Climate council appointed with action plan due December 2021

Editor’s note: The following is by Matt Cota, executive director of the Vermont Fuel Dealers.

A 23-member Vermont “Climate Council” has been appointed (see members below) and will begin working on a “Climate Action Plan.” This plan must be finalized on or before December 1, 2021. After the plan is adopted, the Agency of Natural Resources will have six months to come up with a regulatory structure to enact the plan. The rules will then go into effect no later than December 1, 2022. If that doesn’t happen, the state of Vermont can and will be sued by environmental attorneys.

We don’t know what regulations will be proposed at this time. The Climate Council has the power to enact restrictions on the combustion of fossil fuels or the equipment and engines that depend on them. Under the GWSA, the state of Vermont must show a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2025. If emissions do not decline by at least 26%, anyone could sue the state. It doesn’t stop there. Vermont will have to show a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. And then 80% fewer emissions by 2050. If it doesn’t happen, the state of Vermont can and will be sued by environmental attorneys.

This emission reduction mandate aligns with the state’s decade old energy policy to virtually eliminate all petroleum in Vermont.

There are more questions than solutions at this point. How can an unelected “climate council” enact restrictions on the combustion of fossil fuels? And without a ban, how will the 2025 mandate be met?

More than 50,000 homeowners will have to voluntarily turn off their oil or gas heating equipment and more 130,000 gasoline powered cars would need to stay parked to reduce consumption by 26% over the next four years.

Who are the 23 members of the Vermont Climate Council?

The Speaker of the House, Rep. Mitzi Johnson, chose 8 members of the Council:

  • Catherine Dimitruk, Fairfax, Northwest Regional Planning Commission
  • Chris Campany, Newfane, Windham Regional Commission
  • Liz Miller, Burlington, Green Mountain Power
  • Johannah Miller, Montpelier, lobbyist for the Vermont Natural Resources Council
  • Michael Schmell, South Pomfret, Chief Operating Officer for Stone Road Energy
  • Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, South Burlington, Vermont State Climatologist
  • Adam Knudsen, Shelburne, Dynapower
  • Richard Cowart, Calais, Regulatory Assistance Project

Senate leaders chose 7 members of the Council:

  • Kelly Klein, Greenbell Meadery, St. Albans
  • Chad Farrell, Encore Renewables
  • Sue Minter, Capstone
  • Abby Corse, farmer, Windham County
  • Lauren Oates, The Nature Conservancy
  • Sarah Evans, youth member from Stowe
  • Jared Duval, Energy Action Network

The Climate Council also includes 8 members of the Governor’s cabinet:

  • Susanne Young, Secretary of Administration
  • Julie Moore, Secretary of Natural Resources
  • Anson Tebbetts, Secretary of Agriculture
  • Lindsay Kurrle, Secretary of Commerce
  • Michael Smith, Secretary of Human Services
  • Joe Flynn, Secretary of Transportation
  • Michael Schirling, Commissioner of Public Safety
  • June Tierney, Commissioner of Public Service
Image courtesy of Public domain

5 thoughts on “Climate council appointed with action plan due December 2021


    California: California has had a GWSA law since 2006, which resulted in:

    – Rapid increases of electric rates and gasoline prices
    – Huge DUCK-curves, due to midday solar electricity surges
    – Unwise/untimely/political/ideological shutdown of gas plants, which resulted in rolling blackouts, when, during a multi-day heat wave, solar disappearing in late-afternoon/early-evening (DURING PEAK HOURS), and not reappearing until mid-morning THE NEXT DAY, while all that time wind was minimal.
    – A host of rules, regulations, taxes, fees and surcharges, and penalties to enforce behavior modification programs

    With high levels of weather-dependent wind and solar, huge storage (multiple TWh) would be required.
    That storage would cost several trillion dollars, if materials could be found to build such capacity. It would need to cover:

    1) Single and multi-day heat waves over large areas
    2) Wind/solar lulls throughout the year, as frequently occur in New England
    3) Short-term and seasonal variations.

    The ADDITIONAL environmental impact on millions of acres with wind and solar systems, would be enormous all over the US.

    It would be much better to build millions of PASSIVHAUS-style buildings all over the US.
    They would need only 1/3 the energy of the current energy hogs.

    Vermont: For Vermont, the only thing that makes any sense is to stop “emulating” California.
    Vermont should immediately scrap GWSA, and concentrate on:

    1) Energy conservation
    2) Energy efficiency
    3) Building net-zero-energy, and energy-surplus houses and other buildings, by the thousands, each year. See Appendix
    4) Provide incentives to buy vehicles that get more than 35 mpg, EPA combined; the more above the limit, the greater the incentive.
    5) Charge annual fees, paid at time of registration, on existing and new vehicles that get less than 25 mpg, EPA combined; the more below the limit, the greater the fee.

    The above 4 items would save money for Vermonters, and make the state economy more competitive
    Most of the other energy measures are just expensively subsidized hogwash and behavior modifications that would not make one iota of difference regarding climate change.

  2. No conservative should take a seat on the climate council. I was once told that I should be on a committee for something I opposed. My response was, I know that trick, then you can point at me and say that you had someone that opposed it who worked with you, and look haw inclusive we are. Let them sink alone and we can fight it constantly from the outside.

  3. Read it and weep, we need to vote and get some conservatives in the
    House & Senate and pull the plug on the boondoggle of a council, you
    talk about a biased group, .all this will do is cost you, so hold on to your

  4. Governor Scott should write an executive order nullifying that climate council as unconstitutional. Tomorrow.

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