Environmental group backs Clean Heat Standard veto

Citizen group offers Legislator Contact Tool

By Guy Page

The Vermont House today is scheduled to vote on Gov. Phil Scott’s Friday afternoon veto of H715, the controversial Clean Heat Standard. 

The bill requires the Vermont Public Utilities Commission to devise a plan to replace carbon-based heating fuel with electric heat, weatherization and other heating sources. Supporters say it’s a difficult but crucial step to reducing Vermont’s carbon footprint. Opponents say it’s a highly bureaucratic government intrusion into the free market relationship between buyers and sellers, will increase heating and housing costs, and will do little to improve the environment. 

Scott vetoed the bill because it lacked an adequate “checkback” requiring an up-and-down legislative vote on the PUC plan, due for review in about two years. 

Here’s what’s known about the Demcratic House and Senate leaders’ efforts to override Gov. Scott’s veto:

  1. The House is scheduled to vote this afternoon, at a session that begins at 1 pm. H715 passed in the House without a checkback by 96-44 vote on March 16, and with a partial checkback by an 88-37 vote on May 3. 
  1. The vote – if it happens today – will be very close. Neither Democratic nor Republican legislative leaders are confidently predicting victory. If House Speaker Jill Krowinski skips over a vote today, it will indicate that – today, at least – she lacks the 100 votes needed to override the veto. Some State House observers predict the vote will be held tomorrow, when more lawmakers are expected to be present.
  1. The Clean Heat Standard faces opposition from both traditional, pro-business, small-government voices and some environmental organizations, including Vermonters for Clean Energy, led by environmental leaders often aligned with the political ‘left,’ including Annette Smith and former gubernatorial candidate James Ehlers. 

“The goal of establishing a Clean Heat Standard is to report overall reduction in emissions through buying and trading credits, rather than reducing pollution at source,” Smith said in an op-ed published today in Vermont Daily Chronicle. “These greenwashing schemes allow corporations to profit through buying and selling credits in what is essentially a shell game.”

  1. The Senate passed the CHS 23-7. However, some senator Republicans believe enough Democrats may cross over to deliver the necessary 11 votes to sustain the veto. 
  1. A citizen advocacy group, Vermont Stands Up, is urging Vermonters to use its Legislator Contact Tool to express their wishes to legislators. Below is a House legislative roll call from the 88-37 vote, indicating how each lawmaker voted on the bill vetoed by Gov. Scott. 
Ancel of CalaisYea
Anthony of Barre CityYea
Arrison of WeathersfieldYea
Austin of ColchesterYea
Bartholomew of HartlandYea
Birong of VergennesYea
Black of EssexYea
Bluemle of BurlingtonYea
Bongartz of ManchesterYea
Bos-Lun of WestminsterYea
Brady of WillistonYea
Briglin of ThetfordYea
Brown of RichmondYea
Brumsted of ShelburneYea
Burke of BrattleboroYea
Burrows of West WindsorYea
Campbell of St. JohnsburyYea
Chase of ColchesterYea
Christie of HartfordYea
Coffey of GuilfordYea
Colston of WinooskiYea
Conlon of CornwallYea
Copeland Hanzas of BradfordYea
Corcoran of BenningtonYea
Cordes of LincolnYea
Dolan of EssexYea
Dolan of WaitsfieldYea
Donahue of NorthfieldYea
Donnally of Hyde ParkYea
Durfee of ShaftsburyYea
Emmons of SpringfieldYea
Gannon of WilmingtonYea
Garofano of EssexYea
Goldman of RockinghamYea
Grad of MoretownYea
Hooper of MontpelierYea
Hooper of RandolphYea
Houghton of EssexYea
Howard of Rutland CityYea
James of ManchesterYea
Jessup of MiddlesexYea
Killacky of South BurlingtonYea
Kimbell of WoodstockYea
Kornheiser of BrattleboroYea
LaLonde of South BurlingtonYea
Lanpher of VergennesYea
Lefebvre of NewarkYea
Lippert of HinesburgYea
Long of NewfaneYea
Masland of ThetfordYea
McCarthy of St. Albans CityYea
McCormack of BurlingtonYea
McCullough of WillistonYea
Morris of SpringfieldYea
Mrowicki of PutneyYea
Mulvaney-Stanak of BurlingtonYea
Nicoll of LudlowYea
Nigro of BenningtonYea
Notte of Rutland CityYea
Noyes of WolcottYea
Ode of BurlingtonYea
Pajala of LondonderryYea
Partridge of WindhamYea
Patt of WorcesterYea
Pugh of South BurlingtonYea
Rachelson of BurlingtonYea
Rogers of WatervilleYea
Satcowitz of RandolphYea
Scheu of MiddleburyYea
Sheldon of MiddleburyYea
Sibilia of DoverYea
Sims of CraftsburyYea
Squirrell of UnderhillYea
Stebbins of BurlingtonYea
Stevens of WaterburyYea
Taylor of ColchesterYea
Toleno of BrattleboroYea
Townsend of South BurlingtonYea
Troiano of StannardYea
Vyhovsky of EssexYea
Walz of Barre CityYea
Webb of ShelburneYea
White of BethelYea
White of HartfordYea
Whitman of BenningtonYea
Wood of WaterburyYea
Yacovone of MorristownYea
Yantachka of CharlotteYea
Krowinski of BurlingtonNot Voting
Achey of Middletown SpringsNay
Brennan of ColchesterNay
Brownell of PownalNay
Canfield of Fair HavenNay
Cupoli of Rutland CityNay
Dickinson of St. Albans TownNay
Fagan of Rutland CityNay
Feltus of LyndonNay
Goslant of NorthfieldNay
Gregoire of FairfieldNay
Hango of BerkshireNay
Helm of Fair HavenNay
Higley of LowellNay
Kascenska of BurkeNay
LaClair of Barre TownNay
Laroche of FranklinNay
Lefebvre of OrangeNay
Leffler of EnosburghNay
Marcotte of CoventryNay
McCoy of PoultneyNay
McFaun of Barre TownNay
Morgan of MiltonNay
Morrissey of BenningtonNay
Murphy of FairfaxNay
Norris of SheldonNay
Norris of ShorehamNay
Parsons of NewburyNay
Peterson of ClarendonNay
Rosenquist of GeorgiaNay
Scheuermann of StoweNay
Shaw of PittsfordNay
Small of WinooskiNay
Strong of AlbanyNay
Surprenant of BarnardNay
Toof of St. Albans TownNay
Walker of SwantonNay
Williams of GranbyNay
Beck of St. JohnsburyAbsent
Bock of ChesterAbsent
Burditt of West RutlandAbsent
Cina of BurlingtonAbsent
Colburn of BurlingtonAbsent
Elder of StarksboroAbsent
Graham of WilliamstownAbsent
Harrison of ChittendenAbsent
Hooper of BurlingtonAbsent
Jerome of BrandonAbsent
Kitzmiller of MontpelierAbsent
Labor of MorganAbsent
Martel of WaterfordAbsent
Mattos of MiltonAbsent
Morgan of MiltonAbsent
O’Brien of TunbridgeAbsent
Page of Newport CityAbsent
Palasik of MiltonAbsent
Pearl of DanvilleAbsent
Smith of DerbyAbsent
Smith of New HavenAbsent
Sullivan of DorsetAbsent
Terenzini of Rutland Town

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