Regrouping on Global Warming and Energy
The recent demise of the forward-thinking energy bill, H.520, is a deep disappointment. While the outcome is not surprising, it is troubling. Hundreds of Vermonters turned out July 11 to support this legislation, and thousands of Vermonters want real action now on this pressing issue. But Vermont’s failure to act decisively on this measure set the state back significantly in tackling climate change, reducing Vermonters’ energy bills and creating good jobs.
Political jockeying and short-sightedness capsized Vermont’s best effort yet to translate climate change talk into action. In the end, under the heavy weight of Governor Douglas’ opposition to the legislation, the House even failed to take up a Senate-passed, watered down version of the bill.
“Vermont missed a golden opportunity to enact strong legislation on climate change,” said VNRC’s Executive Director Elizabeth Courtney. “Global warming is not going away without decisive action. In just a few short months, concerned citizens will be back in the Legislature pushing again for action on energy efficiency and climate change,” she said.
VNRC will continue to work alongside our members and other concerned citizens to ensure Vermont enacts the policies and programs necessary to curb our greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. In the next legislative session, VNRC will, once again, push for expanded opportunities for efficiency and renewable energy. VNRC will also press hard for legislation that will begin to address the role transportation plays in the climate change challenge. Cars and trucks in Vermont pump out some 43 percent of Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“In January, we hope the governor and other legislative leaders will finally move beyond politics and get serious about tackling climate change,” said Courtney. “We look forward to working with these leaders to ensure Vermont addresses this pressing problem.”