Rise Up Singing
It’s a gray morning and the election results have most reasonable folks feeling down. One bright spot on the elections: 350 Maine’s Billy Rixon is now a Freeport Town Councilor; congratulations, Billy!
This is an important time to remember that we have survived four years of Governor LePage and we can survive four more. We know the forces against which we will combine; we know we have no reason for complacency and we can’t relax. All good information to keep in mind! Today WERU community radio played “Rise Up Singing” and I thought what a great bit of advice for all of us. We have not been defeated; we have defined the field. Anybody ready for a Keystone XL pipeline resistance action and perhaps arrest? Gotta believe that will be coming up fast on our horizon. —from Heidi Brugger
Let the Sun Shine
In a recent spate of emails we learned that communities around the state are jumping on the solar bandwagon. It was quite a lift to read that—
- South Portland is considering a solar array on the city landfill,
- Paris is the site of Maine’s first solar farm,
- Belfast is installing PVs (photovoltaics) on its fire house,
- Hotels in Boothbay are investing in solar,
- York is putting PVs on the York Beach Fire Station and the middle school,
- South Berwick is installing solar on its library,
- Mt. Abrams ski resort recently announced commissioning of a 244.915 Kw, 803 panel, photovoltaic solar project,
- Freeport wants to explore a solar farm for the community, and Auburn has also expressed interest..
- Efficiency Maine is discussing replicating the Boothbay solar grid project in other communities in the state.
This is a lot of incredible energy for renewables in our state. And the bandwagon has room for more. Phil Coupe, founder of Revision Energy, welcomes inquires about how to get your town in on this action. He recommends contacting Jen Hatch (email@example.com, 207-221-6342). Sarah Lachance suggested that we may want to create a 350 Maine Solutions campaign team. This could be the time! (Image: Portland Press Herald)
Energy East Pipeline Update
350 Maine joined forces with Sierra Club Maine Chapter, Environment Maine and the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) to launch a campaign to warn northern and eastern Maine residents about possible environmental harms from a $10.8 billion crude oil pipeline proposed by TransCanada. The Energy East pipeline could carry about 1.1 million barrels of oil per day over 2,860 miles to reach New Brunswick and, as it passes around Maine, could come within 20 miles of the border.
The coalition of environmental groups warns that a spill from such a pipeline could pollute tributaries of the St. John River. They also warned that the project threatens to speed up climate change by bolstering tar sands production. As NRCM’s Emmie Theberge of NRCM notes, “The proposed Energy East pipeline would still threaten to pollute our waters and air, and send our climate past its tipping point. It would be totally unacceptable for a huge new tar sands pipeline just across the border in Canada to threaten the St. John’s water quality, wildlife habitat, and recreational resources.” Adds 350 Maine’s Sarah Lachance, “The Energy East pipeline would allow further destruction of this land [Alberta], its people, and the planet through climate change. I think it’s fair to say that lots of Mainers join people across Canada opposing the proposed Energy East pipeline.”
Anti-Infrastructure Arrests Around the Nation
More than 60 people were arrested in recent days while conducting non-violent civil disobedience actions in New York, Rhode Island, Maryland, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. The DC protests targeted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in DC for its continued bowing to industry pressure, rubber-stamping permits for fracking as well as pipeline and LNG export facilities regardless of environmental and health impacts. Climate impacts are not part of FERC’s review processes. Rhode Island protesters conducted a sit-in in Senator Jack Reed’s offices opposing the SPECTRA natural gas pipeline, which runs throughout New England. (Image: DCMedia Group)
Considering a Carbon Tax
The Pricing Carbon Initiative is calling for people to hold post-election events that promote the goal of enacting “legislation that puts a price on carbon pollution and returns revenues to the American people, either directly or by reducing taxes.” The Citizens’ Climate Lobby and many of those involved in state-level carbon tax efforts are encouraging people to participate in these events. 350 Maine is invited to one such event—a potluck meeting on Sunday, Nov. 16, at the Brunswick home of Patty and John Newlin from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m.. John is one of the people heading up the Citizens’ Climate Lobby in Maine. The meeting will begin with an optional woods walk from 4:00 to 4:30 p.m. (please bring blaze orange wear if you have it). If you plan to attend, let the Newlins know by RSVPing. Click here for directions and here for a short video about the Pricing Carbon Initiative events on Nov. 14-16 across the United States.
- U.N. Panel Issues Its Starkest Warning Yet on Global Warming by Justin Gillis
- Keystone XL activist gets his day in court from Grist
- Inside the Koch Brothers’ toxic empire” from The Rolling Stone
- Citizens’ Climate Lobby focuses on a revenue-neutral carbon tax. 350 Bangor suggests checking out the national website which is loaded with info on the national struggle.
- Super Typhoon Nuri brings warm winter in Alaska and cold in the continental US from StormWatch 7 WeatherBlog
- Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainability (CLAS) has an interesting exercise called Scenario Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change. The site also has links to innovative online tools for analyzing climate and climate change, such as the Climate Reanalyzer, which is an amazing resource!
Save the Date
- Nov. 8, Winthrop: 350 Maine Convergence Part 2, Winthrop Center Friends Church,10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. For regional nodes and campaign representatives.
- Nov. 9, Waterville: 350 Central Maine meeting, upstairs in the Universalist-Unitarian Church, Silver Street, 11:30 a.m.
- Nov. 9, Portland: Climate Justice Vigil, Congress Square, noon to 1:00 p.m. Nov. 11, Your phone: Tar Sands Team conference call, 7:00 p.m. Number: 1-213-550-2200; Participant Access Code: 317-1692#
- Nov. 12, Falmouth: 350 Greater Portland meeting, Friends School, Mackworth Island, 6:00-8:00 p.m. FMI contact Lee.
- Nov. 16, Belfast: Climate vigil, corner of High and Main Streets, noon to 1:00 p.m. rain or shine. FMI contact Bob.
- Nov. 30, TBD: Please fill out this Doodle Poll so that the Tar Sands Team can determine where and what time to meet for a face-to-face on Nov. 30: All invited!