Just Transition
Frequently Asked Questions

What is meant by bio-fuels? Does that include efficient wood stoves, and pellet stoves? Large-scale (school, hospital) pellet boilers? Outdoor boilers?

Answer: We are talking about massive clear cutting and biofuels from crops that decimate ecosystems and displace food crops –  not small scale, sustainably harvested wood for efficient stoves and pellet stoves. “Northern biofuel laws and policies have violated the right to food of some of the world’s poorest people by increasing food prices and triggering large-scale land acquisitions that deprive local communities of access to land, water, and food. Biofuels represent the intensification of an industrial model of agricultural production that destroys local ecosystems, contribute to climate change, and exacerbates food insecurity. Ironically, the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of many biofuels exceed those of the fossil fuels they replace.” From the Environmental Justice Implications of Biofuels, Carmen Gonzales, Seattle University School of Law Digital Commons

When you say emission free electricity, what kind of energy source are you intending? Modern/safe nuclear power? Something else?

Answer: We’re talking about deep weatherization (air-sealing and insulation) to minimize the need for heating and then supplying the rest of the demand with heat pumps powered by renewable energy.  Conservation of energy is also important, of course.  We are not talking about nuclear.

My understanding was that solar hot water is on the way out and a more efficient use of roof space would be to put in photovoltaics that power an electric heat pump water heater. Is that not the case?

Answer: Overall, I would agree that if you’re switching from a FF or electric resistance water heater, it’s now a better investment to put up solar panels and a heat pump water heater.

The talking points for S. 232 and S.64 say: “350Vt opposes S.232 which would increase the amount of energy we get from Hydro-Quebec, Renewable Natural Gas, and from selling and purchasing of Renewable Energy Credits (Tier 1 in our RES)”. I have not been able to find the basis for the statement that S. 232 would increase the amount of energy sourced from Hydro-Quebec (HQ), etc. 

Answer: the part of the RES increased to 100% by S.232 is tier 1, which can be met by large hydro, among other things, it can be met by direct purchase of electricity, or by credits for renewable attributes that come without actual power. VT currently gets about a quarter of our actual electricity from HQ, under contract until 2038, and that won’t change.  The rest of our tier 1 requirements are met, almost entirely, by those other credits from HQ.  Why? Because nobody else accepts them as renewable, and there is a vast quantity.  As a result they are very cheap.  S.264 does boost the tier 2 requirement to 25%, which means smaller, local, new. It also limits the amount of tier 1 that can come from large hydro.