Protesters sit outside Gov. Charlie Baker's office Thursday

Credit: Mike Deehan/WGBH News

Environmentalists Stage Sit-In At Governor's Office Over Natural Gas Infrastructure

November 16, 2017

About 200 environmental activists filled the hall outside Gov. Charlie Baker's office Thursday.

"We're here to ask Gov. Baker to sign the executive order that was given to him a couple weeks back to stop fossil fuel expansion in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," said protester Cathy Kristoffersen of Ashby.

The protesters specifically want Baker to stop issuing permits for natural gas pipelines, and to invest more in moving the state to renewable fuels.

Gubernatorial candidate Bob Massie was one of the protesters.

"This governor seems unwilling to make a dramatic shift towards wind, towards solar, towards efficiency, all the things that are happening in other countries. And we're here to tell him that, No.1, we want him to stop building fossil fuel infrastructure," he said. "That includes pipelines and other things that keep us reliant on fossil fuel. And then to commit to a rapid shift to renewable energy."

Video by Mike Deehan/WGBH News

Many of the activists are from the group 350 Massachusetts, which gets its name from the amount of carbon that is considered safe in the atmosphere, 350 parts per million.

Six people protesting the same issue were charged with trespassing on state property and unlawful assembly last week after refusing to leave the governor's office. The group says more than 20 people are willing to be arrested in a sit-in protest Thursday.

The governor's office responded with the same statement they issued after last week's protest, from Peter Lorenz, communications director for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

“The Baker-Polito Administration remains committed to diversifying the state’s energy portfolio and embracing advanced technologies to strengthen the state’s clean energy economy, stabilize and reduce energy costs, and progress toward Massachusetts’ greenhouse gas reduction requirements through the implementation of comprehensive bipartisan energy legislation enacted last year,” the statement reads. 


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