WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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just that by switching to solar energy for their homes and purchasing electric vehicles. However, additional changes need to happen at the state level in order to bring about the large-scale transition we need. Residents can encourage action at the state level by letting policy makers know about the connec- tion between energy sources and our health. Residents can write, call, or visit our local politicians or run for elected offices. A couple of years ago, Dr. LaRocque ran for Wellesley Town Meeting and the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission (NRC). On the NRC, she has become a leader in the effort to address the roughly 200 gas leaks throughout Wellesley that pose a risk to health, safety, and the environment. The primary component of "natural" gas is methane — a chemical compound that is at least 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas — but it is also composed of other chemicals with known negative human health effects. These gas leaks are not limited to Wellesley, Weston, or the Commonwealth, and are compelling reasons to move away from gas. Dr. LaRocque is just one of many local citi- zens who are making their voices heard at the state level on the need for clean energy in Massachusetts. This past fall, she and more than a dozen Wellesley residents took part in two months of daily "stand-ins" at Governor Charlie Baker's office, asking the governor to withhold support for additional fossil fuel (natural gas) infrastructure in Massachusetts. Mass Power Forward, a coalition of more than 200 community groups including the non- profit Sustainable Wellesley, supported these stand-ins. Stand-in participants made it clear that climate change threatens our physical and mental health, and highlighted Attorney General Maura Healey's 2015 report that the state does not need increased gas capacity to meet our electricity needs. Bottom line: Consider reaching out to your local utility companies and your elected officials to encourage them to do everything in their power to refuse large fossil fuel infrastructure and to commit to use of clean energy sources for Massachusetts for the sake of our health, our environment, and our economy. TO FIND OUT MORE about this and Sustainable Wellesley, please write to info@SustainableWellesley.com or visit www.SustainableWellesley.com. Residents can encourage action at the state level by letting policy makers know about the connection between energy sources and our health. turn op-ed issues speak up opinion sound off town green my turn op-ed issues speak up opinion sound off town green my turn op-ed issues speak up [ forum ] 52 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 8

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