Press Release

For media inquiries, contact Katherine Anderson, Communications Coordinator, katherine@betterfutureaction.org, 339-368-1318.


40+ Massachusetts Candidates Pledge to Refuse $$$ from Major Fossil Fuel and Utility Companies

More candidates sign daily as campaign finance becomes key primary issue

For release September 7, 2016

CAMBRIDGE, MASS—The Clean Money for Climate Pledge, organized by climate advocacy group 350 Mass Action, calls on candidates running for office in Massachusetts to refuse campaign contributions from executives, lobbyists, and others employed by ten major fossil fuel and utility companies through the duration of the 2016 election cycle.

Just seven days after the pledge was launched, 40 candidates for state legislature had signed the pledge, including Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Pacheco.

“The undue influence of climate polluters has no place in any legislative system,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton). “As legislators, it is our job to create effective policy for those in the Commonwealth by using sense and science. I fully support the work of 350 Mass Action and I look forward to swiftly moving ahead with a clean energy future for Massachusetts.”

Climate advocates point to this year's weaker that expected energy bill as evidence of the utility and fossil fuel industries' undue influence over the state's political process. Last legislative session 97 out of 160 state reps signed a letter opposing the pipeline tax, and the state senate voted unanimously to ban the pipeline tax in their version of the recent energy bill. Yet in the final hours before the bill was passed, the legislature dropped the pipeline tax language from the bill. Additionally, the legislature failed to increase the percentage of renewable energy that utilities are required to purchase and provided weaker than proposed support for offshore wind. 

“In the end, utilities Eversource and National Grid got more or less exactly what they wanted from the energy bill. In the face of the climate crisis, Massachusetts needs lawmakers who are free to stand up to fossil fuel companies and utilities and lead us safely to a future powered by 100% clean, renewable energy,” said Craig Altemose, Executive Director of 350 Mass Action.

The pledge requires candidates to refuse donations of $200 or more from employees of ten corporations: BP, Chevron, Eversource, ExxonMobil, Global Partners, Global Petroleum, Kinder Morgan, National Grid, Shell and Spectra Energy. Pledge organizers selected companies for their history of making significant campaign contributions in the state and their financial interest in influencing energy policy that affects Massachusetts.  

“All of these companies continue to advocate against a transition to renewable energy.” said Altemose. 

In addition to Senator Pacheco, a number of other senior incumbents have signed the pledge, along with new challengers seeking their first election to the legislature. Numerous candidates in high-profile contested primary races have also signed, including Senator Pat Jehlen and challenger Leland Cheung, Representative Tim Toomey and challenger Mike Connolly, and all candidates in the open races for both the state senate seat in the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden district, and the state representative seat in the Third Hampshire District.

Post-launch, the 350 Mass Action volunteer network will work with partnering groups to make sure every candidate running for office in the state of Massachusetts has the chance to sign the pledge. Constituents will be able to use the Clean Money for Climate Candidate Tracker to submit real-time updates on which candidates have been asked to sign.

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Signers as of 9/6/16 5pm:

Race District Name
Senate Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden Andrea Harrington
Senate Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden Rinaldo del Gallo
Senate Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden Adam Hinds
Senate Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden Christine Canning
Senate Second Middlesex Pat Jehlen
Senate Second Middlesex Leland Cheung
Senate Second Suffolk and Middlesex Will Brownsberger
Senate Cape and Islands Julian Cyr
Senate Cape and Islands Sheila Lyons
Senate First Plymouth and Bristol Marc Pacheco
House Fourth Berkshire Smitty Pignatelli
House 23rd Middlesex Sean Garballey
House 27th Middlesex Denise Provost
House 25th Middlesex Marjorie Decker
House 26th Middlesex Mike Connolly
House 26th Middlesex Tim Toomey
House 18th Middlesex Dave Ouellete
House Fourth Bristol Paul Jacques
House Third Barnstable Matt Patrick
House Third Hampshire Solomon Goldstein-Rose
House Third Hampshire Eric Nakajima
House Third Hampshire Viraphanh (Vira) Douangmany Cage
House Third Hampshire Bonnie MacCracken
House Third Hampshire Lawrence O'Brien
House Third Hampshire Sarah La Cour
House First Essex Brianna Sullivan
House Third Plymouth Joan Meschino
House Third Plymouth Keri Thompson
House Seventh Middlesex Phil Jack
House Second Bristol Paul Heroux
House 15th Norfolk Frank Smizik
House 7th Middlesex Jack Lewis
House 13th Essex Bob Croce
House Barnstable, Dukes, Nantucket Ewell Hopkins
House Ninth Norfolk Brian Hamlin
House Fourteenth Middlesex Cory Atkins
Senate Middlesex and Worcester Jamie Eldridge
House Barnstable, Dukes, Nantucket Tobias Glidden
House 12th Worcester District Charlene DiCalogero
House 2nd Franklin Denise Andrews
House Fourteenth Middlesex Danny Factor

Campaign Pledge Takes on Fossil Fuel and Utility Money in Massachusetts Elections

For Immediate Release

August 31, 2016

CAMBRIDGE, MASS—Today the climate advocacy organization 350 Mass Action formally launched the Clean Money for Climate Pledge, which calls on candidates running for office in Massachusetts to refuse campaign contributions from executives, lobbyists, and others employed by ten major fossil fuel and utility companies through the duration of the 2016 election cycle. 

As of this morning, 30 candidates for state legislature had signed the pledge, including Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Pacheco. 

“The undue influence of climate polluters has no place in any legislative system,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton). “As legislators, it is our job to create effective policy for those in the Commonwealth by using sense and science. I fully support the work of 350 Mass Action and I look forward to swiftly moving ahead with a clean energy future for Massachusetts.”

Last legislative session 97 out of 160 state reps signed a letter opposing the pipeline tax, and the state senate voted unanimously to ban the pipeline tax in the recent energy bill. Yet in the final hours before the bill was passed, the legislature dropped the pipeline tax language from the bill. Additionally, the legislature failed to increase the percentage of renewable energy that utilities are required to purchase and provided weaker than proposed support for offshore wind. Climate advocates blame the unfair influence of utility and fossil fuel companies for the bill’s limitations.  

“In the end, utilities Eversource and National Grid got more or less exactly what they wanted from the energy bill. In the face of the climate crisis, Massachusetts needs lawmakers who are free to stand up to fossil fuel companies and utilities and lead us safely to a future powered by 100% clean, renewable energy,” said Craig Altemose, Executive Director of 350 Mass Action. 

The pledge requires candidates to refuse donations of $200 or more from employees of ten corporations: BP, Chevron, Eversource, ExxonMobil, Global Partners, Global Petroleum, Kinder Morgan, National Grid, Shell and Spectra Energy. Pledge organizers selected companies for their history of making significant campaign contributions in the state and their financial interest in influencing energy policy that affects Massachusetts.  

“All of these companies continue to advocate against a transition to renewable energy,” said Altemose. “We call upon these ten companies to drop their obstructionist ways and instead engage as constructive participants in building a clean energy economy.”

In addition to Senator Pacheco, a number of other senior incumbents have signed the pledge, along with new challengers seeking their first election to the legislature. Candidates from across the state have signed on, from the Berkshires to the Cape and Islands. Numerous candidates in high-profile contested primary races have also signed, including Senator Pat Jehlen and challenger Leland Cheung, Representative Tim Toomey and challenger Mike Connolly, and all candidates in the open races for both the state senate seat in the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden district, and the state representative seat in the Third Hampshire District. 

“We’re delighted to see so many candidates sign so quickly, and we welcome their colleagues to join them,” said Altemose.

Post-launch, the 350 Mass Action volunteer network will work with partnering groups to make sure every candidate running for office in the state of Massachusetts has the chance to sign the pledge. Constituents will be able to use the Clean Money for Climate Candidate Tracker to submit real-time updates on which candidates have been asked to sign.

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