‘Climate Dispatch’ outlines five green bills for second half of legislative session

An episode of the Vermont Natural Resources Council “Climate Dispatch” posted Friday features Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman and highlights a handful of climate bills, including one that would accelerate the transition towards green energy for Vermont power utilities.

In the episode, host Lauren Hierl, the group’s executive director, discusses the House-passed Global Warming Solutions Act, which seeks to revamp the state’s heating, energy and transportation sectors.

“The bill that makes our climate pollution goals into requirements so the state will be authorized and given the responsibility, and given the means, to convene a climate council to come up with a plan and then implement that plan so we can actually get on track and hit our climate targets,” she said.

She also highlighted S.267, which increases targets for green energy adoption via the state’s Renewable Energy Standards.

“It’s saying 100 percent of our electricity should be coming from clean, renewable energy by 2030,” Hierl said. “There’s a lot of consensus around that big goal and right now, There’s a lot of conversation about how much of that renewable energy should we have the responsibility for building right here in Vermont.”

It would also double the requirement that renewable energy comes from within the state, from 10 percent to 20 percent.

The other Senate bill, S.337, has to do with energy efficiency technologies.

“Another bill on our priority list is modernizing and updating our energy efficiency utilities so that we can put all of that good expertise they’ve developed on driving down electricity usage and getting more people access to clean transportation and heating solutions. So there’s a pilot program that’s moving. It’s also being looked at in Senate Finance.”

Hierl also mentions the Transportation Climate Initiative, which has experienced some political turbulence with little support from Scott or other New England governors. But Hierl says it’s still on the table.

“The conversation is kind of happening and we have not seen a bill, but we’re hopeful and we’re still hearing there’s a lot of interest from folks in the building to talk about how that would look if the legislature should enact a bill to say that would say we should sign-on if it meets certain criteria.”

Zuckerman says he’s optimistic that overall the climate agendas are getting traction.

“Many of us have felt there’s been a real stagnation in progress on climate crisis initiatives at the Statehouse, and in particular at the administration level where leadership is supposed to from,” he said.

He also mentioned Vermont’s version of the Green New Deal, introduced by state Sen. Anthony Pollina, P/D-Washington. That initiative would “put a marginal tax rate on the wealthiest 5 percent of Vermonters” and could bring in $30 million annually for green investments.

Zuckerman added that the state has lost over 500 jobs in the solar field, and he wants to see them come back.

“We want to attract people who are family-age younger folks to Vermont and we’re not gonna do that if we are cutting the kinds of jobs that those folks are interested in,” he said.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

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9 thoughts on “‘Climate Dispatch’ outlines five green bills for second half of legislative session

  1. They mention Anthony Polina’s Green New Deal and a proposed marginal tax rate, then there are Higher tax burdens and income sensitive deductions that the state’s higher wage earners do not get. You can’t just keep piling more weight on your strongest mule.

    Could somebody PLEASE develop a website where you input your income and then it compares state by the state….the tax and fee burden each state puts on you? We could find states that truly are lower cost and then compare the fit so as to be able to pick where we could relocate to.

  2. The TCI is nothing compared to the Global Warming Solutions Act.

    It’s a lousy, expensive, ticket to outer space that has the teeth to make sure, any and every, HORRIBLE future mandate gets done.

    This video makes me ill. Its as if I’ve had my hands tied and then I’m thrown into the back of a car with two ”highly” stoned drivers at the wheel…and today……they feel the ”need for speed.”

  3. 500 jobs in the solar market lost is due to market saturation. They were all over the place doing panels. Every town has at least one field that is growing (pun) panels. But what happened to cleaning up Vermont the plastic issue. I see CAX finally noticed a company in NH has a distillery for recycling it back into fuel. The nice thing about this is that it rids us of plastic. 2 it produces a product that like diesel that has no Sulphur in it. Notice you don’t hear about acid rain since we use low Sulphur diesel.

  4. Climate bills often include wood burning as one of the “approved” energy sources, because that is “renewable” and therefore good.
    That is far from the truth

    “Wood Burning is Renewable” is a Hoax

    Proponents of wood burning do not mention a CO2 reabsorption time period on purpose.
    Proponents want you to think CO2 reabsorption starts right away and is completed in the a few years.
    Proponents want you to ignore the damage logging does to the forest, which results in the release of CO2
    In order for our wood burning to be renewable, the CO2 must to be reabsorbed by regrowth on our harvested areas
    There is no spare forest standing around waiting to reabsorb our CO2.
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-forests-and-co2-absorption

    Light, selective, cutting does the least damage to the forest
    Heavy cutting, 50% or more, kills the belowground biomass because it is no longer needed.
    Soil and nutrients wash away into nearby streams, which kills fish habitats.

    The decaying belowground biomass would emit CO2 for 80 – 100 years in colder climates.
    The new growth on our harvested areas would require about 35 years of CO2 absorption to equal the CO2 released by decay.
    That period is the C-neutrality period. See URL.

    Any combustion CO2 of year 1 could not start to be reabsorbed by growth on our harvested areas until after the C-neutrality period, and that reabsorption would take about 80 – 100 years in colder climates.

    After reabsorption is complete, we can say our wood burning has been about 80% to 90% renewable, because there is other CO2, not related to combustion, such as diesel fuel for machinery and transport, and fuels for operating the heating or power plant, etc., plus there is embodied CO2 in infrastructures.

    In the real world, a logger would come along, look at these 35 to 40-year-old trees and starts cutting.
    That means our original combustion CO2 will never be absorbed!
    The trees on our harvested areas would not be there!
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/co2-emissions-from-logging-clear-cutting-and-burbing

    • They mention Anthony Polina’s Green New Deal and a proposed marginal tax rate, then there are Higher tax burdens and income sensitive deductions that the state’s higher wage earners do not get. You can’t just keep piling more weight on your strongest mule.

      Could somebody PLEASE develop a website where you input your income and then it compares state by the state….the tax and fee burden each state puts on you? We could find states that truly are lower cost and then compare the fit so as to be able to pick where we could relocate to.

  5. I attended a meeting in Rutland Vermont about a year ago and David was there. I asked him if he drove his electric car down to attend the meeting and he said he didn’t because they used a van to transport people down there to speak.

    There was a young teacher who was telling everyone they had to give up fossil fuels and telling us how she burned wood and refuse to eat meat to do her part to save the climate.

    I asked Dave how is electric car in when he was running back and forth to the state house and he said he didn’t own an electric car.

    I asked the teacher how she liked her electric car and she told me she didn’t own an electric car.

    They said they were waiting for rebates before they purchased an electric car.

    Isn’t it amazing that I sat in an audience where they were preaching to everyone we don’t have time to wait we should be buying electric cars as soon as possible to save the environment…

    Like good bearers of propaganda they are the do as I say not as I do people.

    I hope we have not become brain-dead enough in the state of Vermont to elect these tax and spend politicians into office.

    These are the same politicians that work hand-in-hand with the likes of Senator Philip baruth and the legislators Maxine grad and Martin Lalonde to steal your constitutional rights.

    Wake up vermonters…

    Study these characters that are running for political office and then get out and vote for conservative Republicans..

    These people will look you right in the eye and lie to you to get the money out of your wallet

  6. Those so called 500 jobs in the solar fields were mostly filled by out of state contractors, not Vermonters. They want to drive down electricity usage. Why? Maybe because if the power companies are forced to buy in state generated power it won’t be as reliable for numerous reasons. It will also be more expensive. People will cut back on usage for economic reasons but the power behind the progs will reap the same profits.

  7. How is it possible voters keep sending these obtuse ‘progressives’ back to Montpelier? Brilliant ideas to tax the living hell out of everybody and everything and still expect younger people to raise a family here.

  8. Have a suggestion- how about adding a 6th bill to the green agenda for the second half? If you authorize the building of a natural gas pipe line to provide this inexpensive, clean burning fuels for the folks, much progress will be made to turning Vermont a great deal greener!!!!

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