For Immediate Release: January 22, 2013
Montpelier, VT – A coalition of environmental, energy, and business groups today announced a clean energy and climate protection plan for Vermont. Collectively the groups represent thousands of Vermonters calling for prompt and ambitious action on clean energy and climate change. The Conservation Law Foundation, Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Vermont Natural Resources Council, 350 Vermont, the Building Performance Professionals Association, Renewable Energy Vermont, the Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Vermont Energy Investment Corporation called for the Legislature to:
- Invest in weatherization and renewables to reduce the cost of heating Vermont homes and businesses, as called for in the report of the Thermal Efficiency Task Force.
- Support action to prevent the transport of dirty tar sands oil across Vermont.
- Support continued development of renewables, including wind power of all sizes, in Vermont.
- Fully fund the Clean Energy Development Fund.
- Lay the foundation for the adoption of electric transportation in Vermont.
Advocates emphasized the significant economic benefits of investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy. “Vermonters have an opportunity to slash their heating costs by $1.4 billion dollars,” said George Twigg of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. “In addition to reducing heating costs, these investments support local job creation and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Vermont is a national leader in green jobs,” said Gabrielle Stebbins of Renewable Energy Vermont. “We are well-positioned to lead a transformation to a truly green economy, creating more good jobs and keeping more of our dollars here in Vermont.”
“The reality of climate change demands action this year. Climate change is happening now, and Vermont is not immune to its effects,” said Maeve McBride of 350 Vermont. “We can expect more Irenes and more weather weirding if we don’t quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and quit our fossil-fuel dependency.”
“The actions outlined build on the success of Vermont’s ongoing work to address climate change and grow a 21st century clean energy economy. They provide responsible measures to move Vermont forward while building environmental and economic resilience,” said Sandra Levine of Conservation Law Foundation.