In today’s Climate Dispatch, VCV’s Lauren Hierl is joined by VPIRG’s Ben Edgerly Walsh and Energy Action Network’s Jared Duval for an exciting update on the progress of H.715, the Clean Heat Standard.
The Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee voted 4-1 today to advance a significantly-improved Clean Heat Standard. This policy is the single largest pollution-reduction plank of the Climate Action Plan. This is the most impactful piece of climate legislation under consideration in the Vermont Legislature this year and has the potential to put Vermont on a course to reduce planet-warming pollution in the state’s second-most carbon intensive sector and help Vermonters access more cost-effective, climate-accountable, local heating solutions.
The Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee made numerous and substantive changes to improve the greenhouse gas accountability, equity provisions, and to help ensure it will reduce climate pollution in line with our state’s mandatory climate commitments. In the Dispatch, we dig into a number of the key improvements to the bill. We worked hard to ensure the bill meets our principles of:
- Requiring fossil fuel companies to cut climate pollution in the heating sector in line with Vermont’s legal emissions reduction requirements, as outlined in the Global Warming Solutions Act.
- Achieving emissions reductions using a transparent, lifecycle approach; taking into account the full emissions created with options like biofuel.
- Centering equity and requiring that a significant portion of clean heat benefits go to low- and moderate-income Vermonters, and those who have disproportionately borne the high cost of polluting fossil fuels.
Call to Action
The version of the Clean Heat Standard that advanced today through committee is strengthened considerably from the version that passed the House, and achieves the principles laid out above. The bill will next head to the Senate Appropriations Committee, and then to the Senate floor. Now is the moment to reach out to your Senators! Let them know you support bold and equitable climate action and you want them to advance the Clean Heat Standard.
It’s critical to show that the state is willing to take the hard actions on climate that are laid out in our state’s Climate Action Plan. We will continue to keep you updated on the progress of this bill and many others as the session progresses, so stay tuned for more soon!