News & Updates
April 4, 2013
We’re coming to the end of a long heating season – thank goodness. Over the past 10 years, the cost of heating Vermont’s buildings has more than doubled – as the price of fossil fuels has risen. And, the majority of the $600 million a year we spend goes right out of state.
April 3, 2013
Vermont leads nation in collecting discarded mercury thermostats
Montpelier, VT – While a manufacturer-run program for collecting mercury thermostats is failing to keep the toxic heavy metal out of the trash—and the environment—in most states, Vermont leads the nation in per capita collection rates, according to a new report released today by the Mercury Policy Project and VPIRG. The report estimates that, at most, the industry recycling program has captured 8% of mercury thermostats coming out of service nationally in the past decade.…
April 1, 2013
NEWS RELEASE: Vermont Senate votes unanimously to ban toxic flame retardant chemicals
March 29, 2013
Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Senate voted unanimously in support of legislation to ban toxic and ineffective flame retardant chemicals (S.81, vote 28-0-2). Chlorinated Tris, a chemical targeted in the bill, was banned from children’s pajamas in the 1970s because it causes cancer, but in the meantime has become commonly used in furniture and other children’s products.
“VPIRG commends the Senate for their decisive vote to protect our children and fire fighters from unnecessary toxic chemicals,” said Lauren Hierl, environmental health advocate at VPIRG.…
March 27, 2013
We’re looking for two new team members to help with some of the more behind the scenes magic that keeps this organization ticking – a Membership Coordinator and a Data Coordinator.
VPIRG is looking for a mission-driven individual with strong writing, relationship-building and fundraising skills to serve as our Membership Coordinator. The right candidate understands member-based advocacy organizations and enjoys strategizing how to garner support for our work. Responsibilities will include: member communications; direct mail, phone and online giving campaigns; major donor drives, donor prospecting and cultivation; and other member outreach and cultivation activities.…
March 26, 2013
Just hours ago, VPIRG’s organizers, advocates, student interns and member activists were helping our advocates behind the scenes to fight a bill (S.30) that threatened to throw the brakes on to renewable energy projects in the state. And now, after a lengthy Senate debate and vote, we’re celebrating a major victory for Vermont’s clean energy future!
Up until the final minutes of debate, the bill – S.30 – remained fundamentally anti-renewable energy piece of legislation, designed to make it harder to build wind and other renewable projects.…
March 26, 2013
Montpelier, VT – Vermont received a “C+” when it comes to government spending transparency, according to “Following the Money 2013: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data,” the fourth annual report of its kind by a federation of public interest research groups that includes the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG).
“State governments across the country – including Vermont – have become more transparent about where public money goes, providing citizens with the information they need to hold elected officials and businesses that receive public funds accountable,” said Paul Burns, executive director of VPIRG.…
March 25, 2013
The goal of S.152, which is headed to the Senate floor later this week, is simple: give you the heads-up when your health insurance company wants to raise your premiums. The bill, which earned approval from the Senate Appropriations committee on March 22, will make the process of reviewing proposed rate hikes both simpler and more transparent.
Currently, huge rate increases, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield’s currently proposed 24.4% rate increase on Catamount customers are subject to relatively no consumer input (to learn more about and submit comments on this rate increase, click here).…
March 21, 2013
To celebrate the first anniversary of “Vermont Energy Independence Day,” a coalition of environmental organizations – including 350 Vermont, Citizens Awareness Network, Conservation Law Foundation, Sierra Club – Vermont Chapter, Vermont Natural Resources Council, Vermont Public Interest Research Group, and Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance – joined citizen activists to advocate on the following platform of bills.
March 20, 2013
One law is helping Vermont take huge strides toward a more transparent health care system, where insurance companies are held accountable for denying legitimate claims, and for spending your premium dollars on advertising and lobbying, not on health care.
Thanks to a bill thought up, researched, drafted, advocated for, and supported by VPIRG and its members, data on the number and type of claims insurers deny–as well as spending on non-health care items, like lobbyists and marketing—is now available online for all Vermonters. Thousands of individuals and small businesses will have access to meaningful information that will help them make informed choices when it comes to their insurance company.…
March 20, 2013
Just a few weeks ago Bill McKibben told our legislators - the issue on which we will all be judged 50 years hence is how quickly and how boldly we moved to address the greatest challenge humans have ever faced.
This Thursday, March 21st – “Energy Independence Day” – is your chance to ensure your legislators follow through on Bill McKibben’s call to act quickly and boldly to end our dependence on dirty and dangerous energy sources. Click here to view the Vermont Energy Independence Day Platform.…