Op-ed by Cobi Frongillo, Franklin Town Councilmember, Leadership Council Elected Officials to Protect America

October 12, 2022

After a summer of historic drought and historic heat waves — the region’s driest summer and highest stretch of temperatures on record — it’s time to recognize that the climate emergency has arrived in Franklin. Each decade, each year, will continue to be hotter and drier than the last, endangering both our most vulnerable residents and our local agriculture. 

All the while, the region’s reliance on dirty natural gas and oil to power our homes and cars has left us vulnerable to global markets. As Putin wages war, our neighbors struggle with ever-climbing energy prices and make impossible trade-offs on coaling, heating, electricity, transport, and food.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, our leaders must act now because our globe only has two to three decades to integrate our systems and economies to minimize the worst impacts and disasters. That includes accelerating both clean power production and full electrification of our buildings and vehicles.

This summer, through my work at the State House under the leadership of our dedicated State Representative Jeffrey Roy, I had the opportunity to assist in the development and passage of An Act Driving Offshore Wind and Clean Energy.

Offshore wind has the potential to provide more than 2,000 gigawatts (GW) of energy in the United States — two times the present generation of the entire U.S. electric grid, according to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimate.

An Act Driving Offshore Wind and Clean Energy is a major step toward reaching the Commonwealth’s goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and achieving energy security. It does so through nation-leading industry support of local energy generation, like offshore wind, that will put our residents to work, spur innovation, and capture national investments into our local economy. The law also makes significant progress toward modernizing our electric grid, investing in clean transportation, and promoting building decarbonization.

But there is plenty more left to be done at all levels. It is imperative that we all continue to hold our federal, state, and local leaders accountable in achieving a greener future, from urging the declaration of a national climate emergency to creating an emissions reduction plan right here in Franklin.

Franklin has always been a community that has cared deeply about its children. We are the home to the nation’s oldest public library, the longest operating one-room schoolhouse, and the “Father of Modern Education” Horace Mann. We work to ensure future generations are ready to thrive so they may-improve the world around them.

Now facing the existential threat of the climate emergency, let us once again seize the opportunity of the moment and transform our economy to ensure future generations thrive in a clean and innovative world.