Several QCAN members met with Massachusetts Senator John Keenan (Norfolk and Plymouth District) during his office hours on December 7 to discuss some of our organization’s priorities and learn about how we might help him advance climate-friendly legislation.
Board member Joe Murphy described our work to convince the Quincy City Council to transition away from single-use plastic bags; to raise public awareness about climate change through co-hosting an environmental fair, lectures, and film nights at the library; to present on climate change to every sixth-grade classroom in Quincy public schools; and to work with Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station to fight the construction of the fracked-gas compressor station in North Weymouth.
Fellow board member Julie Mallozzi then mentioned that with the MBTA’s Request for Proposals going out soon, QCAN advocates strongly that all of the buses for the new Quincy bus barn be all-electric, preferably battery electric buses (BEBs), rather than diesel or diesel-electric hybrids. We discussed the arguments for BEBs: they help meet Massachusetts’s net-zero emissions mandate by 2050, cost less over their 12-year lifespan, reduce rates of asthma and other respiratory conditions, improve quality of life due to their cleanliness and quietness, and bring about greater racial equity, since the ill effects of transportation pollution historically strike harder at communities of color.
We also discussed state climate legislation now in conference committee, comprised of Senators Barrett, Creem, and O’Connor, and Representatives Golden, Haddad and Jones.
Murphy, who chairs QCAN’s political committee, said, “It was good to hear that the Senator seemed to be in general agreement with our stances and concerns. He tempered expectations about the buses by mentioning concern among his colleagues and MBTA officials over the upfront costs.”