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ConcordCAN! Support for
Town Meeting Articles

By Bob Andrews

ConcordCAN! supports several warrant articles in the warrant for our 2017 April Town Meeting. Most importantly, we are enthusiastically behind Warrant Article 51, entitled “Concord’s Energy Goals. This article, submitted by the Concord Select Board and Town Manager. asks for Town Meeting’s support for the recommendations of the Energy Future Task Force, (EFTF) EFTF was charged by the Select Board in February 2016 with creating the framework for an energy and sustainability plan for a low carbon future in Concord.

EFTF has recommended the following actions:

  1. Reduce town-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to align with the Mass. 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act
  2. Reduce GHG emissions of CMLP’s electricity supply
  3. Allocate funds to engaging a Director of Energy to recommend policy and measure progress toward meeting these goals.
  4. Allocate funds to engaging one or more consultants to advise the Town Manager and Director of Energy on the development of an implementation plan to achieve these goals.

The climate crisis is a real and terrifying one which threatens the survival of all life as we know it on Planet Earth, and has already begun to take a terrible toll in human lives and environmental destruction. The anti-climate action agenda of the Trump Administration magnifies this crisis many fold since it seeks to reverse the small amount of progress made under previous administrations. Local action such as Article 51 is now the main hope for any significant slowing down of the destructive forces set in motion by our massive consumption of fossil fuels and destruction of the natural environment.

The costs to the town and to rate payers if this article passes are not, we believe, excessive; can be offset by increased efficiency; and will pay us back many fold in the long run.  Come to Town Meeting and vote for this article. Every vote counts. Let us know if you will commit to doing that. Reply to info@concordcan.org.

We also urge you to support Article 20, “Resolution-Reducing the Influence of Money in Politics, submitted by Petitioner Ray Andrews. The Petitioner’s explanation: This Article asks Town Meeting, among other things, to adopt a resolution calling upon the Congress of the United States and the Mass. General Court to pass tough, new anti-corruption laws that:

  • Prohibit politicians from taking money from industries they regulate.
  • Regulate SuperPACs.
  • Increase transparency of campaign funding.
  • Establish a publicly funded election system.
  • Strengthen enforcement by agencies and ethics committees of campaign finance laws.

While this article may seem to have nothing to do with climate change, it does because elections and passage of new laws are dominated by corporations with big money Fossil fuel corporations have very big money! When their dollars are treated as the equivalent of our votes as citizens, effective climate legislation is very unlikely to occur.

ConcordCAN! also supports Articles 40 and 41. Article 40, submitted by the Planning Board, calls for a new “Tree Preservation Bylaw” It requires residential property owners to protect trees within a defined setback area of a lot during significant demolition and/or construction activity. If such trees are removed from that area, property owners must either plant replacement trees or pay fees to a Town Tree Fund for planting elsewhere in town. Article 41 establishes a revolving fund for that purpose.

Preserving trees, and indeed all plant life, honors the Town’s Third Sustainability Principle, which warns us to avoid actions that “encroach upon nature.” All plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and enhance our efforts to lower carbon emissions through a transition to alternative energy.

Bob Andrews is a Concord resident who is serving on the ConcordCAN! Steering Group.

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