by Guy Page
Mark Higley, the longtime House representative from Lowell, is lead sponsor on two new environmental bills swimming hard against the swift, powerful currents in the Vermont Legislature.
H.74, repealing the Global Warming Solutions Act, and H.73, revoking Vermont’s use of California’s emissions standards banning the eventual sale of new internal combustion cars, were introduced Friday morning into the Vermont House.
H.73 would prohibit Vermont from using California’s Clean Air Act waiver to set motor vehicle emission standards. The 2006 law commits Vermont to following any State of California emissions regulations, including its recent decision to ban the registration and sale of new, internal combustion vehicles by 2035. A legislative panel with oversight over state regulations agreed to adopt the new car sale ban last November.
Cosponsors with Higley are Carolyn Branagan of Georgia, Paul Clifford of Rutland City, Penny Demar of Enosburgh, Anne Donahue of Northfield, Gina Galfetti of Barre Town, Topper McFaun of Barre Town, Mike Morgan of Milton, Tom Oliver of Sheldon, Woody Page of Newport City, Joe Parsons of Newbury, Art Peterson of Clarendon, Terri Lynn Williams of Granby, and Charles Wilson of Lyndon.
H.74 would change the State’s greenhouse gas reduction requirements to goals and repeal the Vermont Climate Council. The GWSA committed the State to stringent carbon reductions, on pain of an all-expenses paid lawsuit brought against the State by a private party – likely to be one or more climate change organizations. It also created the Vermont Climate Council, which is creating and overseeing the state’s carbon reduction strategy.
All of the H73 co-sponsors signed on to H74 as well, as did Rep. Lisa Hango (Franklin). Both bills were assigned to the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy. Both bills are considered longshots in the Democrat-controlled Vermont House.
Another bill introduced Friday would ban outdoor smoking near multi-unit housing doorways.
H69, sponsored by Essex Democratic Reps. Karen Dolan and Lori Houghton, would “prohibit smoking cigarettes or using electronic cigarettes within 25 feet of any place of public access or of a multiunit dwelling.” The bill would expand smoking the law banning smoking in indoor public places.
The bill has been referred to the Human Services Committee.
Citizen advocates wishing to contact their legislators and/or committee members about these or other bills may access bill information and legislators contact information via the Vermont Daily Chronicle Toolbox to Follow and Influence the Legislature.