Late yesterday, Governor Scott vetoed S.5, the Affordable Heat Act, after months of hard work by the Legislature to carefully design a program that delivers cleaner, more affordable, healthier heating choices to all Vermonters. The bill is now headed back to the Legislature for veto override votes in both the House and the Senate.
In this week’s Climate Dispatch, we’re joined by Representative Kathleen James, a member of the House leadership team, to talk about why this policy is so important for Vermonters and how we can support its enactment going forward – despite the Governor’s veto.
In recent weeks, the majority of legislators made clear they understand that the status quo is unaffordable, inequitable and unsustainable. Governor Scott, clearly, does not. Despite the Legislature delivering on his request for more information and an ensuing, affirmative vote in 2025 before program implementation, Gov. Scott, once again, proposes costly delay. Read what we and many other partners had to say yesterday about the Governor’s veto and our hopes for a successful legislative override of it next week.
Call to Action
Too many Vermonters are locked into unsustainable, dirty and expensive fossil fuels. People who can afford to transition to clean energy technology and save money on their heating bills are already doing so. We must continue to make forward progress and continue the work to design a transition that helps bring everyone along. The Affordable Heat Act is our opportunity to determine how we can build a clean energy transition that works for all Vermonters.
As Representative James makes clear, Vermonters, the Legislature and the Governor – as he requested – will get the answers they deserve and need before any program could actually take effect. We cannot continue to punt on climate action.
This time last year, a similar bill (the Clean Heat Standard) failed to override the Governor’s veto by just one vote, so we’re not taking any chances. This is a really important moment – and we need your help. Please take a moment to send a message to your legislator urging them to pass S.5 and override Governor Scott’s veto! Or, call and leave a short message for your legislators with the Sergeant of Arms at 802-828-2228.
PS: We hope you can join us on Monday, May 8th at 12pm for a webinar with Representative James, Representative Stebbins, and a host of climate advocates to learn where the Affordable Heat Act stands within the legislative process and what YOU can do to take immediate action.