To the editor:

I am so glad that the city of Beverly has a progressive administration interested in protecting our environment. After watching the recent zoom discussion concerning the new overlay district along the Bass River, a capital idea came into my mind: Why not forbid fossil fuel hookups in the new district? For that matter, why not ban new gas hookups all over Beverly? After all, in order to achieve our climate goals, heating by oil or dirty and dangerous natural gas will have to pretty much cease in the next few decades. So why put in new gas infrastructure knowing it will have to be removed in short order?

Electric heat pumps, geothermal home heating, induction cooktops, etc., are all viable alternatives ready today to bring us to the age of deep electric, powered by solar and offshore wind, among other sources. I’m sure that our mayor will embrace the idea once the public brings it to the fore.

Lest anyone should say that the state won’t allow a local municipality to ban gas hookups, there’s a new approach being taken by Brookline and several other communities to get around this problem: the home rule petition. Through this process, the Legislature allows cities and towns to override state regulations in favor of the municipality. It’s a proven method that Mayor Mike Cahill and his administration have used before, with the help of our state representative and state senator. This is how the mayor was able to shepherd through the theft of our deeded harborfront “parks and recreation” parcel at 1 Water St. in favor of a magnificent 350-seat upscale chophouse! What say you, Mr. Mayor? Here’s your chance to wave your green flag!

Peter Willwerth


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