On August 17, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the proposed pipeline tax, which we have been advocating against since it was first proposed during the Patrick administration, which we helped persuade over 2/3rds of the legislature to formally come out against and kept from being affirmed in the legislature, and which we just marched 43 miles to defeat, is illegal.
The pipeline tax is dead!
This tremendous victory is thanks to many people, from the Conservation Law Foundation, who helped lead the legal case against the tax, to our partners across the state (especially the Mass Power Forward coalition), to every one of you who took action and spoke out.
Our constant, large presence at DPU hearings, our lobbying, and most recently our march helped show deep public opposition to this tax. Judges are supposed to act as impartial arbiters of the law, but it certainly did not hurt our case for those judges to read, hear, or watch the many, many stories about our opposition to this project. Most importantly, our movement blocked the legislature from passing a law in favor of the pipeline tax. If we hadn’t, this case would have been irrelevant.
It is unclear how much this will be a fatal blow to any of Spectra’s proposed projects, but we have absolutely undercut their financing (to the tune of $3 billion), called into question similar pipeline tax proposals in other states, and have given Spectra’s investors greater reason for pause. Either way, we have unambiguously won a victory and established a precedent that the people’s money should be not used for private projects that further commit us to climate catastrophe.
Thank you for all of you who came out to DPU hearings, who sat in on the SJC hearing, who lobbied your legislators against the pipeline tax, who marched one mile of the march, who drove a support vehicle, who donated food, who marched all forty-three miles. Our movement shares in this victory, and it is just as much yours as anyone else’s. Onward!