April 16, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2013
Vermont Land Use Review Applies to Tar Sands Pipeline
MONTPELIER, VT April 15, 2013 Today a decision letter was issued finding that Vermont’s land use law – Act 250 – would apply to any attempt to pump dirty tar sands oil through a 63 year-old pipeline that runs through Vermont’ Northeast Kingdom through to Portland, ME. The ruling, issued by the Act 250 District Coordinator in St. Johnsbury, came in response to a request filed by six Northeast Kingdom residents and landowners, as well as several conservation groups.…
April 12, 2013
On Tuesday, we sent out an email blast asking our members to urge the Senate to seize their one opportunity to pass commonsense rules on money in politics. We’d caught wind that some state senators were playing political games with this important legislation, and we weren’t about to stand by and watch.
Guess what? Hundreds of member emails later on Friday afternoon, the political logjam blocking election reform finally broke! The Senate voted 24-3 in favor of the VPIRG-backed bill.…
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 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 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 15, 2013
For Immediate Release: March 15, 2013
Montpelier, VT – The Senate Health & Welfare Committee voted (4-0) on Friday morning to pass S.81, a bill that protects families and firefighters from toxic and unnecessary flame retardant chemicals.
“VPIRG applauds the Health & Welfare Committee for this decisive vote in favor of public health,” said Lauren Hierl, environmental health advocate at VPIRG. “Chlorinated Tris, one of the target chemicals in the bill, was actually banned from children’s pajamas in the 1970s because it’s such a potent cancer-causer. It’s hard to believe that we’re still having to fight – 35 years later – to remove this toxic chemical from nursing pillows, home furniture and other commonly used consumer products.”
Furniture and numerous baby products have high quantities of flame retardant chemicals like chlorinated Tris, which leach into the air and dust in our homes and into our bodies.…
March 8, 2013
Twenty-eight towns in Vermont went on the record to oppose the plan to pipe tar sands oil through Vermont’s 60+ year old pipeline.
The rising chorus of concern came after news this summer that Enbridge, Canada’s largest oil transport company, had teamed up with ExxonMobil to to pipe what is essentially high pressure, molten sandpaper through Vermont’s 60-year old pipeline. To put a stop the plan to repurpose the 750-mile pipeline route stretching from Alberta, Canada to port in Maine, VPIRG has joined 350.org, VNRC, the National Wildlife Federation, Conservation Law Foundation, NRDC and the Vermont Sierra Club to call for strengthening the state’s authority to require (and deny) a permit for Enbridge and ExxonMobil to pipe tar sands oil through Vermont.…
March 1, 2013
On March 1st, after weeks of testimony, the House Agriculture Committee passed H.112 (this year’s GMO labeling bill) with a vote of 8-3. While this is the first of many hurdles the bill has to clear in the legislative process, it is a very positive sign for all of us who support labeling genetically engineered foods.
This is another great success in a week where we held five grassroots forums around the state, and talked to hundreds of Vermonters.…
November 29, 2012
Three months after a plan to switch much of Montpelier’s downtown from oil to wood heat got a new lease on life, the Montpelier City Council cast a final vote on the project last night. Up for debate was whether to pump the extra heat from an upgraded wood fired boiler run by the state to Montpelier’s municipal buildings and local businesses. The City Council’s decision to build the full project rather than a shorter line that wouldn’t reach the business district or municipal buildings was well received by the attending crowd.
May 8, 2012
The 2012 legislative session marked another busy and successful year in advocacy for the public interest. We came into the session with ambitious plans – from taking on the Oil and Gas Industry to ban fracking to initiating a campaign to require GMO labeling to standing up to health insurers and making sure they cover the medical care they should. We take our role as “Vermont’s Voice” in the State House seriously – bringing research and policy analysis, strong partnerships and principled organizing and advocacy to the fore.