Statehouse Headliners: New Act 250 takes aim at climate change, forest fragmentation, living in rural Vermont

By Guy Page

A draft report released this week by the Commission on Act 250 recommends the 2019 Legislature amend Vermont’s 1970 comprehensive development and land use law to:

  • Add “climate change” as a criterion for project review and approval. “The goal would be to minimize emissions of greenhouse gases and ensure that the design and materials used in development enable projects to adapt to climate change,” the commission said.
  • Prevent woodland development causing forest fragmentation. “Protecting forest blocks [and wildlife migration corridors] not only protects the forests and their ecosystems but also relates to climate change because it protects areas that capture and absorb carbon dioxide,” the commission said.
  • Encourage migration of rural Vermonters into compact urban centers. “The General Assembly should increase the alignment of Act 250 jurisdiction with the goals of supporting Vermont’s settlement pattern of compact centers surrounded by rural countryside and of protecting the State’s ecosystems and natural resources.”
  • Give Act 250 jurisdiction over development at Interstate highway interchanges.
  • Reactivate the executive branch Development Cabinet established by law in 2012 to ensure climate reduction throughout state government.
  • Require municipal and regional plans conformity to the new Act 250.

The commission met Friday at the Statehouse to review this draft report. The final report is due to be presented to the Legislature next month.

Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.

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16 thoughts on “Statehouse Headliners: New Act 250 takes aim at climate change, forest fragmentation, living in rural Vermont

  1. As I read the draft, the first thing that came to mind was agenda 21. These folks haven’t learned the lesson that this country’s founding taught us; People yearn to be free. I’m tired of being bludgeoned with “Climate change” social engineering, when looking at climate charts that span a few million years, its obvious that man’s activities are not but a fraction of the drivers that affect it. Yes, we have a huge responsibility to the earth, but bureaucratic power, and statist policies hurt humans without netting equivalent environmental benefits.

  2. WHERE DO THESE PEOPLE COME FROM?????????? Now you are going to tell me where to live and what I can do with my land. You want to start a revolution, just enact that law. What idiots.
    I can see a fight coming and it’s not far off.

  3. BERC Estimates of Net Available Low-Grade Growth (NALG)

    BERC claims 51.03/109 = 46.8% of Vermont’s live trees are low-grade, and therefore candidates for removal for burning.
    The BERC low-grade wood percentage is high on purpose, because it enables BERC to claim ongoing growth of low-grade trees makes available high quantities of wood for burning, i.e., about 1,757,056 green ton/y of NALG. See page 25
    BERC mentions the VT 2014 wood burning harvest was only 1,233,497 green ton in 2014.
    BERC has “proven” there is plenty of un-harvested NALG for burning and pulp, i.e., 1757056 – 1233497 = 523,559 green ton/y,
    The message to legislators is not to worry. It is safe to vote for more logging for wood burning to save the world.
    The lay public has not an inking as to what is going on.
    It is told wood burning is CO2-neutral, which is far from the truth. See URL.
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-claim-burning-wood-is-co2-neutral-is-far-from-the-truth-1

    Discrepancy: NALG for burning and pulp is 894,893 green ton/y, per BERC report, mostly based on pre-2010 data. See page 29.
    – It is not clear why that quantity is less than the 1,757,056 green ton/y. See page 25 and table.
    – Could it be BERC was told to up its estimate for NALG to suit CEP wood burning goals and forgot to delete its old estimate?
    http://www.biomasscenter.org/images/stories/VTWFSSUpdate2010_.pdf

  4. BERC Studies Skewed Towards More Wood Burning:

    BERC estimates, based on its own surveys and criteria, about 46.8% of Vermont’s forests inventory of live trees is low-grade, i.e., “suitable for wood burning”. The higher the percentage, the more wood would be “suitable for burning”. The physical reasons for a high percentage of low-grade live wood are:

    – Deforestation of the 1800s, which leached much of the minerals from the soil.
    – Acid rain from about the 1950s onward. See URLs.

    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-claim-burning-wood-is-co2-neutral-is-far-from-the-truth-1

  5. The CEP projects space heating from wood burning, which includes wood pellets, to increase from 10.730 TBtu in 2010 to 14.533 TBtu (heat to buildings, i.e., after combustion) by 2050, about a 35% increase. See pages 126 and 127 of CEP.
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-wood-harvesting-is-excessive-1

    If that burning is at a similar annual average efficiency, the logging increase would be about 0.35 x 886,155, green ton (2014 Vermont harvest for space heating) = 310,154 green ton/y, or (1 – 0.45) x 310154 = 170,585 dry ton/y.

    The excess logging for burning would become 350265, existing excess + 170585, additional excess = 520,850 dry ton/y. A green ton is about 45% water. See note.

    NOTE: According to USFS standards regarding nutrition, habitat, etc., Vermont’s harvest removals should be limited to 980,410 dry ton/y. However, Vermont’s 2014 harvest was 1,330,674 dry ton, an excess removal of 350,264 dry ton, per USFS.

    The CEP increase would be feasible only if:

    – All of the increase was imported from NH, MA and NY.
    – Vermont already imported about 371,691 green ton for wood burning in 2015.
    – Total imports would become 371,691, existing imports + 310154, additional imports = 803,425 green ton/y.
    – McNeil and Ryegate were shutdown to make available about 347,342 (in-state) + 371,691 (out-of-state) = 719,033 green ton/y for future distributed wood burning for space heating, instead of wasteful wood burning in a power plant at about 25% efficiency. See below Source Factors.
    – Significantly increased efficiency of wood burning would be implemented, which would require replacing most of Vermont wood burning heating systems.

    NOTE: If NH, MA, and NY also increase their wood burning, the wood available for import to Vermont likely would become less.

  6. “Protecting forest blocks [and wildlife migration corridors] not only protects the forests and their ecosystems but also relates to climate change because it protects areas that capture and absorb carbon dioxide,”

    Preventing Forest Fragmentation by blocking really means, control of the logging industry, putting more out of work and allow over growth thereby reducing the tender food sources for the woodland animals. There goes the deer population, license revenue. A logger might have a 10 year wait to get a logging permit (like the Costco boondoggle mentioned above). More control. But the Montpelier Libs “feel good”.

    More damn climate control falsehoods. Do and will I have permission to breathe? How much will it cost?

  7. Now they’re telling us where to live? I thought they were touting one of the great appeals to living in Vermont was the wonderful rural life style Vermont offers. Once again, these idiots want it both ways. Not to worry, they will continue to get elected and reelected.

  8. “Encourage migration of rural Vermonters into compact urban centers. “The General Assembly should increase the alignment of Act 250 jurisdiction with the goals of supporting Vermont’s settlement pattern of compact centers surrounded by rural countryside and of protecting the State’s ecosystems and natural resources.” “Encourage” really means FORCED, like ACT 46 forces us to close our rural schools. ” Let the collectivization of the peasantry begin. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Leap_Forward?fbclid=IwAR1BHSdDOv_VeA0eXzLREflSCroZkqIuQ92Ijm5ZSRccYoFB_uCoAdO4eDs

    • So what are we, Vermonters going to do? How are we going to bring about change? Vermonters of all walks want home ownership, strong families, good education, prosperity and an environment well cared for.

      We’ll not get this, our current course does not lead us that way, hasn’t for decades. We’ve been literally taken over by the sjw borg and it’s getting the same results it’s done when implemented in any large city. We have one class doing well in Chicago and then the south side, not so much. In Vermont we’re spread out and all of one color so it’s not so easy to see.

      Many are suffering, the cross section of DCF looks a lot like many cities. We’ve told them lies, enabled bad behavior and are making money off keeping people poor, creating more poor and taking away hope and self reliance.

      PSSC (Progressives, sjw, socialists, communists) makes for some really weak tea. It needs to stop.

  9. What can we do to fight this fight – again? Early Kingdom Property rights groups, Green Mtn Boys fighting original Act 250, Citizens for Property Rights, Property Owners standing together.

    It is enticing to just lie down and say it is simply a done deal after decades of this war on OUR Individual, Constitutional Property Rights.

    Should we all be renters, all be city, all be passive subjects of unelected bureaucrats !?! Entirely dependent on gov’t, All be priced out of living with an actual Lawn. Priced out of living in Vermont at all!!

    All addresses; 13TH Street, Enviro Square, bldg 18, 3d floor, unit 239, 624 Sq Feet, – windows only facing North, Progressville, Vt Zip 00001-0001 Not very enticing is it !

    Do we have the energy, do we have any allies, do we have the resources – to beat this violent takeover of Vermont?

    • And you’ll never own anything in progressiveville either. It’s always better the enrich the elite than have independence for the serfs.

      We all need to work together, egos aside, we need to come together for the common good or a more perfect union.

      It matters not the flag, but it does matter about cooperation, understanding of basic civics, understanding and love for fellow man.

  10. This bill is part of a total property take over, fostered by lobbyist and PAC money. VNRC is certainly leading this charge. All part of Agenda 21, the new world order and how to become a socialist cesspool in the name of the “environment”. Seriously, Vermont is not an environmental waste land, we do a really good job in protecting our environment, this is not needed. It does demonstrate clearly how our state is totally controlled by lobbyists.

    So there is an entire new industry coming to Vermont, worth hundreds of millions of dollars and it won’t even be considered for act 250. See how the lobbyist and crony capitalists have complete control? We’ll have a pharmaceutical industry in our state that causes birth defects, lung cancer, lower the IQ of our youth, prevents many from operating heavy equipment, driving a truck, doing work on aircraft and generally speaking adds no real benefit to society, increases poverty for users and along with a productive life.

    Yet Pot will be a huge industry not subject to Act 250, how is this possible? I can’t build several homes without getting an Act 250 permit! We can’t get normal businesses without ACT 250 rearing it’s ugly head. Don’t say it’s agriculture, I’ve never seen the concern, fuss or taxation for somebody growing potatoes.

    Vermont is more corrupt, more like D.C then anyone realizes. Yup takes 10 years to get a permit for gas pumps at Costco. But we’ll become a hundred million dollar drug dealing state within 3 years, no permitting and no act250 review.

    Meanwhile Costco will have to rebuild an entire intersection at exit 16 to open what, 10 gas pumps? Even if it were a 100 gas pumps. See those connected to Montpelier don’t want competition, one company could lower gas prices 10-30 cents a gallon. Yeah, the crony capitalism net work in Montpelier does not like change…….unless they can profit, in this case to become drug dealers.

  11. If these enviro-nazis want to “protect” forest blocks then they can either buy my land or I will rent them individual trees on a yearly lease to absorb and hold carbon. I think that is reasonable. Otherwise, any further attempts to limit the use of our land should be considered an unconstitutional “taking” and we should be compensated for that theft.

    • I so agree Dave ! I thought Act 250 was garbage before. This newest version lends all Vermont land as just about worthless.

    • They also took our water without compensation about a decade ago. It’s all about taking for socialism and the new world order. If you look at the road map for Agenda 21, globalist zoning/land control, you’ll find we’re following the plan almost perfectly. The program isn’t about freedom, prosperity and charting your own course in life….become part of the collective they say…….and since most don’t own or steward any land they’ll be o.k. with taking your property. You see most don’t even know the constitution. We’ve been teaching kids for decades that socialism is cool, America is bad. Ask anyone under 40 if they know the difference between democracy and a constitutional republic. Ask them what form of government does the USA have. Bet you 95% will give you that wrong answer, this is a major part of our problem.

    • You sound like a farmer now.The Farm Bill is full of subsidies for farmers to NOT Grow certain crops.The same farmers that have a problem with me having 6 kids but being on disability.

      Alcoholism is a disease!

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