Green Needham recognizes that legislation and public policy provide the basis for local projects such as Solarize Needham, the RTS Solar Array, and the availability of no-cost home energy assessments and weatherization rebates. While we don’t have a specific legislative advocacy team, we work with and support organizations that are focused on advocacy.
During the 2016 legislative session, as Massachusetts lawmakers mapped out the energy future of our State, environmental organizations mobilized citizens to contact their legislators about energy policy. An Act to Promote Energy Diversity, signed into law by Governor Baker in August, is everything environments wanted, but it does require utilities to obtain 1600 MW of electricity from offshore wind — the largest commitment to offshore wind in the nation. The bill also requires utilities to repair environmentally damaging gas leaks, creates a panel to guide the decommissioning of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant, and moves the state forward on energy efficiency and energy storage.
Green Needham has supported and participated in the efforts of the Mass Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action (MAICCA) and the Needham League of Women Voters in advocating for renewable energy during the discussions of the energy bill. In meetings with legislators and actions at the State House, citizens stressed the need to direct our energy legislation toward clean, renewable power, and equal access to energy conservation measures for all citizens of Massachusetts.
MAICCA members march in December, 2015 at the end of the Climate talks in Paris.
Needham residents meet at the office of Rep. Denise Garlick in October, 2015.
Green Needham has advised and supported Needham high school students Christopher Thomas, Vinh Truong and Bony Ganuagpanta as they prepare to petition the May 2017 Town Meeting to pass a plastic bag ban. Their initial efforts include getting signatures on a petition supporting the ban.