WESTBOROUGH – A citizen’s petition at the tail end of the spring Town Meeting requests the town to abandon the town’s Climate Action Plan.
Resident Boyd Conklin had Article 39 placed on the warrant because of claims regarding the expense to attain net-zero emissions, locally and nationally, by 2050.
“The United States to spend $50 trillion to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050 to perhaps shave 0.1 [degrees] C … is irresponsible,” said Conklin in materials posted on social media and presented to town boards.
Conklin added that changing out the town’s school buses would cost $300,000 to $400,000 per vehicle, as opposed to $150,000 per vehicle that runs on diesel fuel.
He cites additional expenses in changing out the rest of the town’s fleet of municipal vehicles, as well as installing solar arrays and EV charging stations.
Conklin also questioned why electricity costs are rising if solar panels and wind turbines have become less expensive.
He added that wind and solar are not reliable, and that other sources of electricity, such as natural gas plants and hydroelectric dams, have to remain operational in case there’s no sun or wind.
Peter Dunbeck of Sustainable Westborough is among those who support the Climate Action Plan.
Dunbeck said the plan provides “an essential roadmap” for Sustainable Westborough and other committees. It was unanimously approved by the Select Board in 2021.
According to Dunbeck, NASA and other scientific agencies issued a joint statement that observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and research demonstrates that greenhouse gasses from human activities is the primary driver.
This led to both Massachusetts and the federal government to initiate programs to reduce carbon pollution, he said.
“Sustainable Westborough feels it is essential to maintain the Climate Action Plan and to proactive respond to these opportunities as we work to help the community transition to environmentally sustainable energy options,” Dunbeck said.
During its deliberations on Town Meeting Warrant articles, the Advisory Finance Committee recommended that Article 39 be defeated.
Town Meeting convenes on Saturday, March 25, at 9 a.m. at the high school auditorium. View the warrant at tinyurl.com/2dccfpaa.
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