VT Leaders Must Oppose Trump EPA’s Free Pass to Polluters Amid Crisis

It’s hard to be shocked these days by something the Trump administration does to harm the environment and public health. But several days ago, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made a truly shocking announcement. Now headed by Andrew Wheeler, a Trump appointee and former coal industry lobbyist, the EPA ...

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VPIRG Supports Measures to Keep Government Working; Elections Safe

The Vermont Senate voted today to adopt a number of temporary emergency reforms to facilitate the functions of government and democracy during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include changes to Vermont’s open meetings law and to elections, which could include a vote by mail process. The legislation (H.681) was negotiated during a series of teleconference meetings conducted ...

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Our Priorities Have Shifted…

VPIRG Executive Director Paul Burns here. Like so many others, I am working from home, making sure friends and relatives are secure, figuring out how to homeschool our 3rd grader, and trying to adjust. I know I’m lucky. So many Vermonters now find themselves on the front lines: medical professionals, grocery store clerks, delivery truck drivers, and ...

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Climate Action Film Festival Goes Digital in Response to COVID-19

You may have heard some buzz recently about SunCommon’s Climate Action Film Festival, featuring short films from near and far profiling inspiring individuals and communities working to take action to address the climate crisis. Many screenings have already taken place across the state, and several more were planned for the coming weeks. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, ...

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Bill to Ban Toxic Chemicals from Consumer Products Advances

In a strong showing of support to ban toxic PFAS chemicals from our consumer products, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee unanimously voted S.295— an act relating to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances—out of committee Friday, March 13th. This move comes after several weeks of testimony taken by the committee, including supportive testimony by Conservation Law Foundation, the Professional Firefighters of Vermont, Seventh Generation, Vermont ...

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A message from VPIRG Executive Director Paul Burns

We’re an organization proud of our defense of facts and good policy, and deeply committed to protecting the public interest. So, what does that look like in these uncertain times? When it comes to COVID-19, facts and good policy are evolving rapidly, but what is clear is that in order to protect the public interest, we share a ...

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Environmental Health Crossover Update & Call to Action

The VT Legislature is back from Town Meeting break and it’s crossover week, which means legislation needs to move this week if it’s to have a chance of being enacted this year. VPIRG director Paul Burns and Vermont Conservation Voters director Lauren Hierl came together to give an update on where several key pieces of ...

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Vermonters Want to Join the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI)

Vermonters support the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) – a bipartisan, regional effort to modernize transportation systems and reduce pollution – and want Gov. Phil Scott to join the compact.  Of the 353 comments submitted by Vermonters through the Scott administration’s TCI portal between April 2019 and February 2020, more than four out of five comments (83%) support the initiative. In addition to hundreds of citizen submissions, meteorologists, business leaders, and ...

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