Yesterday, the Vermont Legislature successfully fixed and passed legislation to correct unintended errors in the energy siting bill, S.230. Lawmakers addressed and replaced concerns over wind energy sound standards and added the required funding for local and regional participation in energy siting decisions.
VNRC applauds the Legislature, and the leadership of Senators Chris Bray and John Campbell, Representative Tony Klein, and House Speaker Shap Smith for taking decisive action. The original intent of the bill remains intact and the modified legislation, S.260, is important for many reasons:
- It will help combat climate change and meet our renewable energy goals – in ways that work better for communities;
- it will add a needed planning and public engagement framework that will better balance community concerns with our need to transition to more local, renewable resources;
- it will increase protection of high quality agricultural soils;
- it creates incentives for solar projects located on rooftops, parking lots, landfills, and other areas Vermonters have identified as area where they would like to see renewable energy development occur; and
- it will not create a de-facto moratorium on wind energy.
Thanks, also, to our members and activists for asking legislators to make the needed fixes to this important legislation. Your timely support made a difference and Vermont is now in a better place to reach our clean energy goals.