Sarah Griffith is a friend of Mothers Out Front and a mother herself. A member of Climate Reality Project, she shares her thoughts on the anniversary of the Merrimack Valley gas explosions.
By Sarah Griffith
Last September 13, three towns in Massachusetts went from a calm, 70° day to a conflagration in minutes. A series of explosions followed by eighty fires suddenly broke out. Roads were chaos as electricity and street lighting went down, communications infrastructure failed, and visibility was cut by billowing fumes. One person died, dozens were injured, and 30,000 people were evacuated. Over a billion dollars has been spent refurbishing 8,500 homes and repairing miles of gas pipelines.
Given the scale of ongoing tragedies in the paper everyday—mass shootings, hurricanes, and political corruption—I have to admit that it was hard to take in the implications of this massive event immediately. It was only over time and by volunteering with Gas Leaks Allies that the dangers of the gas distribution system started to become apparent.
On the anniversary of the "catastrophic failure in the gas distribution system that caused explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley" on September 13, 2018, Mothers Out Front remembers the community's sacrifices and strength in overcoming the complete disruption of their energy system and their lives. We are proud to be a part of Gas Leak Allies newly released report Rolling the Dice: Assessment of Gas Safety in Massachusetts as "this report is the response of citizens and scientists motivated by a desire for a safe, healthy, and just energy system."
Rolling the Dice: Assessment of Gas Safety in Massachusetts analyzes documented incidents and publicly available data about the gas distribution system that add up to an urgent message to legislators, the executive branch, municipalities, and gas companies to take action now. It details ways that each of these decision-making entities can implement changes that will greatly enhance public safety in the near term and in the future.
Media Advisory for September 10, 2019
Contact: Josh Glasstetter at 202-905-2921 or [email protected]
Telebriefing, New Report on Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Hampton Roads
Author of new report joins community members to evaluate case for Southside Connector
NORFOLK, VA. — On Tuesday, September 10, at 11 a.m., the author of a new report on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline extension to Hampton Roads will participate in a telebriefing with local community members and leaders. Liz Stanton, founder and director of the Applied Economics Clinic, will be joined by Norfolk City Councilwoman Angelia Williams Graves and impacted community members, including a Berkley, Va. resident who lives on the proposed pipeline route.
The Applied Economics Clinic report set out to answer the question of whether Hampton Roads’ electric or gas supply is at risk without increased supply from a new gas pipeline. The report concludes that Virginia Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Dominion Energy, has ample gas pipeline capacity and has previously overstated future peak demand.
Local community members and leaders will provide their perspective on the report and the potential impact of the proposed pipeline extension.
WHAT: Telebriefing on Atlantic Coast Pipeline extension to Hampton Roads
Liz Stanton, founder and director of the Applied Economics Clinic, will unveil her new report, highlighting the key findings and methodology.
Susan Scerbo, a Chesapeake resident who has raised concerns about the pipeline, will provide her perspective on the report.
Angela Howard, a Berkley, Va. resident, will speak to the potential impact of the pipeline extension on her life. She lives on the proposed route.
Councilwoman Angelia Williams Graves (Ward 7) of the Norfolk City Council will speak about her concerns about the pipeline project.
Kim Sudderth, a Norfolk resident and senior organizer with Mothers Out Front, will moderate the call and Q&A.
WHEN: Tuesday, September 10 at 11:00 a.m. EST
WHERE: RSVP to Josh Glasstetter at [email protected] or 1-202-905-2921 for dial-in information.
READ THE REPORT by clicking below:
Contact: Tiziana Bottino, [email protected]
August 29, 2019, Fairfax, VA - Mothers Out Front Fairfax was pleased to be in attendance today as a sweeping Electric School Bus initiative was announced by Dominion Energy. The plan will put 50 electric school buses on the road in our state by next year and aims to have all diesel school bus replacements in Virginia be electric by 2030. Mothers Out Front Fairfax applauds Dominion’s initiative.
Mothers Out Front Fairfax has set a goal of transitioning Fairfax County Public Schools to all electric school buses as soon as possible, so Dominion’s announcement today is great news. This is an important, positive step toward giving our kids healthy air to breathe and a livable future in the face of climate change.
Thank you to these St. Francis High School Juniors taking the lead on climate!
Worldwide, "Fridays for Future" school walkouts in March brought together students from across 112 countries. Among them were St. Francis High School juniors Sindhu Vajrala and Jamie Minden, who co-founded the Silicon Valley Youth Climate Strike the same month, putting together resources to organize walkouts in under four days.
The chapter, which has since expanded to 20 members and five co-leads, is readying for its next march, set for Friday, Sept. 20.
The group has formed a coalition between local youth-led environmental groups, including Sunrise Movement, 350 Bay Area and Extinction Rebellion, to organize the event and is consulting with adult organizers from the Women's March, March for Science, and Mothers Out Front.
Read all about it:
More coverage for Mothers Out Front Fairfax County Electric School Bus initiative launch!
The budding Fairfax County chapter of the national advocacy network Mothers Out Front introduced itself to the larger community on Aug. 20 at Patrick Henry Library in Vienna by launching a Clean Buses for Kids campaign to bring electric buses to Fairfax County Public Schools.
“We felt like it was a great way to do something concrete and make a difference in our local area,” Mothers Out Front Fairfax County co-founder Bobby Monacella said. “…Fairfax can make a really big difference if we switch to electric school buses.”
Read all about it:
VA - Mothers Out Front Fairfax County makes the news again as they call for healthy, electric school buses!
VIENNA, Va. (WDVM) — Mothers Out Front Fairfax, a chapter of the national climate group, wants the Fairfax County School Board to ditch its diesel fueled school buses in exchange for electric school buses; the healthier choice for the kids, and for the environment.
“We have the second-largest fleet in the country, so if we make this change it’s going to make a real impact on the entire country’s emissions,” said Bobby Monacella, co-leader of Mothers Out Front Fairfax. “It’s just important, I think, for everyone in Fairfax County to reach out to the school board and let them know that they care about this.”
Beth and Milo are a mother-son duo who live in Massachusetts with one other human, Milo’s four furry siblings, and a Roomba. Beth’s been volunteering with Mothers Out Front for nearly five years on the Communications Team, the Digital Engagement Team, and the Massachusetts Pipeline Task Force. Beth works in communications and as a culinary professional, baking and teaching plant-based cooking to kids. Milo is a nine-year-old with a mild Pokemon obsession. In addition to attending climate rallies together, Beth and Milo attend the same martial arts school. Milo really enjoys that he is a higher rank than his mom.
Mothers Out Front in Massachusetts held a rally with allies on July 31st to make sure that National Grid understood we wanted them to keep their promise to fix the gas leaks. We're grateful to the Boston Globe and the community for listening!
Protesters decked out in neon orange, yellow, and green vests called on National Grid to repair gas leaks across the state at a rally in Boston on Wednesday.
Members of Mothers Out Front, Gas Leaks Allies, the Sierra Club, and other environmental groups gathered between the MBTA’s Government Center Station and the John F. Kennedy Federal Building to bring attention to the problem, a waste of energy and a significant contributor to climate change.
Organizers said the rally was held at a site of a major leak near the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
Protesters held signs with large letters that spelled #FIXBIGGASLEAKS for a drone that took pictures from above, and many pointed to a dead tree at the center of the circle as evidence of the nearby leak.
Read all about it:
Mothers Out Front Concord takes it to the source! Congratulations to the team on being #inthenews and changing the conversation! Thank you to Concord Wicked Local for covering this issue.
“We’re here to hold them accountable, make them comply with the regulations and to keep their promises to measure and fix these gas leaks,” Davis said. “The reason we’re so fired up about this is because they’re over 16,000 gas leaks in the state of Massachusetts. And the methane that leaks out is 10 percent of our emissions in the state. It’s the same amount of emissions that all the business and stores in the whole state (discharge). It’s a huge greenhouse gas emitter.”
Read all about it!