Editor’s note: Yesterday, Gov. Phil Scott’s office announced that Wednesday morning (today) “Governor Phil Scott will be joined by Secretary Flynn and others in St. Johnsbury to discuss the investments Vermont has made in EVs, including for the State’s fleet of vehicles. The Executive Protection Unit of the Vermont State Police will also be delivered its first all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning, which will serve as the Governor’s official security vehicle. It is believed that Vermont will be the first state whose governor travels primarily by an all-electric vehicle.”
According to Truecar.com, “Prices for a new Ford F-150 Lightning currently range from $41,669 to $104,594.”
In response, Democratic gubernatorial presumptive nominee Brenda Siegel (above) sent a press release headlined “Brenda Siegel’s Statement on Climate & Being Chauffeured In An Electric Vehicle.”
by Brenda Siegel
The Governor announced today that he will be driven in an electric vehicle. I will begin by committing to doing the same as Governor. This is a no brainer and an easy yes. However, I would be remiss if I did not make a statement to point out how obstructionist this Governor has been when it comes to climate progress.
This year alone Governor Scott Vetoed several bills that would have helped move us closer to our climate goals, Including both the Clean Heat Standard and some changes to Act 250. Instead he has continued to slow or stop progress. He has called the Global Warming Solutions Act unconstitutional. While being driven in an electric vehicle is the right thing to do, it will do almost nothing to achieve our climate goals.
Low and moderate income people can not afford solar panels, heat pumps or electric vehicles and in fact it is a privilege to be driven in or to drive an electric vehicle. Some would call it the pinnacle of privilege to be chauffeured in an electric vehicle while putting sticks in the spokes of progress for everyone else. It is important to remember that our state is made up of mostly low and moderate income people. That means that if the solutions do not reach them, they are not true solutions.
If we want to solve the climate crisis we must build and support in state renewable energy. Update and expand our transportation system. Support our small farms to transition to carbon sequestration and require our large farms to do the same. When we talk about access to electric vehicles, solar panels, heat pumps and more, we must ensure that these discussions and solutions center those most marginalized and reach all Vermonters or we are not solving the climate crisis at all.
For years the Public Utilities Commission has been packed with people who have effectively stopped in-state renewable energy from being built. In no time, our contract with out of state energy will end and the cost will then rise. Those increased costs will then be placed on the tax payers. The same tax payers that have no access to personal energy solutions. These are people that were appointed by the Governor and is an essential shift that must be made.
Again, this is the right thing to do and an easy yes and one that I too will do as Governor. But this without climate action this does not do anything to move us toward our climate goals. We need a Governor who does the difficult and necessary work to take Bold Climate Action and leave a better Vermont for our children and our planet. We can not afford two more years of this type of obstruction to our climate goals. Good enough is not enough. The world is burning. We have to do better.