Today VPIRG joined with more than 40 Vermont businesses and organizations and over 600 individual Vermonters to deliver a letter to Vermont lawmakers thanking them for their work thus far to respond to the COVID-19 crisis in Vermont and for continuing to make action on the climate crisis a priority this year.
Over the past two plus months, the legislature has been hard at work addressing the immediate needs of Vermonters as the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded. Legislators have passed or dug into putting a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, directing hazard pay to essential workers, enabling safe elections during the pandemic, addressing financial strains on our schools and state colleges, and many, many other critical issues.
At the same time, the other challenges and crises facing our state and our world have not gone away. In fact, many have been brought into even more stark relief as this public health and economic crisis has unfolded. And over the past week, the legislature has been able to begin shifting some of its time to focus on these other pressing issues.
The communities most impacted by coronavirus are the same communities most impacted by the high energy costs and toxic air pollution of our fossil-fuel-based energy system – and most at risk of experiencing climate disasters. To ensure that our recovery from the coronavirus leads to a more resilient, healthier state for all Vermonters, rather than a return to the status quo, we must make long-term investments in sustainable and climate-resilient communities and infrastructure.
That’s why we were encouraged to see the State Senate pass S.337 (the efficiency modernization pilot) and S.185 (the climate & public health planning bill) last week, and begin work on the Global Warming Solutions Act (H.688).
VPIRG, and the hundreds who signed the joint letter delivered today, urged legislators to continue work on these bills and to pass them this year.
Read the entire letter and see the full list of signers below.