Energy, Energy Everywhere! Help Create the Synergy…
April 8, 2009
Calling All Energy- and Climate-Action Enthusiasts!
There’s a lot happening on the energy and climate change front, and it’s pretty good news for those who believe a clean, green, renewable energy future is not only possible but essential.
Below, find an update on state efforts as well as information about what Vermont’s congressional leaders are doing to tackle climate change and infuse millions into efficiency and renewables in Vermont.
Please read more below, take action and forward this information on to other friends, family, neighbors, members of your energy committee and others who support an innovative, efficient energy path forward.
At the state level:
*** The House Natural Resources and Energy Committee today passed ‘An Act Relating to Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency,’ a bill that takes an important step toward a clean energy future. Among H.446’s many promising provisions is the creation of a ‘standard offer’ contract for renewable energy generators and the expansion of the Clean Energy Development Fund to include thermal efficiency projects. Stay tuned for updates on opportunities to improve and hopefully enact this important bill.
*** ‘The Clean Energy Assessment Districts Act’ — S.54 — is an exciting bill that would enable Vermont municipalities to use their bonding power or other financial mechanisms to help interested Vermont property owners make more significant efficiency and renewable energy improvements.
S.54 needs a jolt of support, however. Let your lawmakers know how important this legislation is… including, potentially, to our ability to capitalize on some federal funds making their way into Vermont. The full Senate is expected to vote on the bill Friday. If successful there, it’s likely to be taken up by the House. Find out more about the legislation and how you can help by contacting your Senators and Representatives here.
At the federal level:
*** The ‘Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance’ (REEP) is an energy efficiency initiative championed by Vermont’s Congressman Peter Welch. REEP is an exciting component of the Waxman-Markey climate bill now under consideration. The REEP provision would increase efficiency 20 percent nationally by retrofitting millions of homes and commercial buildings through direct financial incentives.
*** The ‘American Clean Energy and Security Act’ — the Waxman-Markey draft climate bill under consideration in the U.S. House — could begin to turn our energy and climate change challenges into opportunity by shifting energy investments, growing green jobs and making companies pay to pollute. ACES includes a cap-and-trade system to reduce global warming pollution, expand energy efficiency programs and increase investments in renewable generation. VNRC’s affiliate, the National Wildlife Federation, is championing the bill. Read more about the bill, and NWF’s response to it, here.
*** The ‘Energy Efficiency and Conservation Energy Block Grant’ program is a component of the federal economic stimulus package. EECBG would infuse more than $10.3 million into Vermont in the coming years for energy efficiency and conservation projects. The state’s 10 largest communities will receive significant funding right out of the gate from this program. The remaining $9.5 million will be distributed through a competitive process or through the State Energy Program. Senator Bernie Sanders, the only U.S. Senator on the two key jurisdictional committees that address energy and climate change, is a key champion of this initiative. Read much more about it here.
Initiatives like these, which begin to shift our investments and tackle the energy and climate change challenges we face, require real leadership to turn them from potential into reality. There are important opportunities in the coming weeks to make sure your state and federal leaders know where you stand … and for you to ask them to stand there too. This synergy is crucial.
ACTION OPPORTUNITIES at the STATE LEVEL:
The Vermont Legislature is poised to recess after the first week of May. Make sure your representatives know where you stand on energy and climate action! Express your support for ‘An Act Relating to Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency’ and the ‘Clean Energy Assessment Districts Act’ and stay tuned to VNRC for advancements on these fronts — as well as the Vermont Yankee front — which could use a strong grassroots show of support.
ACTION OPPORTUNITIES at the FEDERAL LEVEL:
Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Peter Welch are all back in the Green Mountains on spring recess. Don’t miss an important opportunity to connect with them at home! Set up a face-to-face meeting with them or send each a letter. Let them know you hope they support a strong climate bill. As well, be sure to thank these steadfast energy- and climate-action champions for all their efforts, including their work to bring much-needed energy investments and incentives in to Vermont. Hearing support from their constituents is key to their ongoing commitment to building a clean, green energy future in Vermont and the nation. Find out where you can reach them here.
Lastly, VNRC’s Washington DC-based ally, 1 Sky, has compiled an incredibly handy toolkit for constituents interested in taking the opportunity during the April recess to meet with legislators. Click here to check out 1 Sky’s step-by-step tips on setting up Congressional or public meetings, as well as many other resources that explain the promising climate bill under consideration.
Thanks for all you do every day to foster a better, brighter future for Vermont!
The VNRC Team,
Elizabeth, Johanna, Jake, Jon, Jamey, Brian, Stephanie, Steve, Kim, John and James
P.S. Help us build a strong network of Vermonters who believe in clean, green energy and environmental stewardship as key to a strong economy and bright future. Encourage your friends, family and neighbors to become part of VNRC’s activist network by signing up here.