Massachusetts leaders featured in project highlighting Voices for 100% Renewable Energy

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Environment Massachusetts

Boston – Today, Environment Massachusetts announced that 22 public- and private-sector leaders from Massachusetts have been profiled in a national project, Voices for 100% Renewable Energy.


Voices for 100% Renewable Energy features photos, testimonials, and videos from academics, mayors and other public officials, community leaders, business leaders, and non-profit leaders embracing a steady and swift transition to clean, renewable energy. 

Massachusetts leaders featured in the project include:

  • U.S. Senator Ed Markey
  • State Representative Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge)
  • State Representative Sean Garballey (D-Arlington)
  • State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton)
  • Ainsley Brosnan-Smith, a student at UMass Amherst
  • Nate Roberts, a student at UMass Dartmouth
  • Sanjeev Mukerjee, professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Northeastern University
  • Dave McMahon, Co-Executive Director of the Dismas House
  • Vikram Aggarwal, CEO of EnergySage
  • Janna Cohen-Rosenthal, Climate Programs Director of Second Nature
  • James Boyle, CEO of Sustainability Roundtable, Inc.
  • Tedd Saunders, CSO of Saunders Hotel Group
  • Rob Sargent, Energy Program Director of Environment America
  • Leslie Samuelrich, President of the Green Century Fund
  • Quinton Zondervan, President of the Climate Action Business Association;
  • Gary Cohen, Climate and Health Director of Health Care Without Harm
  • Sarah Gardner with the Center for Environmental Studies at Williams College;
  • Varshini Prakash, Communications Director at Sunrise
  • Jonathan Lash, President of Hampshire College
  • Samantha Gibb, Organizing Director of MASSPIRG Students
  • Georges Dyer, Principal of Intentional Endowments Network
  • Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse.

 
“We’re inspired by these leaders who know we can, and must, shift to 100 percent renewable energy,” said Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts. “We’re thrilled to share some of their stories through this project. Our hope is that it will motivate the many people who know we need a swift, steady and complete transition from dirty to clean energy to lean into the effort.”  
 
The people featured in the project cited a range of environmental, economic, equity, social, and health benefits from the transition to 100 percent renewable energy.  Most focused on the urgent need to eliminate climate-altering carbon pollution. Others simply believe that it’s common sense and good economics to save energy and to harness unlimited, pollution-free energy sources.   
 
“Despite President Trump signing executive orders that amount to a declaration of war on America’s clean energy future and our climate leadership, it is no longer a question of if we can power our country with 100 percent renewable energy; it’s a question of when,” said Senator Ed Markey, one of the lead cosponsors of a bill in the U.S. Senate to move the nation to 100% renewable energy by 2050. “There is a clean energy revolution happening and it is a revolution that will not be stopped by President Trump. As a nation, we have a choice. We can continue to pump harmful carbon pollution into our atmosphere and foreign oil into our cars, or we can pump life into our economy, creating clean energy jobs and saving American consumers money on their energy costs. That choice is clear.”
 
“America’s most sophisticated companies have developed transaction structures to enable them to commit to 100% renewables, and now the public sector and smaller companies are able to tap into these transactions to rapidly and profitably move to 100% renewable energy,” said James Boyle, CEO of Sustainability Roundtable, Inc. 
 
Ted Saunders, CSO of Saunders Hotel Group, said, “It’s inevitable — either we take major actions on climate change or we and our children will suffer from carbon-fueled extreme weather, serious food and water cost spikes, etc. Besides the entrenched, polluting industries, why would any of us willingly choose filthy fossil fuels with all of their severe public health and environmental costs, versus pollution-free renewable energy? Beyond countless American citizens, and business and religious leaders, our military has determined that climate change is a major national security threat. To ensure our future prosperity and security we must speed up the transition to renewable energy.”
 
Leslie Samuelrich, President of the Green Century Fund, said, “Investing in clean energy avoids the potential financial risks of supporting fossil fuel companies while supporting sustainable companies that are building the production and distribution of renewable energy that needs to be our future.”
 
“The question no longer is can we or should we be operating on 100% renewable energy. It’s now a political question of when will we commit to renewables,” said State Representative Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge). “That’s why I’ve filed a bill calling for the State of Massachusetts to go 100% renewable by 2050. The time to promote and protect a safe and sustainable planet for our children and grandchildren is here.”
 
“Moving towards 100 percent renewable energy is not just an option, but a moral obligation in addressing the environmental challenges that we are facing on a global level,” said State Representative Sean Garballey (D-Arlington). “I am eager to continue the fight to combat environmental challenges affecting our communities, and this is our moment to pass an act that will transition Massachusetts to 100 percent renewable energy.”
 
“Whenever I hear from a constituent who cannot afford her utility bill, whenever I see communities devastated by extreme weather around the globe, whenever I learn that yet another species is threatened by the warming of the earth, I am reminded of how urgently we must change the way that we produce and consume energy,” said State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton). “By committing to 100 percent renewable energy, we are committing to modernizing our electric grid and providing cleaner, more affordable, and more reliable power to Massachusetts residents. It’s a no-brainer to me.”
 
“Holyoke’s commitment to making the transition to 100 percent renewable energy arises from our commitment to safeguard the future of the families and neighborhoods that have built our city,” said Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse. “When Holyoke’s founders endeavored to construct a network of canals adjacent to the Connecticut River and to use those canals to become one of the most dynamic manufacturing centers in 19th and 20th Century America, they did it with the spirit of optimism and self-reliance that defines New England’s famous Yankee pragmatism. Today, we are tapping into that same spirit of self-sufficiency to generate renewable power in Holyoke for Holyoke’s citizens.”
 
“For years, we’ve been told that pollution from dirty fuels was the price we had to pay for progress,” said Hellerstein. “Those days are over. Now, we can forge ahead, inspired by the growing numbers of people like those profiled in the Voices for 100% Renewable project; who know that 100 percent renewable energy is as feasible as it is necessary.”
 
To view Voices for 100% Renewable Energy, visit www.100percentrenewable.org.
 
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Environment Massachusetts is the statewide, citizen-funded advocacy group working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.