The Climate is changing and so must we.
Vermont must do its part to reduce our carbon output, like everywhere else across the country and globe.
As a member of the Legisaltive Climate Solutions Caucus, I was glad to be part of the effort that passed the Global Warming Solutions Act- and overode the Governors veto.
GWSA will develop a long-needed plan to pull together the efforts to reduce carbon and set the goals we need to reach and hold us to meeting those goals.
Thisyear we started passing bills to implimnet these ideas.
Unfortunately,the Governor again vetoed important legislation, the Clean Heat Standards bill.
WIth the price of gas and heating fuel soaring, this bill would take a large step towards disconnecting Vermonters from the clutches of carbon fuel monpolies.
We will keep working on this, as our future depends on us making progress.
Here are some of our investments in Climate Actions this year;
The FY2023 budget of $8.3 billion includes $566.7 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Of that amount, $129.8 million is allocated for weatherization and other climate change mitigation investments. These allocations are informed by the knowledge that, in Vermont, transportation and thermal (building heating) are the sectors that pose the greatest challenges in reducing greenhouse emissions.
Additionally, the FY2023 budget includes climate investments from both General Funds and Transportation Funds: $32.2 million and $600,000 respectively. These allocations support electric vehicle charging infrastructure, electrification incentives, and investments in public transportation.
One last investment is an additional $8 million in General Funds to provide up to 70% reimbursement to municipal and cooperative electrical distribution utilities for implementation of Advanced Metering Infrastructure. This infrastructure provides the necessary information to help improve energy efficiency, while also helping utilities manage costs and improve customer service.
The climate is changing. Vermont must change, too.
Ticks and emerald ash borers, droughts and downpours, February sugaring and May heat waves. A single decade has brought environmental changes we all can see. Perhaps less obvious are the economic changes. Crop failures in the Middle East and Central America spawn violence, war and mass migrations. Fossil dependence fuels Putin's war machine. Oil and gas prices double in a year. Climate instability is driving economic instability.
But instability brings opportunity. Solar and wind are now the most economic modes of electric generation, and batteries and other storage technologies are following quickly. Automakers are committing to selling only electric vehicles within a dozen years. Vermont must reconfigure our grid, as well as weatherize our buildings, transition off fossil fuels, and build resilience in our infrastructure and communities. Technological change is disruptive, but also a gold mine for entrepreneurs and a job creator for workers. Vermont is on the threshold of its biggest opportunity in a hundred years. Let's seize it!