Day #80

Quick bit, more on day 80 later: I’m celebrating day 80 by going to the dentist 😂

I will be “out of the office” tomorrow (Thursday).

UPDATE: 
Day 80 was quiet. I brought a #flashback #throwback letter with me from the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB), which was the catalyst for my Baker-sitting. All of would not have happened had Gov. Baker listened to thousands (not kidding) of his constituents and been on top of this ill-conceived compressor proposal from the get-go.

All he had to do (in my opinion) was have his EFSB request a rehearing from FERC regarding the conditional permit. EFSB is an intervenor in this project, and had all rights and reasons to “intervene”. But, nope, it didn’t happen, and here we are.

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Day #79

Mothers Out Front is joining me today at the State House! If you find yourself in the neighborhood, please feel free to join us. Information on the action is here:

Mothers Out Front Action at the State House!

Today, July 11 at NOON

What: Mothers Stand With Andrea. Andrea Honore is mom from Weymouth who has been waiting for over 70 days to talk to Governor Baker about the proposed compressor station in her community.. So far, he has ignored her.  Tuesday, July 11, Mothers Out Front will bring 50 moms to line the halls in front of Baker’s office.

When: Tuesday, July 11,  12:00 noon – 2:00 pm

  • 12:00 pm: Mothers Out Front will meet with mothers from the Fore River Basin in front of the Statehouse, to listen to speakers and to mother’s stories.
  • We will proceed to 3rd floor hall in front of the Governor’s office. We’ll stand along the hall, with a message from mothers to the governor about the compressor station.
  • 2:00pm – After the action we invite you to make short videos urging Governor Baker to take action.

Who: Mothers Out Front across Massachusetts, plus friends and allies who want to support the voice of mothers. Invite a friend! Fathers, uncles, sons and grandfathers are welcome!

I will be able to link to some pictures and video later today and/or tomorrow.

UPDATE:

I cannot write much more right now, but I wanted to say it was an incredible success! 106 people came to stand silently, lining the hallways right outside the Governor’s office.

Absolutely fantastic!

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As an aside, the press page has gone bonkers (well, to me it has)… more stories coming.

UPDATE:
I’m still processing what happened yesterday. It was so lovely in so many ways. From the exquisite organization and execution from Mothers Out Front – Mobilizing for a Livable Climate, to the people that showed up from all over eastern Massachusetts, especially our neighbors in Hingham, and the original gangsters in this fight, Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station. 106 people came to stand with me and to stand up for Weymouth. (that’s all of us lining up to go in!)

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The security guards complimented us on our excellent decorum, and the State Trooper never batted an eyelash at us. That’s pretty darned good considering how many people we had in that hallway! The picture below is from a Hingham resident… that bright light at the end of the corridor is the Governor’s waiting room.

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There is a wonderful video shot by MOF here… I managed to not be at my post so I didn’t make the video, typical me. I was trying to get my own video, unsuccessfully. I ran out of memory… I need to leave it to the pros.

A nice summary from Becky Haugh – Weymouth District 1 Town Councilor:
This has been a very energized week for the fight against the proposed Weymouth compressor station. Andrea Honore of FAE – Families Against Enbridge has gotten a lot of press for her #SitwithAndrea movement. Today, over 100 people from FRRACS, Mothers Out Front – Mobilizing for a Livable Climate, Hingham Against the Compressor Station and other groups joined Andrea on Day 79 of her sit-in.

There have been multiple news stories about our grassroots efforts – which have been on-going for 2 1/2 years. From flyer drops, lawn sign campaigns, local weekly protests, lobbying politicians, multiple meetings and public hearings, written comments to a dozen agencies, Statehouse trips, Andrea’s daily protest, people’s engagement on social media – and the list goes on – so many people have devoted a lot of time, energy and personal money fighting for what we know is right.

We hope Governor Baker can acknowledge our concern and fight. We hope he is willing to join every elected official who represents North Weymouth and beyond to recognize why siting a compressor station in Weymouth is a very poor decision and not in the best interest of the residents here directly impacted nor the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

I would also add:
I hope that Governor Baker will acknowledge that his inaction in all of this has caused a MA town–that can least afford to spend money on non-town services–to spend half a million dollars fighting this crappy proposal.

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Day #78 (late)

Lively day today! The State House News Service picked up on the Ask the Governor call from last Thursday. SHNS is not letting any part of this story slide. There have been 3 mentions of this action in 3 days.

First, a little pretty State House scenery (and my feet, LOL)

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I brought an opinion article with me from CommonWealth Magazine called The invisible hand of Gordon van Welie. If you don’t know who that is, you can join the club. I’m just becoming familiar with who he is, and what exactly ISO-NE stands for.

ISO is Independent System Operator for all of New England, which is “in charge of keeping the lights on throughout the region, coordinating the flow of electricity to power plants.” Mr. van Welie is the CEO of ISO. As you can see in the article, for whatever reason, Mr. van Welie wants New England to “overbuild” gas pipelines.

Not so fast.

As mentioned in Day 65, ISO-NE can absolutely avoid the gas infrastructure by starting to modernize the grid. As the article puts it:
Committing to gas under the auspices of maintaining reliability in the near term will result in sunk costs and stranded assets in the long term. Surely the dollars spent to build out such infrastructure and the time devoted to promoting more gas as a solution could be better spent adequately planning for more, cheaper efficiency, clean renewables and necessary infrastructure, and building a smarter grid.

The closure last month of Massachusetts’ lone remaining coal plant is an opportunity to think innovatively and plan for a future powered by clean resources rather than one tethered to the past.

It’s time for van Welie’s perspective to evolve with the times.

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Day #77 (late)

Pretty quiet on the “meeting scheduling” front. The whole State House is enmeshed in budget negotiations–the state budget is late. But, I’m making excuses for the Governor, LOL. His office can schedule something, especially since I wrote a very long and detailed letter requesting a site visit and a meeting for day 77:

Dear Governor Baker/Constituent Services-
Pursuant to the July 6, 2017 conversation on Boston Public Radio’s Ask The Governor, I’d like to formally re-extend invitations for a site visit and a meeting.

I can meet Governor Baker anytime, anywhere, at his convenience.

The site visit would be at Governor Baker’s convenience, as well.

Please let me know with whom I should coordinate so that these events happen soon.

Thank you so much,
Andrea Honore

😀

I also included a copy of the Town of Weymouth’s Notice of Claim (again) as this is the clearest reason yet to deny the Waterways “intention to” permit due to incompleteness of Enbridge’s application.

A new document was uploaded to the FERC dockets regarding the Town of Weymouth’s position regarding this whole mishigas. I hope to have a better copy to upload soon:

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Weymouth officials, you are the best! We are so lucky to have you in our corner, especially when I hear of other towns/cities across the US that fold in favor of the for-profit energy companies at the slightest nudge. Whatever happens in the future, we know we’ve ALL fought as long and as hard as possible

 

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Day #76

Sooooo, a funny thing happened before I made my way to Baker-sit.

I got live on the radio with Governor Baker. I finally got to talk to him! So did Rose W. of Cummington, MA:

— Rose’s question at 1:25:10 (thanks for the transcript, R!)
Thank you Gov. Baker for pledging to join the Climate Alliance.
Does that mean you’ll change your hands-off approach in opposing fossil fuel development like the Weymouth Compressor station, pipelines and LNG in the state?

Baker’s answer (with my notes)
60% of our current energy sources are natural gas, it would be pretty hard for us to walk away from that anytime soon. (No one is asking MA to walk away from current energy sources, just keep new, unneeded infrastructure out) And as we all know, the presence of natural gas has taken a ton of oil and coal out of our energy sector, which has been a good thing for a greenhouse gas point of view. (leaking methane and unburned gas released by gas infrastructure is worse than coal)

With respect to the compressor, I would just say the following. As I said before it’s a federal issue, but we do have a role to play here because we implement certain federal standards here (Misdirecting or does not have a good grasp on the process? MA’s role is to stringently review the STATE environmental applications. So far, that’s not happening). And we got a lot of really positive input from folks, Secretary Beaton and his team, during the public hearing process (Eh? From whom, for what? What public hearing process?). And we will hold those folks (Enbridge/Algonquin? I’m so confused, and I think he is too) to the highest standard possible under the federal law – you can count on that – with respect to both public safety, public health and any other issues associated with that.” (We want you to hold “those folks”, Enbridge/Algonquin, to the highest STATE standard. And you’re not so far)

Rose also wrote a rebuttal here.

— My question at 1:40:14
Jim: Andrea from Weymouth, you’re on Boston Public Radio with the Governor of the Commonwealth

Andrea: Hi everybody, thanks for having me on. Hi Governor Baker, it’s Andrea from your waiting room. Since I can’t talk to you in person, um,  at the State House, I would just like to speak to you over the radio and invite you to come down and have site visit at the proposed Weymouth compressor station location at 6 Bridge Street in Weymouth. We would love to have you!

Baker: I’ll talk to the scheduling people about it, Andrea. (I will hold you to that, Gov. B. Also, you pretty much just admitting you haven’t been to the site) I hope you’re being well taken care of in the office? (I would think casual listeners would wonder what he means by that comment. Jim, Margery, Baker and I know, though what he means. While Baker has been avoiding me for 76 days, his crack staff have been filling the gaps as best they can.)

Andrea: I am. Joyce and Victoria and the Constituent Services on down to, er, up to the Troopers have been incredibly nice to me, and welcoming and we have a great time, actually. (This is 100% truth) I would very much like to speak with you, though. (ALSO 100% truth)

Jim: Why isn’t the meeting happening, Governor? (Jim, Margery, Baker and I know what meeting Jim is referring to, heh)

Baker: I don’t know. I don’t know. Yeah, you know we get… I don’t know. (I know why I haven’t met with you.)

Jim: Andrea, thank you for the call. (No. Thank YOU!)

Margery: We get emails all the time about that same issue. (Margery, I don’t know you, but you’re a GEM. Also gems? The people who have advocated on my behalf to Boston Public Radio <3)

 

Today, the indefatigable Carolyn B. joined me on the couch. Thank you!

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