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Environmental, Business, Farm Groups Call for Strong Action on Governor’s Inaugural Agenda

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: January 14, 2014

Environmental, Business, Farm Groups Call for Strong Action on Governor’s Inaugural Agenda

Montpelier, VT – A coalition of leading environmental, business, and farm organizations gathered at the Vermont State House today to call on the legislature to move aggressively on the renewable energy and clean water goals laid out by the Governor in last week’s inaugural address.

“The Governor described a number of ways Vermont must ramp up its efforts to tackle climate change and Lake Champlain clean-up, and we applaud his focus on these critical issues in his inaugural address,” said Lauren Hierl, political director for Vermont Conservation Voters. “Healthy waters and a clean energy future are central to Vermont’s identity and prosperity.”

“Gov. Shumlin was on the money when he highlighted the value of protecting clean water and promoting a clean energy economy,” said Ben Walsh, Climate and Energy Program Director for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. “Whether your chief concern is today’s jobs or the legacy we leave for future generations, this is the right thing to do.”

“Clean air and water are not only essential to Vermonters’ quality of life, but our state’s economy as well. Climate change and lake pollution threaten some of the state’s most valuable resources,” noted Daniel Barlow, public policy manager for Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. “Our member businesses know that a clean Vermont is a vibrant and successful Vermont. We look forward to working with Gov. Shumlin and the Vermont Legislature to ensure that the state moves forward this year.”

Andrea Stander, executive director for Rural Vermont added “Vermont’s ability to feed its citizens depends on clean water and clean energy. Rural Vermont represents a statewide community of farmers and their customers who are committed to methods of agriculture and other land-based businesses that protect and sustain the natural resources on which we all depend. We look forward to the opportunity to work with everyone who shares these values.”

“The Governor’s leadership is critical to turning the water pollution tide and keeping Vermont on a path to a clean energy future. The legislature should support and strengthen his proposals. To follow through in Lake Champlain cleanup we will need to see mandatory pollution limits and strong enforcement of existing programs so that polluters are bearing their fair share of the clean-up burden,” said Christopher Kilian, Conservation Law Foundation’s Vermont Director.

“The Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club was very encouraged to hear Governor Shumlin identify priorities for protecting Vermont’s natural resources,” said Mark Nelson, chair, Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club. “On behalf of our 9,000 supporters throughout the state, we hope that he and our legislators can deliver on programs that will promote the use of local, community-sourced clean energy, and reduce the phosphorous runoff that has too long polluted our lakes, rivers and streams.”

Brian Shupe, executive director for the Vermont Natural Resources Council said: “The Governor was very clear, and we agree, that pursuing a clean energy agenda is a significant economic opportunity for Vermont, and pursuing an aggressive clean water agenda is an economic imperative for the state.  We look forward to working with his administration, our partners, and the legislature to achieve our shared goals.”