Around 30 representatives from the downtown neighborhoods for Mothers Out Front – a national, grass-roots group of mothers, grandmothers, and other caregivers advocating for a transition off of fossil fuels to renewable energy in an effort to combat climate change – brought their message on Wednesday, Nov. 17, to the State House’s front lawn.
The demonstration was part of Mothers Out Front climate relay took place across the state that day, beginning in Pittsfield at Berkshire Gas before making several more stops at rallies along the way before reaching the gas-utility provider for much of Boston, National Grid in Waltham. After hitting the State House, Mothers Out Front made its final stop at Eversource’s headquarters at the Prudential Center. In all, they delivered more than 3,000 postcards to gas utility providers (and of these, 2,000 postcards went to National Grid) saying they “want Clean Air and that Gas is the Past!”
“The utilities have been tasked with coming up with their own plans to meet our state’s Net Zero by 2050 target,” Suzie Tapson of Mothers Out Front told a crowd of members and supporters at the State House. “Their plans are due in March 2022. We want the gas utilities to know that we are watching, and that we want solutions that make sense for the planet, for ratepayers, and for their workforce.”
Mothers Out Front’s clean heat platform, according to Tapson, calls for “efficient, all-electric buildings and homes utilizing air source and networked ground source heat pumps; a speedy ramp up of electricity generated from renewable sources; training and other supports for gas workers to ensure they maintain family-sustaining jobs as we transition off gas; and a transition that is affordable for all and ensures safe, clean, and healthy homes.”
In Boston, buildings account for 71 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, added Tapson, while most of these buildings are heated with methane gas, which is 80 precent more powerful than carbon at trapping heat in the atmosphere.
“And it is leaking at even higher volume than we thought,” added Tapson. ‘And it causes asthma. And it is explosive, and it kills Boston’s trees. Gas has got to go.”
To underscore their message, Tapson, donning a methane-gas costume for the occasion, handed off a baton to fellow Mother Out Front member, Ania Camargo, dressed as a ground source heat-pump.
Rep. Jay Livingstone and City Councilor Kenzie Bok were both on hand at the State House to show their support for Mothers Out Front and their mission.