VPIRG supports Gov. Shumlin’s veto of the energy siting bill (S.230) and we strongly encourage legislators to fix the bill and send it back to the governor this week.
We favor the bill that legislators thought they were voting for when they passed it overwhelmingly on the last night of the session. VPIRG wants to see more progress on clean energy solutions and local communities empowered to take on a larger role in planning for how and where clean energy should be built.
Unfortunately, in the days since legislators left Montpelier, we’ve learned that some of the changes made to the bill in the closing hours of the session could unintentionally establish a moratorium on wind energy and create other problems for local planning and clean energy.
The problems in the bill were not caused by anyone trying to sabotage it. This is just the unintended consequence of having many people of good faith trying to make something positive happen when they’re up against the clock.
But now we know what the problems are, and we know that there are straightforward ways to fix them. So we urge members of the House and Senate to find common ground one more time this year when they return to Montpelier on Thursday. Let’s fix this bill and get it right for all Vermonters.
If the necessary fixes to S.230 are blocked for any reason, then VPIRG believes the governor’s veto should be sustained. This is not the time to put up roadblocks to clean energy, and unfortunately, we’re convinced that that’s what these last minute changes would inadvertently do.