July 22 hearing on Quincy’s aggregation plan

The Department of Public Utilities will hold a public hearing on Quincy’s aggregation plan (docket # 21-05) on Thursday, July 22 at 7pm on Zoom.

This plan would automatically raise the percentage of renewables in Quincy consumers’ electricity mix unless they opt out – and will be likely around the same price (or even cheaper) since it’s bought in bulk.  QCAN encourages the DPU to move quickly to approve this plan.  If DPU approves it within the next couple of months, the city’s consultant would put the electricity supply out to bid for a program start this winter, which is usually the best time to start a program due to seasonal market fluctuations.

You can attend the Zoom hearing on Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 7 PM via Zoom Meeting ID# 997 0553 2043.  If you want to comment during the public hearing, please send an email by pm on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, to stephanie.mealey@mass.gov with your name, email address, and mailing address.

All written comments or other documents should be submitted to the Department in PDF format by e-mail attachment to dpu.efiling@mass.gov and stephanie.mealey@mass.gov. In addition, all written comments should be emailed to counsel for the City’s agent, Scott Mueller, Esq., at scott@sjmuellerlaw.com.  The text of the e-mail must specify: (1) the docket number of the proceeding (D.P.U. 21-05); (2) the name of the person or company submitting the filing; and (3) a brief descriptive title of the document. The e-mail must also include the name, title, and telephone number of a person to contact in the event of questions about the filing.

Green electricity aggregation is one of the most important things we can do as a city to reduce our carbon impact.  Once it’s approved, QCAN will put in full effort, in collaboration with the city’s consultant Good Energy, to get our fellow residents to “opt up” to 100% renewables in their mix. It’s an issue we’ve been involved with since 2018.

Good news for bicycling in Quincy

Some of the roads in Quincy look different lately – they are decked out with green paint and green posts. What’s going on? The answer is that Quincy streets are slowly becoming more complete. A “Complete Street” is one that provides safe and accessible options for all travel modes – foot, bicycle, public transit, and vehicles – to people of all ages and abilities. If a street has bike lanes like the ones newly installed in Quincy, biking is the fun choice to get where you’re going – as well as the environmentally friendly one! 

In 2018 Quincy adopted a new Complete Streets policy, and in 2019 the Commonwealth awarded Quincy over $300,000 of Complete Streets Grant Funding. The locations redesigned with that funding include:

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QCAN political committee update

The QCAN political committee has gotten off to a strong start in 2021. We’ve outlined our goals, including: 

  • Try to meet with every Quincy elected official or environmental policymaker and begin a dialogue about collaborating on our shared goals. 
  • Alert our network to important climate legislation and the opportunities to contact legislators to ask them to act in favor of our climate.
  • Hold community forums to highlight opportunities for positive mitigations for the environment.
  • Be a resource to the community, leaders, and other environmental groups.
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Book review: Finding the Mother Tree

A forest ecologist who grew up in the logging area of British Columbia, Dr. Suzanne Simard has found that forest trees share carbon and nutrients, and even communicate, via a network of underground fungi. In Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forestan extension of her well-loved TED talk – Simard chronicles her journey of discovery, where she begins to see trees as interdependent, cooperative creatures rather than solely a source of timber and pulp. 

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Two local cleanups

QCAN members enjoyed the chance to gather together in person at in two local cleanups this month. We joined Quincy Tree Alliance members to gather litter along Fenno Street and neighboring marshes as part of Greener, Cleaner Quincy on May 1. Members of QYouth Climate Movement (our youth chapter) joined Quincy High School’s Green Team and Science National Honors Society to clean up Nickerson Beach in Squantum on May 15.

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A hunger for more plant-based school lunch options

QYouth Climate Movement, QCAN’s youth chapter, has been working to bring more vegetarian and vegan lunch options into QPS schools. More than a third of the world’s greenhouse gases come from food production, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Beef has by far the largest carbon footprint, followed by lamb, mutton, and dairy. Scientists say that a shift in our diets is necessary if we hope to keep global warming under 1.5ºC.

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10 ways to use less plastic at home

Thanks to heartbreaking images of seals caught in abandoned fishing nets, turtles with straws stuck in their noses, and seabirds with bellies full of litter, most of us are aware of the effects of discarded plastic on animal life. But not everyone realizes how much plastic contributes to climate change throughout its life cycle, from the extraction and transportation of the fossil fuels used to create it to the management of plastic waste and its ongoing impact as it degrades. The World Economic Forum estimates that 4-8% of annual global oil consumption is related to plastics, and if current trends continue this could rise to 20% of oil consumption by 2050.

QCAN member Jon Gorey shared this post from his House & Hammer blog to give us some ideas how to reduce our plastic use at home:

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