The House Committee on Energy and Technology advanced the Clean Heat Standard by a 7-2 vote last week and it’s headed to the Appropriations Committee next.
The legislation will regulate fossil fuel dealers in the state with an aim to ramp down emissions of the heating sector. The program will require a dealer to continually have a lower emissions footprint through a few possible avenues: they can sell less fuel than the year before in proportion to the requirement, pay a quarterly alternative compliance fee, or reduce that liability by offering fuels with lower greenhouse gas emissions, buying credits, or a combination of the two.
If the Clean Heat Standard becomes law, the Public Utilities Commission will spend about two years after the final passage of this bill working with stakeholders to generate the rules and regulation of the program in the context of what various fuel credits are worth, cost of compliance for the fuel dealers, and other details.
Even as legislators worked to finish the proposal this week, climate activists protested at the State House under the grievance that the Vermont legislature is not acting on climate change and calling this signature piece of legislation a false solution.
Republished from 2/25 Lake Champlain Chamber advocacy newsletter.