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News :: Environment
PRESS CONFERENCE ON BIOMASS BALLOT QUESTION: 12/1; 10am.
30 Nov 2009
Date & Time: 10 a.m. Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Place: Massachusetts State House, outside front steps at corner of Beacon and Bowdoin Streets
The citizen-led the Stop Spewing Carbon Campaign will hold a press conference announcing the success of its initiative petition drive that will get a question on the ballot to let Massachusetts voters decide on whether to support biomass incinerators.
“Biomass burning is dirty energy, but it is being sold to taxpayers and rate payers as “clean and green” when it is neither. By signing our petition, Massachusetts voters lead the nation in demanding changes in the law to eliminate billions of dollars in ratepayer and
taxpayer subsidies for these toxic incinerators,” said Campaign Chair Meg Sheehan. “There’s been huge outpouring of support from across the Commonwealth.”
Volunteer Claudia Hurley of Westfield personally collected over 1,000 signatures. She observed “every voter I spoke to was very concerned about the impact of biomass power plants on air quality, our rivers
and forests, and about truck traffic. Fishermen who love our rivers almost hugged me for giving them the chance to vote on this in 2010,” Hurley commented.
“The coalition of environmental, social justice, and community groups opposing biomass burning in are on the cutting edge of speaking out against the biomass boondoggle,” said Sheehan. “Under the pretense of
reducing our carbon dioxide emissions, biomass is burning trees and trash to make “green energy.” These incinerators emit more carbon dioxide than fossil fuels.”
“When it comes to burning forests as biomass, common sense tells us that we are destroying the “lungs of the planet.” Biomass power plants make climate change worse and industry and government claims of
“carbon neutrality” are debunked by current science,” said Chris Matera of Massachusetts Forest Watch.
According to the Campaign, President Obama emissions reduction target of 17% for the Copenhagen climate talks is impossible to meet because biomass burning will add 700 million tons of carbon dioxide to the
atmosphere every year.
The medical community is increasingly alarmed about biomass burning power plants, and the Hampden District Medical Society and the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Lung Association have formally opposed the biomass plants. This is a public health and environmental disaster that can easily be prevented,” Sheehan said.
The Campaign is sponsored by six grassroots organizations, including the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition. Craig Altemose, Coordinator of Students for a Just and Stable Future, the lead
organization of The Leadership Campaign, which is calling for 100% clean electricity 10 years said, “We do not believe that we can burn our way to a clean energy future," said "Why should we burn when we have enough Commonwealth wind, sun, and waves to power our economy?”
Sponsors: Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, Students for Just and Stable Future (contact: Dan Abrams, Boston Media Coordinator, 518-527-9168), Massachusetts Forest Watch (contact: Chris Matera,
P.E., 413-341-3878, christoforests (at) maforests.org) ARISE for Social Justice, Springfield, MA, Concerned Citizens of Russell, and Concerned Citizens of Franklin County
Contact: Margaret E. Sheehan, Esq., Stop Spewing Carbon Campaign,
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