It is estimated that there are over 215 premature deaths and more than 5,000 public health incidents in Massachusetts each year. Though Massachusetts is noted as a leader in environmental stewardship and climate change mitigation still have room for growth. With the expiration date for coal fast approaching we are urging our elected officials to join us in creating sustainable infrastructure to help transition workers and communities to a clean energy economy. Our Coal Free Massachusetts Platform does just that while calling for the implementation of energy efficient technology and clean renewable energy sources.
This past week, in efforts to gain support for our platform and mimic what environmental advocates and activist did in Nevada we met with Senators Warren and Markey to ask their help in moving Massachusetts to a clean energy economy.
To make these meetings a success we had several voices present to help convey our message. Annie Rushman, Healthy Air Coordinator for the American Lung Association emphasized the importance of retiring coal in Massachusetts due to the detrimental effects on the health of constituents especially those in close proximity to plants like Brayton Point and Mount Tom.
Michael Green, of the Clean Action Liaison Coalition described the costly effects extreme weather has on small businesses. Each day these small businesses have to keep its doors closed due to weather related incidents means a drastic loss in revenue. Massachusetts resident and Sierra Club volunteer Matt Lord; Esq. explained the importance of investing in wind energy and supporting the Production Tax Credit, which keeps electric rates low while encouraging renewable development.
James McCaffrey, Senior Campaign Representative for the Beyond Coal Campaign in New England stressed the importance of support from our congressional delegation. With their support we can move Massachusetts Beyond Coal.
Overall, both offices were receptive to the information we presented and both meetings seem to be leading to further dialogue between the two offices.