Vermont Senate gives initial approval to climate bill - Seven Days

For almost two months it’s been nothing by Covid, Covid, Covid on the Senate calendar. Yesterday the solons returned to one of their favorite pastimes - passing climate change legislation.

"Tension was on display right from the start, when Sen. Chris Bray (D-Addison) reported on S.337. The bill would allow energy efficiency utilities such as Efficiency Vermont to spend up to $2 million per year on programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation and heating sectors. This shift would allow Efficiency Vermont to broaden its mission beyond reducing electricity usage and lowering customers' electricity bills, to incentivizing people to use more electricity, such as by switching to electric cars or cold-climate heat pumps. Not allowing the organization to help reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions would be like a baseball team not putting an “ace pitcher” into a championship game, Bray said. But Sen. Randy Brock (R-Franklin) pointedly asked whether the bill would increase people’s electric bills instead of reducing them. He argued that broadening Efficiency Vermont's mission to incentivize electric cars over gasoline ones and electric heat pumps over fuel oil or wood heat would increase the demand for electricity."



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