Petersham mothers call on utilities to provide clean heat now

  • Local residents took part in the Statewide Relay for Clean Heat Nov. 17. Contributed photo

Staff Report
Published: 11/24/2021 12:30:51 PM
Modified: 11/24/2021 12:30:47 PM

PETERSHAM — In a display of support for clean energy, mothers and families rallied and raced on Nov. 17 in a spirited relay from Pittsfield to the Prudential Center.

Petersham mothers and others who are members of the Petersham Huddle took part in the Statewide Relay for Clean Heat by writing postcards to their utility company, signing a petition, and creating signs for use along the relay route. Together with other participants, they delivered more than 3,000 postcards from customers to the state’s three largest gas utilities.

“Our utilities need to lead on climate solutions to protect future generations,” said Lynne Feldman, mother of two and resident of Petersham. “Heating buildings accounts for almost 30 percent of heat-trapping emissions in Massachusetts. Utilities are moving too slowly and offering false solutions to families’ needs for safe, renewable, and affordable heat. Every day of inaction further threatens the health and safety of our children.”

Relay participants criss-crossed the state on Wednesday, using electric vehicles, bikes, public transit, running and walking. The route included stops in Pittsfield, Northampton, Hadley, Gardner, Acton, Concord, Waltham, Brookline, and Boston. Petersham resident Annette Ermini delivered the postcards to the Gardner relay event.

The mothers are asking utilities to partner with their workforce, government and customers to provide clean, safe, affordable heat to all Massachusetts homes. Specifically, they want the gas companies to align with the Mothers Out Front Future of Clean Heat Platform. This demands that utilities:

■Offer heat pumps and other electric appliances to all homes and buildings;

■Subsidize these technologies to make them affordable for everyone;

■Replace leaky gas infrastructure with networked geothermal systems; and

■Make clean energy available and affordable to all families, especially renters and low-income residents.

Mothers Out Front is a national movement of mothers and others who care for the future of all children working to ensure a livable climate for all children. The organization now includes 21 local chapters in Massachusetts and more than 35,000 mothers and caregivers across the country.

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