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Learn more.

Supporting Migratory Bird Protections Nationwide
Mass Audubon joined more than 500 organizations from all 50 states in signing onto a letter urging Congress to defend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This year, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Act, which is credited with saving many species from extinction including the Wood Duck and Snowy Egret. Our letter urged our congressional delegation to stand up against recent efforts that would drastically reduce the existing law’s ability to protect birds.

Beacon Hill Updates 

  © Zeynel Cebeci
Good News on Pollinator Bill
We were happy to see our pollinator protection bill reported favorably out of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture last week! Wednesday was the deadline for bills to make it out of committee, making them eligible for House and Senate floor votes later in the session. An Act to protect pollinator habitat (S.451) aims to put solutions into place to protect and promote pollinators’ health, at a time when their populations are in decline. Language from An Act to promote pollinator forage (H.457) was also folded into the bill.

Thanks to everyone who contacted the chairs of the Joint Committee to ask that the bill be reported out favorably.

New Senate Energy Released
Massachusetts Senators released a new comprehensive energy bill today, An Act to promote a clean energy future, which includes a climate change adaptation component along with renewable energy and carbon pricing measures. Mass Audubon supports the bill and attended the State House press conference for its release.

East Coast Governors Oppose Offshore Drilling
We were glad to learn that Governor Charlie Baker joined six other East Coast Governors in written opposition to the recent federal decision to expand offshore oil and gas drilling. The group wrote a letter last month to Department of the Interior Secretary Zinke which, in addition to voicing their opposition to the expansion, requested that their states and the Atlantic Coast be exempt from the expansion program. See the letter here.

Climate Change & Energy News 

Al Gore in the Globe
Did you catch former vice president Al Gore’s interview with Boston Globe reporter David Abel? In town for a speaking event at Tufts University, Gore spoke with the Globe about the challenges of addressing climate change in the Trump era.

Massachusetts Marijuana Should Grow Green
Last week state environmental officials urged marijuana managers to implement energy conservation standards into their growing practices. As we’ve noted before, marijuana cultivation is one of the most energy-intensive industries in the country. In their letter, a lawyer for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs encouraged the Cannabis Control Commission to get specific about energy efficiency and environmental standards – like favoring LED over high-intensity lighting - that would be required of cannabis manufacturers and farms. Learn more.

Solar Milestone for Massachusetts
Massachusetts has now surpassed 2,000 megawatts of installed solar power, through 78,646 projects across the state. Almost 50% of the solar capacity in Massachusetts has been installed in the last two years, and all 351 cities and towns in the state now have at least one solar installation.

Learn more about Mass Audubon’s solar energy generation here, and through some of our wildlife sanctuary’s green features.

Upcoming Programs, Events, & Workshops

Oil & Gas Drilling Meeting
The US Department of the Interior (DOI) has rescheduled its public listening sessions on offshore oil and gas drilling. The sessions will focus on DOI’s five-year drilling expansion plan, which includes two areas off the New England Coast. The Boston session will take place on February 27 from 3:00-7:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Boston (One Avenue de Lafayette, Boston, MA 02111). Mass Audubon will be attending the Boston session and submitting comments to DOI expressing our strong disagreement with their plan.

Mass Audubon Birders Meeting
Sign up is now open for the 2018 Birders Meeting: Highlands and Islands of New England: A Bird’s-Eye-View. This year’s fun-filled day will start with a keynote presentation from Victor Emanuel called “Birds & Life.” The day will continue with presentations that address the importance of coastal islands and high elevation “sky” islands to both breeding and migrating birds. The meeting takes place on Sunday, March 11 at UMass Boston - check out the website for more details and to register.

Spring Conferences with Shaping the Future
Mass Audubon’s Shaping the Future program will be speaking and tabling at several conferences this spring. We hope you can join us to learn about sustainable land use, Low Impact Development, land conservation, climate adaptation, and more:

Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions Annual Conference
Join more than 750 conservation commissioners and agents, environmental officials, activists, and others at this year's conference. The Shaping program will be presenting on how conservation commissioners can get involved in local adaptation planning and successful land conservation projects using our MAPPR tool. Saturday, March 3, 2018 at College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA. Learn more.

Massachusetts Citizen Planner Training Collaborative Annual Conference
The CPTC Annual Conference will include a variety of sessions from introductory (planning with community support, responsibilities of a planning board) to special topics that Shaping is presenting, including planning for climate change and funding solutions for stormwater management. Saturday, March 17 at College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA. Learn more.

2018 Mass Land Conservation Conference
This conference provides a full day of workshops and discussions focused on fostering a green future in our state through land conservation and greening strategies. This year’s theme is Leading Locally in a Changing World, and Shaping will be presenting with a number of partners on how nature-based solutions can assist communities in their climate goals. Saturday, March 24, at Worcester Technical High School. Learn more.

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