ELM launches its FY18 Green Budget

Over 100 organizations and businesses endorsed the Green Budget FY18, the largest coalition to date that has formed in Massachusetts to speak out about the importance of funding environmental agencies. Led by the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM), the Green Budget challenges Governor Baker to honor his campaign commitment to increase spending on environmental protection to 1% of the state budget by the end of his first term.  The Governor’s first three budgets have added to the decline in state spending on environmental agencies, now at 0.5%.  The budget process moves to the House and Senate.

Erica Mattison, ELM Legislative Director and principal author of the report, noted, “The parks, rivers, and coastline of Massachusetts are at risk if we keep cutting the budgets of the Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Conservation and Recreation (DCR).” 

Tedd Saunders of the Saunders Hotel Group, a member of ELM’s Corporate Council and the Green Budget Coalition, made clear there is a very real connection between a healthy economy and a healthy environment.  “Tourism is a $20 billion industry in Massachusetts.  Clean energy has yielded over 100,000 new jobs in the Commonwealth, the fastest growing segment of our economy.  And if we really want to help Gateway Cities, we need to clean up contaminated sites to allow for redevelopment.”

Groundwork Lawrence Community Engagement Director Rose Gonzalez and Almely Ramos, a Green Team Leader with Groundwork Lawrence and senior at Greater Lawrence Technical School, underscored the importance of having clean, well-maintained state parks and rivers available as outdoor recreation opportunities for urban residents.“Not everyone can afford to jet off to exotic destinations for vacation, and they depend on having affordable places close to home where they can enjoy the outdoors,” said Mattison.https://www.environmentalleague.org/our-work/publications/

If you are interested in reading the latest green budget, click here to visit the ELM website!

Trump's Unholy Trinity

As President-elect Trump slouches towards the White House, he is assembling a fossil fuels fixated transition team that will set the federal government barreling down the tracks in the wrong direction. 

Here are some of the key players:

The Environmental Protection Agency transition team is being led by Myron Ebell, a well noted climate denier. Mr. Ebell served as the Director, Center for Energy and the Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. CEI questions global warming  “alarmism”, opposes “energy-rationing” policies, including the Kyoto Protocol, cap-and-trade legislation, and EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Department of Energy transition team is now being headed by Thomas Pyle, the former Director of Federal Affairs for Koch Industries and currently the President of the American Energy Alliance. This alliance has pushed hard against the development of renewable resources in favor of traditional heavily polluting fossil fuels. 

Doug Domenech is currently heading up the transition team at the Department of the Interior. Domenech is the director of the Fueling Freedom Project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The project's stated mission is to "explain the forgotten moral case for fossil fuels." Mr. Domenech recently wrote that “...Americans just rejected the “keep it in the ground” extremism espoused by those whose only operating focus is their view that CO2 is a pollutant and climate change is real.”

If the federal government continues in Trump's direction we'll be at odds with nearly every other nation on this planet (the signatories of the Paris Agreement). Now is the time for bold state action. We work with policymakers, business leaders, and concerned citizens every day to help combat the very real threat of climate change. Not only that but, we are committed to holding our elected officials accountable for their action on environmental issues.

Leading Environmental Organizations Encourage Vote for Julian Cyr for State Senate

Three of the state’s leading environmental organizations are asking voters to support Julian Cyr for State Senate in the Cape and Islands District. The Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund (ELM AF), Massachusetts Sierra Club and Massachusetts Clean Water Action have all endorsed Cyr, a credit to his commitment to environmental issues and his passion for public service. 

"We are proud to endorse Julian because he understands the importance of our state investing in clean energy and protecting our coastal beaches, and because of his focus on saving the region's sole source aquifer to create jobs and build healthier communities,” stated Joe O’Brien, Political Director of the ELM AF.“He has a proven record of leadership advocating for the environment and improving public health.” 

Massachusetts Sierra Club Executive Director, Emily Norton, stated, “Massachusetts Sierra Club has endorsed Julian Cyr because of his support for investments in renewable energy generation and his commitment to seeking innovative ways to combat climate change.”  

“Julian Cyr is the candidate to protect clean drinking water, accelerate our clean energy transition and protect public health," said Joel Wool, Advocate for Energy & Environment for Clean Water Action. "We are proud to support him this November."

Julian Cyr has broad experience in public policy, health advocacy, organizing, and social justice. Most recently, he served as Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs for Environmental Health at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  

Julian is deeply committed to protecting the land, air and water of his district and the Commonwealth. Julian stood up to Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station to successfully get the utility to pay for potassium iodide pills for our towns. He is ready to push for immediate closure of the corroding plant and ensure it is decommissioned safely and swiftly. You can learn about Julian and his plans to improve the environment on his web page atwww.juliancyr.com.

Representative Calter Endorsed by Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund

The Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund today endorsed Representative Thomas Calter for State Representative in the 12th Plymouth District, a credit to his commitment to environmental issues and his passion for public service. With critical issues of energy policy and environmental protection to be addressed in the next legislative session, the leadership of the ELM Action Fund believes it is important to return environmental champions like Representative Calter to the State House.

“We are proud to endorse Representative Calter because of his strong commitment to addressing environmental issues both in his district and across the Commonwealth,” said Joe O’Brien, ELM Action Fund Political Director. “He understands the importance of our state investing in clean energy, sustainable transportation and parks to help address climate change, create jobs, and build healthier communities." 

“I’m so grateful for the endorsement from the Environmental League of MA. During this last session, I was deeply involved with energy and environmental issues, from complicated solar legislation that balances energy capacity and consumer prices to important water sustainability issues for Silver Lake, Monponsett Pond, and Jones River” said Representative Calter. “This important work will continue into next session as we make Massachusetts first in green energy and environmental priorities.”

Representative Calter was first elected to the Legislature in 2006 and in his tenure has been a leader on environmental issues. Representative Calter recently received a perfect score of 100% on the ELM Action Fund's 2015-2016 Legislative Scorecard. Representative Calter is facing a general election opponent in November. For more information about his campaign, please visit his web page at www.tomcalter.com.

The ELM Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization that helps pass laws that protect our environmental legacy, holds our elected officials accountable and works to build the political power of the environmental community. 

Last year the ELM Action Fund and the national League of Conservation Voters launched a new affiliation and an aggressive plan to flex the environmental community’s policy muscle in Massachusetts. This fall the ELM Action Fund and the ELM Action Fund PAC have been working to educate and mobilize voters in key legislative races across the state. To learn more about our work and our recent electoral victories go to www.elmaction.org/campaigns