For anyone interested in recent actions related to the Clean Heat Standard saga and questionable actions by the Public Utilities Commission. This Vermont Public news story may be insightful.
In sum, a contract for biogas-powered electricity from a New York landfill will generate little actual ‘renewable’ power for Vermont. And unlike the nuclear and hydropower the Legislature is turning its nose up at, it’s not even carbon-free generation.
It is evident that faux solutions will be sought after in order for Vermont to play the corporate carbon credit game. This will not offer any level of a real solution for Vermont or the environment. If it is solely based on a carbon metric with no measurable or actual impact then we are not making progress. Action and solutions must make sense and be tangible.
One of the major problems with the Global Warming Solutions Act is that its narrow emphasis on carbon distracts from solving the actual problems we face here related to a clean environment- water, land, air quality goals, chemical reductions and the issue of ubiquitous microplastics – found everywhere including human lung tissue.
There are multiple meaningful actions that VT can take to reduce and sequester our carbon, weatherize, and emphasize efficiency, while we diversify energy sources and build out supportive, necessary infrastructure and ensure equitable access to options for all.
The Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) also disturbingly allows anyone to sue Vermont if carbon reductions are not met. This is essentially akin to someone punishing themselves for getting an A instead of an A+. Vermont is doing an incredible job with living lightly on the earth and fostering and promoting sustainable lifestyles. Many are working hard and working towards a path that serves the environment and the people everyday with their choices to the capacity that they are able. There are kinder options and solutions that do not punish the people and businesses for not making the change quick enough. The GWSA will only result in a waste of taxpayer dollars in lawsuits versus the application of money to help people transition and aid the overall situation at hand.
Considerations regarding striking down and amending this aspect of the GWSA will help ensure that money does not get wasted with lawyers and the courts and will also help prevent impulsive, ineffective actions to “prove” carbon reduction. This way available funding can go towards creating the change we need and want to see happen here in VT.