GlobalFoundries, the largest electricity user in Vermont, is working on a deal with the Scott Administration to become a “self-managed utility,” cutting off its reliance on Green Mountain Power for electricity.
In doing so, GlobalFoundries is declaring it should be exempt from the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. If the state bows to their wishes, it would be putting energy policy authority for 8 percent of Vermont’s electricity usage – more than the amount used by the city of Burlington – in the hands of a multibillion dollar, multinational corporation.
This is a request for special treatment by a large multinational (and hugely profitable) corporation that no other company or ratepayer gets. And this special treatment would come at the cost of the public – Vermont businesses, utilities, and ratepayers – as we work to meet the climate pollution reduction requirements of the Global Warming Solutions Act passed with strong support from VPIRG members late last year.
GlobalFoundries’ outrageous request to be carved out of every major renewable energy and efficiency law in Vermont cannot be granted. In testimony, a GlobalFoundries representative stated that they “[do] not want to see” its emissions “increase.” That’s nice, but Vermont has a statutory mandate that statewide emissions decline significantly by 2025, and far further by 2030 and 2050.
A major corporation “not increasing” the pollution from its operations in Vermont, while the rest of us work together to cut carbon pollution and achieve our shared goals, falls far short of the mark.
If this deal goes through according to GlobalFoundries’ request, this utility would not have to follow Vermont’s clean energy or climate change pollution laws. GlobalFoundries has been explicit that the reason it wants to create its own utility is so that it can buy the cheapest power that is available in the market. Given fossil fuel companies are allowed to pollute nearly for free, that power is likely to come from fossil fuels – which means GlobalFoundries’ emissions could increase significantly.
What’s more, GlobalFoundries is the largest industrial polluter in the state, and it’s critical that the climate pollution it creates with the chemicals it uses to produce semiconductor chips also be cut substantially.
We can’t meet our climate pollution reduction requirements without every part of Vermont’s economy working towards those targets – that includes huge corporations like GlobalFoundries. We must stand up to this shady deal and hold both the Scott Administration and GlobalFoundries accountable to Vermont’s emissions standards.
Join our call to require GlobalFoundries to follow Vermont’s climate laws.