Fighting the climate crisis, repowering Vermont, and saving Vermonters money with local, green energy solutions.
VPIRG is one of Vermont’s leading advocacy groups when it comes to fighting the climate crisis. Our strength comes from the thousands of Vermonters who have chosen to stand up for our future over the years, from establishing Efficiency Vermont, the first-of-its-kind energy efficiency utility in 1999, to retiring Vermont Yankee in 2014 after decades of organizing, banning fracking in 2012, and passing the Global Warming Solutions Act in 2020. We’re dedicated to this ongoing work, because we know that the climate crisis is upon us and it’s going to take far more bold action to overcome it.
The threat posed by global warming is an injustice unlike any other our world has ever faced, because we know that if serious steps are not taken to address it, the poorest and most marginalized among us will face the brunt of its impact. In fact, they already are. That’s why our climate team at VPIRG is committed to considering equity in every policy decision we make – asking ourselves questions like “Who will benefit from this policy?”, “What are the long term impacts for our children and future generations?”, and “What populations are already suffering, and how can we address that need first?”
We need to completely modernize our energy sector in Vermont and move towards carbon neutral alternatives for transportation, home heating, and more – and we have to do it in a way that lifts up and includes all Vermonters.
The passage of the Global Warming Solutions Act in 2020 marked a turning point in Vermont’s climate landscape. This bill sets the foundation for future action by creating the VT Climate Council, which consists of 23 members, who are tasked with putting forward a plan to reduce our carbon pollution and build the resilience of our communities to the effects of the climate crisis. [Read more below.]
But there is still change to be made in the legislature. We must move to modernize Vermont’s transportation system, making investments that will save Vermonters money while making reliable transportation options more accessible and cutting carbon pollution at the same time. To advance those goals, funding the investments outlined in the Transportation Modernization Act is among our top priorities in the 2021 legislative session. We also need to harness the resources and strength of our energy efficiency utilities, expanding their work on efficiency and electrification. And we must continue to expand our in-state renewable energy portfolio in order to reduce our carbon footprint, create jobs for Vermonters, and keep our energy dollars circulating in our own economy.
You can find out more about each of these priorities below, and be sure to stay tuned to our emails and social media platforms for ways to get involved.
Learn more about our Climate & Energy campaigns:
Recent Climate & Energy News
On March 28, 2012, over 250 local activists, community members, and legislators filled the ballroom at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier to join a discussion on the implications of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” for natural gas in Vermont. VPIRG co-hosted a public forum alongside VNRC, and 350.org bringing International, and local experts to tell their ...Read More
The Clean Energy Bill, H.468, just passed out of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee. If enacted, it would require Vermont utilities to provide Vermonters with 35% renewable energy by 2032, and guarantee that at least 100 MW of that energy would come from local, community scale resources through an expansion of Vermont’s groundbreaking ...Read More
In 2010, Vermont legislators voted to shutter a nuclear power plant, putting the state at odds with the federal government and the plant’s owner—the Louisiana-based Entergy Corporation. Public Meltdown explores the debate that roiled Vermont, including the lawsuits and court action that followed.Read More
Many of the groups who have led the massive grassroots, policy and legal effort to retire Vermont Yankee over the years gathered at the State House this morning to make clear that they aren’t going away or giving in on this 40th anniversary of the plant’s launch. March 21st is the day that was to have ...Read More
Late Friday, the Clean Energy Bill (H.468) passed out of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee, and it will be voted on by the full House of Representatives on Tuesday. Advocating for this bill has been a wild ride. Multiple representatives have told me it’s been one of the toughest bills they’ve ever worked on, ...Read More
An Update from VPIRG Director, Paul Burns, on Friday, March 16 As you know, nearly two months ago Judge Garvan Murtha handed Vermonters a significant defeat when he ruled that state legislators had exceeded their authority to regulate the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. In light of this decision and as we approach the date that VY ...Read More
When Judge Garvan Murtha ruled against Vermont a month ago in Entergy’s lawsuit against the state, he made very clear that the state still has authority over the plant, through Vermont’s Public Service Board. On Friday, the Public Service Board, which oversees all electric generation in the state, started to exercise that authority.Read More
By passing PACE, your municipality agrees to let homeowners pay back investments on energy renovations to their homes over time through a separate assessment on their property tax bill. So if your town adopts PACE, and you want to make your home more efficient or install solar panels (for example), you’ll be able to pay ...Read More