Community choice energy leads fossil fuel free future

I am writing to piggyback on two informative letters in the February 9th issue, “It’s time to stop talking about more pipelines” and “Clean energy is the answer.” Both these letters address the urgency needed to get off fossil fuels, including gas sourced from “fracking fields” in Pennsylvania, as our energy source and move to clean, renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal. Geothermal energy is heat within the earth. People can use this heat to generate electricity. Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source because heat is continuously produced inside the earth.

One very quick and concrete way to move toward clean energy is to implement Community Choice Energy (CCE). In October, 2017 an authorization for CCE passed unanimously in the Boston City Council, was approved by Mayor Walsh and is ready to be put into practice for the citizens of Boston. It requires that 5% of energy purchased be sourced from local (meaning instate as much as possible but at least New England) renewable sources, not dirty gas, coal, oil nuclear or hydroelectric, which is highly damaging to land and water from where it’s sourced.

What is CCE? It is bulk purchasing of energy by a broker, hired by the City, to buy clean power for the city at longer-term conditions, most often at cheaper prices. This does several beneficial things for our city; 1) It allows all residents, including tenants and low income folks to participate in bringing clean energy into Boston, 2) It boosts jobs in the renewable energy sector by pushing up demand for wind and solar sourcing, meaning more jobs and more development of those energy sources, 3) Rate-payers’ costs stabilize and often go down some because contracts are longer-term, not fluctuating every six months, 4) Rate-payers may opt-out, if they choose, with no consequences, 5) Eversource is still your billing source so nothing changes there.

The City of Boston is dragging its feet in implementing this incredibly important step toward a cleaner energy future. We need to urge Austin Blackmon, Chief of Energy and Environment for Boston to move more swiftly in bringing us cleaner energy by hiring a broker, creating the necessary educational materials for city residents to understand what is happening and to create the mandated Citizens Advisory Council.

There is no time to waste. Buildings are going up all over the city that are relying on old energy sources, including those that are demanding new gas pipeline infrastructure (which is adamantly opposed by residents in those areas) while we are flooding downtown, in East Boston, Dorchester and in Fort Point. Heat builds up each summer on our streets as green space disappears.

Please call or write Austin Blackmon, 617-635-3425 and Mayor Walsh, 617-635-4500 stating your support for clean, cheaper, renewable energy for Boston through the implementation of Community Choice Energy!

Sara Driscoll
Jamaica Plain resident
Community volunteer with Boston Climate Action Network

The man in the Oval Office

For me and other native New Yorkers who have followed the career path of trump, there are few surprises as to how he operates as POTUS.  So, as one former New Yorker pointed out, we should not be shocked by the idea that this huckster could fool as many people as he did – enough, that is, to get him elected. That he is despised by many in his own hometown should tell you something.  If you doubt that, just ask the average New Yorker what he or she thinks of the man.

His routine backtracking on promises, his bullying, his boasting, his self-aggrandizing traits have been with him from his earliest days growing up in Queens. As a younger man, he took pride in working with his dad, a known slumlord.  He helped his father keep blacks from renting any of their apartments. He is notorious for reneging on deals with contractors, forfeiting on payments, suing them before they came after him. He ordered the removal of black employees from his casinos when he was hosting parties or felt that his customers might be offended by their presence. His bogus trump University, notorious for having bilked thousands of innocent students with its bait and switch offers, was never even certified as a university in the first place.  He defended the torch-bearing marchers in that White Nationalist parade taunting people of the Jewish faith. His rants about Mexicans and other Central and South American countries seeking refuge, calling them drug dealers and thieves, are infamous, not to mention his describing many third world nations as s..tholes.

Who can forget his boasting of grabbing a woman’s genitalia? Or, how about his denial of any contact with Putin when there are videos showing the contrary while he hosted a Miss Universe Contest in Moscow. His latest call for a military parade tells us how delusional he’s become.  Having evaded the draft on the flimsiest of excuses, you’d think he’d be embarrassed, but it’s not impossible to imagine trump believing his military high school experience gives him creds with the Generals around him.  Then, of course, his unforgiveable seven year investigation into the birthplace and nationality of our last REAL president, Barak Obama, still angers the rational American citizen.  We will pay dearly for his and his cabinet’s wonton disregard for the advances made in preventing further climate warming. He, like his GOP colleagues, are tools of the NRA, blaming mental health for all the shootings, offering nothing but prayers and never calling for the ban on assault weapons or stricter licensing laws.

Of course, every American has the right to choose a candidate he or she feels is worthy of the highest office in the land.  By the same token, I and others have a duty to work towards unseating this unworthy fraud who steps on the Constitution routinely and threatens the future of our country by his misuse of power. Having lived through Watergate, I’m firmly convinced justice will prevail.

Michel L. Spitzer

Jamaica Plain resident




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