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Mass Power Forward Coalition Responds to Attorney General Decision on Brookline Gas Moratorium

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday July 21, 2020 Media Contacts:  Claire Miller, (781) 775-1429, Jacob Stern, (860) 670-6421, Sarah Dooling, (206) 293-3227, Brookline, MA - Today the Attorney General’s office announced a long-awaited decision on the 2019 Brookline ordinance that sought to eliminate the use of explosive gas in new building construction. The municipal ordinance was modeled after similar efforts in California municipalities, including the city of Berkeley. In their announcement (attached), the Attorney General’s office has made clear that the Brookline ordinance is preempted by existing Massachusetts law. Regardless, Mass Power Forward is committed to seeking an equitable statewide solution to eliminate the use of explosive gas and other polluting energy in buildings for heating, cooking, etc. The coalition will continue to pursue a transition toward an efficient all-electric building sector; a transition that prioritizes low income and vulnerable communities and provides new employment/training opportunities for displaced workers. In response, Jacob Stern, Massachusetts Sierra Club Deputy Director said: “Brookline’s municipal ordinance was a response to years of inaction at the state level. While Baker Administration continues to support the construction of new pipelines and fossil fuel infrastructure, his constituents are already envisioning a clean, all-electric future. The AG’s decision should serve as a clear rallying cry for our state leaders to reform our building practices and create opportunities for construction of fossil fuel-free homes and businesses.“ In response, Claire Miller, Community Action Works Climate Justice Director said: “Housing is critical to public health. Clean, renewable energy is critical to public health. If this pandemic has taught us one thing, I hope it is that public health is critical. We can and must seek transformational change in our buildings. We call on the Baker administration to connect the dots on health, climate, housing, racism and good green jobs now.” In response, Sarah Dooling, Massachusetts Climate Action Network Executive Director said: “We know that as long as our buildings are dependent on fossil fuels, we will be unable to meet our climate goals. Communities of color and low-income residents should not have to bear high energy burdens for polluting sources of electricity. By giving all communities the option to adopt a highly efficient, all-electric, net zero building code, the Baker Administration would demonstrate a bold commitment to clean energy, public health, and equity.” In response, Cindy Luppi, Clean Water Action New England Director said:  “This ruling gives us a moment to reframe and focus on carbon pollution reduction pathways with economic and environmental justice leaders. We have no time to waste and need to intentionally create next steps in ways that meet intersecting and inclusive goals.”  ### Mass Power Forward is a coalition of environmental leaders, community development organizations, clean energy businesses, faith groups, neighborhood health and safety advocates, and Massachusetts families fighting for clean, affordable, reliable energy and a thriving economy.

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