Climate council appointed; action plan due Dec. 1, 2021

Meeting 26% 2025 reduction goal would mean 130,000 fewer gasoline-powered cars on road, 50,000 fewer homes heated by oil, fuel dealers exec says

By Matt Cota, Executive Director, Vermont Fuel Dealers

October 29, 2020 – A 23 member Vermont “Climate Council” has been appointed (see members below) and will begin working on a “Climate Action Plan.” This plan must be finalized on or before December 1, 2021. After the plan is adopted, the Agency of Natural Resources will have six months to come up with a regulatory structure to enact the plan. The rules will then go into effect no later than December 1, 2022. If that doesn’t happen, the state of Vermont can and will be sued by environmental attorneys.

We don’t know what regulations will be proposed at this time. The Climate Council has the power to enact restrictions on the combustion of fossil fuels or the equipment and engines that depend on them. Under the GWSA, the state of Vermont must show a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2025. If emissions do not decline by at least 26%, anyone could sue the state. It doesn’t stop there. Vermont will have to show a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. And then 80% fewer emissions by 2050. If it doesn’t happen, the state of Vermont can and will be sued by environmental attorneys.

This emission reduction mandate aligns with the state’s decade old energy policy to virtually eliminate all petroleum in Vermont.

There are more questions than solutions at this point. How can an unelected “climate council” enact restrictions on the combustion of fossil fuels? And without a ban, how will the 2025 mandate be met?

More than 50,000 homeowners will have to voluntarily turn off their oil or gas heating equipment and more 130,000 gasoline powered cars would need to stay parked to reduce consumption by 26% over the next four years.

Who are the 23 members of the Vermont Climate Council?

The Speaker of the House, Rep. Mitzi Johnson, chose 8 members of the Council:

  • Catherine Dimitruk, Fairfax, Northwest Regional Planning Commission
  • Chris Campany, Newfane, Windham Regional Commission
  • Liz Miller, Burlington, Green Mountain Power
  • Johannah Miller, Montpelier, lobbyist for the Vermont Natural Resources Council
  • Michael Schmell, South Pomfret, Chief Operating Officer for Stone Road Energy
  • Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, South Burlington, Vermont State Climatologist
  • Adam Knudsen, Shelburne, Dynapower
  • Richard Cowart, Calais, Regulatory Assistance Project

Senate leaders chose 7 members of the Council:

  • Kelly Klein, Greenbell Meadery, St. Albans
  • Chad Farrell, Encore Renewables
  • Sue Minter, Capstone
  • Abby Corse, farmer, Windham County
  • Lauren Oates, The Nature Conservancy
  • Sarah Evans, youth member from Stowe
  • Jared Duval, Energy Action Network

The Climate Council also includes 8 members of the Governor’s cabinet:

  • Susanne Young, Secretary of Administration
  • Julie Moore, Secretary of Natural Resources
  • Anson Tebbetts, Secretary of Agriculture
  • Lindsay Kurrle, Secretary of Commerce
  • Michael Smith, Secretary of Human Services
  • Joe Flynn, Secretary of Transportation
  • Michael Schirling, Commissioner of Public Safety
  • June Tierney, Commissioner of Public Service

Categories: Energy

4 replies »

  1. This will not end well for Speaker Mitzi Johnson! Mitzi and Tim Ashe will face a multitude of resistance from the electorate and hopefully have Mitzi recalled from office! This is what happens when elected officials ignore their constituents and pander to the donor class.

  2. Governor Phil Scott must sign an executive order ASAP to disband that climate council as purely unconstitutional . TOMORROW !

  3. This is very similar to the death of Romaine Tenney who died to protest the taking of his farm for I-91. How many will die when they take our furnace or our cars or our stoves? All because we might have two weeks of hot weather in the summer.

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