Ban Any New Pipelines in Vermont!

350VT’s Position on Climate Legislation

Our number one priority at the State House is to ban any new, large-scale fossil fuel infrastructure in Vermont. NO MORE PIPELINES! Bills that will explicitly help us achieve this are H.51, S.66, and H.175.

In addition, 350VT supports the climate change legislation proposed in the 2020 Climate Action PlatformHowever, we feel the proposals need to be strengthened to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a real and immediate way.

This platform includes the “Global Warming Solutions Act,” H.688. The idea behind the bill is to hold Vermont accountable to its GHG emissions goals by allowing citizens to sue the state for not reaching these goals. 350VT supports this, but the bill as introduced is a far cry from the systemic change we need!

We’re also pushing for Sen. Pollina’s “Green New Deal” bill, S.311— which would essentially create a wealth tax (from the top 5%), then use the $30 million raised per year to fund climate solutions like weatherization and mass transit! Read more HERE.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED:

  1. Join us for our 4th annual Mother Up! Lobby Day— where we uplift and highlight the voices of families and children! Our kids deserve a future, and we’re making sure Governor Scott and the Vermont Legislature act to preserve it!
  2. Join our Citizen Advocates working group! We’re organizing statewide to connect Vermonters to their elected officials, and pressing them to take meaningful action on climate! We’ll help connect you with your elected officials and guide you through everything from phone banking to grassroots lobbying to direct action in Montpelier!
  3. Call Gov. Phil Scott and let him know his so-called “climate policies” (if they exist) are not enough! We need Action! 1-800-649-6825

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WHAT ARE WE CALLING FOR?

GLOBAL WARMING SOLUTIONS ACT MUST BE STRENGTHENED BY:

  • Including a ban on any further development or expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in Vermont, such as gas pipelines. (We are still pushing for H.51/S.66, which would ban new pipelines, and H.175)
  • Requiring Vermont achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2032 and decarbonization by 2040 as proposed in the Vermont Youth Climate Congress Declaration. 
  • Including a stronger right to private citizen action to ensure private citizens will have legal standing.
  • Establishing tighter limits on the use of carbon offsets, no greater than 10%, and assurance of no adverse impacts on people or ecosystems. 
  • Including stronger language on the need to address a just transition. 

Additionally, as either part of the GWSA or as separate legislation, we must: 

  • Create effective forest and agricultural policies that prioritize restoring water quality, building soil health and protecting ecosystem functions and resiliency. Create economic incentives and educational support for farmers in the transition to truly regenerative practices that sequester carbon, preserve soil health and water quality. (See our Put Carbon in the Ground page!)
  • Actively work to serve the needs of marginalized communities who are socio-economically and geographically vulnerable to the effects of climate change, as proposed in the Vermont Youth Climate Congress Declaration. This includes prioritizing people of color, rural and indigenous communities and low income Vermonters in a comprehensive new disaster preparedness and response plan, as well as prioritizing these communities’ access to educational facilities, incentives, job training, and transition assistance, among other critical services. 
  • Create a state operated public education effort, similar to a public health campaign and including K-12 school curriculum, to fully inform all Vermonters about the climate crisis and the need to act boldly now. 
  • Reduce the renewable energy credits from Hydro-Quebec to zero when the current contracts run out, or cap at 220 MW. 

Expand incentives for community solar projects.

 

“GREEN NEW DEAL”: S.311

As stated above, 350VT is pushing for Senator Anthony Pollina’s bill, S.311, which would impose a tax on the top 5% of earners Vermonters. The fund would finance  climate solutions such as weatherization, electric vehicles and public transportation, renewable heating systems. (350VT will work to ensure this does not include “Renewable Natural Gas!“)

S.311 would also establish an advisory board to set priorities and oversee funding, with 12 members: 4 legislators and 8 citizens with expertise in energy efficiency, renewable systems, housing, building trades, transportation efficiency and the Vermont Youth Climate Congress. 350VT is also advocating for the panel to address issues of racial and socioeconomic disparity.

OTHER BILLS:

There are tons of other concerns that we have, such as the subsidization of the fossil fuel industry (Vermont Gas) through Vermont’s “Efficiency Utility” program, and With regard to the Renewable Energy Standard, keeping“renewable natural gas” (biogas) out of the equation. The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) is a 12-state program is also a highly contested piece of legislation that 350VT will likely take a stance on once we see a proposal. We’ll keep this page updated as we learn more about bills being introduced!

350VT’s PAST WORK ON CLIMATE LEGISLATION

Check out our Re)Generate New Solutions campaign; in partnership with our grassroots supporters, we were able to pass resolutions in 55 towns across Vermont calling for a halt to any new fossil fuel infrastructure and a move towards renewable energy!

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Building on that success, in 2019 we made a waves with our Next Steps: Climate Walk– 350+ people, lead by youth activists, flooded the State House to demand a statewide ban on any new pipelines, walking 65+ miles along the current Vermont Gas pipeline route to get there. Read more about that in our Fossil Fuel Resistance page.