Councilor O’Malley’s first order of NZC business in the new year was to refile (per City Council requirements when a new calendar year begins) hearing orders. Toward this end, on January 16, he refiled a slightly reworded order to amend the definition of the floor area ratio (FAR) when developers are constructing a net-zero-carbon building as well as an order requiring all new municipal buildings be net-zero carbon.
In an effort to bring transparency and social accountability to the use of the City’s pension fund investments, three city councilors will hold a hearing open to the public on Feb. 28 at 2 pm. Public and written testimony accepted.
Here is why we need all new buildings in Boston to work toward being net-zero carbon, and we need to do it now since we are in the midst of the third largest building boom Boston has ever witnessed.
By Chuck Collins, Institute for Policy Studies
“The City of Boston, when it should be working vigorously to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is allowing housing for the superrich that locks the city into new fossil fuel infrastructure. . . . ” Read the rest of the article and view the parody video by clicking the “Read More” button below.
Dear Mayor Walsh: We appeal to you to do everything in your power to accelerate the transition of the city of Boston away from an economy based on fossil fuels toward a new economy that creates green jobs, promotes sustainable development, shifts our communities toward a more democratic and equitable power grid, and elevates renewable systems of energy generation and use.
National Grid had requested approval for a contract related to the financing of the Back Bay/South End gas pipeline project that would have given developers of luxury high-rise One Dalton a special deal. Thanks to opposition led by BCEC, with consultation from MassPLAN, many Boston residents testified against this sweetheart deal at the DPU hearing, and the Attorney General’s office was also present to voice opposition.
Following the JP Forum co-hosted by BCEC the previous night titled “Testimony from a Sacrifice Zone,” the Pennsylvania activists who spoke at the forum attended the every-Wednesday vigil against the Back Bay Billionaires’ pipeline, which is under construction. The Pennsylvanians joined Bostonians fighting the creation of this additional fossil-fuel infrastructure at a time when we need to be focusing solely on renewables for our energy needs.
Since the “Walk for Renewables” on August 1, 2016, which took place along the route of the proposed Back Bay/South End gas pipeline, BCEC has been working to make residents aware of this fossil-fuel project, gain information and details about the extent of the project, delay PIC permitting of the project at least until a robust community process is held, and ultimately stop the pipeline from being built because the City will never meet its carbon neutral goals by constructing more gas pipelines such as this one.
The City of Boston agreed to hold a meeting with representatives from National Grid to discuss the pipeline project on January 16. More than 150 environmental advocates, area residents, elected officials representing the Back Bay/South End, reporters, and others attended. For news reports about the meeting, click “Read More” below.
Climate Push Must Include Goals for Green Buildings
It was heartening to see that the Globe’s editorial board is determined to “strengthen our blue bulwark’’ as a counterweight to the insanity of the Trump administration. Under criteria, you list climate change as number one, and promise to push for the transition away from natural gas toward renewables, which is commendable. Unfortunately you fail to include goals for the built environment. . . .
Public testimony from Michael McCord, Chair, Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay Green Committee, presented at the Boston City Council Hearing on Net-Zero-Carbon New Buildings (Dec. 11, 2017):
“. . . It is, in my view, morally unconscionable that the city of Boston is poised to allow new buildings to be constructed that will substantially add to Greenhouse Gases. . .” Click “Read More” below for full testimony
Testimony from Martin Roetter, Chair, Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay, presented at the DPU hearing on the approval of a service agreement between National Grid and One Dalton (Dec. 15, 2017):
“. . . Sensible decisions and practical compromises can only be achieved if they are based on an understanding of the costs to all of us taking into account the public interest as well as the interests of those directly involved in investments in fracked gas and their users. . .” Click “Read More” below for full testimony