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Vermont Energy Independence Day - March 21st
It Could Come Down to Your Senator.... Send your Senator an urgent message to OPPOSE Bill S.30


Vermont Energy Independence Day — March 21st!

Statehouse Lobby Day & Film Premiere

We need your help! There is a growing need each year to take substantive action on climate change and, in doing so, save Vermonters money and transition to the 21st century clean energy solutions that will grow our economy.
This Thursday, please join us for a citizen lobby day to assert Vermont’s commitment to climate action and energy independence!
Last year lawmakers recognized March 21st as “Vermont Energy Independence Day;” a day to celebrate Vermonters working tirelessly to save energy, transition to renewable energy and do our part to combat climate change. People across the state shared their stories in a “crowd sourced” film intended to capture that momentum on camera. This Thursday is a  “Clean Energy Citizen Action Day at the State House, which will culminate in the premiere of the “Vermont Energy Independence Day” film. Plan to attend this ½ day event and:
·      Shape essential clean energy legislation! Learn about important energy legislation under debate in the Statehouse.
·      Get a brief training on how to talk to lawmakers about your energy interests.
·      Meet with your legislators to share your views on clean energy issues and proposed legislation.
·      Stay for the premiere of screening of “Vermont Energy Independence Day,” by Bright Blue Media, at 4pm and a reception to follow.
Find out far more and RSVP here: http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/5980/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=293558
This is a critical moment in Vermont’s energy future. In hard economic times and with a climate crisis bearing down on us, will Vermont lead the way in essential solutions? We hope so, and we need to! Join us this Thursday to ensure that happens.
We hope to see you Thursday!
Vermont Natural Resources Council
Conservation Law Foundation
Vermont Public Interest Research Group
350 Vermont
Sierra Club – Vermont Chapter
Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance


ENERGY INDEPENDENCE DAY PLATFORM
 
FUNDING HEATING EFFICIENCY
Investing in heating efficiency is one of the single most cost-effective ways Vermonters can reduce carbon emissions, save money, and help build the local economy. Two House bills — H.519 and H.520 — will likely head to the floor for a vote soon, and our goal is to urge the Senate to improve the bill by adding the robust funding essential to meeting the state's goal of weatherizing 80,000 homes by 2020. Both Representatives and Senators need to hear from constituents that funding programs that make it easier and more affordable for Vermonters to complete home energy projects is the responsible thing to do.
 
MAINTAINING COMMITMENT TO CLEAN ENERGY
S.30 — This was originally a bill targeted at banning big wind. It’s morphed significantly and no longer places a moratorium on wind. Instead, it reaches more broadly and targets all renewables over 500 Kw — adding significant hurdles for community-sized solar projects and more. A broad coalition of environmental groups as well as the business community oppose the bill as written because it overreaches and targets clean energy and not dirty energy projects. Simultaneously, there are exhaustive efforts underway in the work of the Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission, looking at ways to improve the siting process for energy projects. This bill gets in front of that. S.30 will go to the Senate floor for a full vote this week.
 
REQUIRING TAR SANDS TO GO THROUGH ACT 250
H.27/S.56 – This is a bill pertaining to jurisdiction of Act 250 and oil pipelines.  This bill — and our goal — is aimed at strengthening Act 250’s role in regulating oil and petroleum pipelines, especially the Portland-Montreal pipeline, which pipeline owners are eagerly hoping to transport tar sands oil.  We’re working to make sure that this bill is as strong as possible to give Vermonters a better seat at the table when it comes to potentially serving as a conduit for the world’s dirtiest oil.  Last week, the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee passed its version of the bill — S.56 — out of committee and it will now go to the Senate floor and, if passed, on to the House.
 
VERMONT YANKEE: FUNDING GREENFIELDING
H.139 – This bill would require additional funding (beyond decommissioning funds that are under the jurisdiction of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission) for the clean-up and green fielding of the site. The bill is currently in the House Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.
 
FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT
H.271 – Our goal is to get state pension funds divested from dirty energy companies.  The bill is currently in the House Committee on Government Operations.

It Could Come Down to Your Senator.... Send your Senator an urgent message to OPPOSE Bill S.30


The upcoming vote on Bill S.30, designed to stop the development of clean, renewable energy projects in Vermont, is projected to be very, very, very close with the Senate tie breaker going to our anti-wind Lt. Governor Phil Scott.

With your help NOW, we can still stop on what is likely the most anti-environmental piece of legislation that will be seriously considered all year.  Send your Senator(s) an urgent message to OPPOSE attacks on clean energy now!

The bill - S.30 - is designed to stop the development of clean, renewable energy projects in Vermont.  It is opposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Bill McKibben, and the state's leading environmental organizations, including VPIRG, the Vermont Natural Resources Council, Conservation Law Foundation, the Vermont chapter of the Sierra Club, 350VT, Citizens Awareness Network, the Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance, and the Northeast office of the National Wildlife Federation.  

And let's not forget, whenever they're asked, the overwhelming majority of Vermonters also say they support renewable power, including the 69% who said they'd like to see more wind developed in their own communities in the most recent statewide poll. (1)

If S.30 is passed, it will give preferential treatment to dirty energy generated by coal, gas, oil, hydro and nuclear facilities over renewable power proposed right here in Vermont.  Even community-scale solar and wind facilities will be subject to the local and regional bans allowed under the bill.   Meanwhile, the giant power lines necessary to bring in dirty energy from outside the state will be exempt from any new restrictions.  

Send a message to your Senators, urging them to OPPOSE S.30 right away.  VPIRG believes we all have a responsibility to play an active role in generating the clean energy that Vermonters want.  The state's long-term energy plan calls for 90% of our energy to come from renewable sources by 2050.  We can't reach that goal if S.30 passes.  We cannot afford to retreat from our state's commitment to clean energy now.  

Please take just a moment to contact your Senators right now.  The vote is close and here's what Sen. Sanders has said is at stake: "If Vermont ceases new wind development the message will go out all across the country, spread by the well-funded coal and oil companies, that even in Vermont - progressive Vermont - there is not a serious commitment to combating global warming."

That you, 
Paul Burns
VPIRG Executive Director


(1) http://www.csc.vsc.edu/polling/feb26_2013/windpower.htm

 
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