Another new ally added to the Allies page; today it’s No Fracked Gas in Mass., who bring us excellent tips on getting a resolution your local elected government’s agenda.
“Fighting Kinder Morgan/TGP’s Northeast Expansion across the Berkshires and Northern Massachusetts. Our mission is to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and to create a comprehensive renewable energy infrastructure.”
They have an excellent post about getting resolutions on your town meeting agenda:
If you are thinking about bringing a non-binding resolution before your town meeting, time is running out. Each town has its own deadline for adding items to town meeting’s agenda and its own requirements for resolutions — in Cummington, we needed to gather just fifteen signatures and submit them to our town clerk for verification. Ask your select board members or your town clerk what the deadline is, and what the requirements are, for your town.
You can download the Cummington resolution to use as a model (here is a .txt version); if you are wondering what the point of a non-binding resolution is, please read this.
In Massachusetts select board members are what many other places call city council members. And many towns in Mass. make it easy for citizens to get resolutions on their agendas. Why should it be more difficult anywhere else? You can contact your city council or county commission and provide them with text of a proposed resolution to put on their agenda.
The Colquitt County Commission passed a resolution, and so can yours:
“The Colquitt County Board of Commissioners adamantly urge that the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline is buried with a minimum of five feet of top cover when traversing agricultural properties to include pasture land, cultivated lands, surface drains, diversions, waterways, open ditches and streams.”
Why stop with just asking for it to be buried deeper? Here’s that Cummington, Mass. draft resolution:
RESOLUTION TO BAN “FRACKED GAS” PIPELINES
AND TO CHAMPION SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
Whereas a proposed High-Pressure Pipeline carrying natural gas obtained through hydraulic fracturing may come through Cummington, or neighboring communities, bringing said fuel en route to Dracut, Massachusetts to be used for electricity generation; and
Whereas said pipeline goes against current Massachusetts commitments to renewable energies and combating global climate change; and
Whereas said pipeline would destroy unknowable amounts of forest, conservation land and farmland; and
Whereas a high-pressure gas pipeline, by its nature, carries the potential for leak, rupture or devastating explosion causing untold damage to property and lives; and
Whereas the cost of said pipeline would require Massachusetts citizens to pay a utility bill tariff as well as environmental costs not required by law for Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C. (“TGP”, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P.), making ratepayers bear financial risk for the endeavors of a private corporation; and
Whereas, we the citizens of Cummington, Massachusetts choose not to participate in such encumbrances to the life, vibrancy, economic stability, and general well being to our neighbors in New York and elsewhere, wherever hydraulic fracturing is occurring and the pressurized pipeline is running; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, that the people of Cummington, Massachusetts:
- Hereby call on our Selectboard to stand in opposition to TGP’s high pressured pipeline and not allow it with in our town borders;
- Oppose said pipeline, and any pipeline carrying natural gas obtained through hydraulic fracturing, within the borders of our Commonwealth or our Nation; and
- Hereby instruct our state and federal legislators and executive branch officials to enact legislation and take such other actions as are necessary to disallow such projects that go against our commitments to life, the environment, our economic well being and our bodily safety, and, instead, to legislate more stringent energy efficiency and further exploration of and subsidies for renewable energy sources.
Substitute Council or Commission for Selectboard, State for Commonwealth, Sabal Trail for TGP, etc., and there you go.
Or take Valdosta City Council Tim Carroll’s letter to FERC and offer it to your local government as a draft resolution.
There’s a Lowndes County Commission meeting tonight at which you can speak. Whereever you live, there’s a local government meeting at least once every month. You can exercize your rights of free speech and self-government. E Pluribus Unum: One out of Many.