Community Action Works
Community Action Works


Clean, renewable energy is as much about our climate as it is about the air we breathe. No one knows this better than neighbors in Springfield, Massachusetts, the asthma capital of the U.S., who have been fighting a proposed biomass incinerator for over a decade.

In April, Springfield residents won a major victory when the permit for the biomass incinerator, planned for a residential neighborhood, was revoked!

With a new study showing that air pollution from fossil fuels causes one in five deaths annually, it’s clear that we need to transition to clean energy. But biomass incinerators—which burn wood for energy—are not the answer. Clean energy doesn’t come out of a smokestack.

For more than a decade, people like Jacqueline Velez, Verne McArthur, Susan Theberge and leaders in the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition have been rising up to stop the proposed biomass incinerator in Springfield. This year, that’s meant hundreds of phone calls and emails to legislators, socially distant marches and rallies, and a powerful coalition of neighbors, community leaders and organizations working to keep this incinerator from ever being built.

This project has implications far beyond Springfield. The Baker administration is considering loosening clean energy standards to make biomass eligible for state energy subsidies meant for clean energy, opening the door for other biomass plants.

But neighbors have proven that it’s possible to fight a biomass incinerator and win, and not just in Springfield. Earlier this year, in Hanover, New Hampshire, and Brattleboro, Vermont, neighbors stopped biomass incinerators proposed in their towns before the projects could get off the ground.

Together, we’ll win our vision of real clean, renewable energy.

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