Gov. Scott blocks renewable energy progress with shortsighted veto.

By Oliver Townsend May 29, 2024
Gov. Scott’s veto of the landmark renewable energy billis short-sighted.pngOrginal image from:

Gov. Scott’s recent veto of the landmark renewable energy bill has raised concerns among environmentalists, business groups, and advocates for clean energy in Vermont. The veto of H.289, a compromise legislation supported by various stakeholders, including electric utilities and environmental organizations, is seen as a setback for the state’s progress towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.

The Impact of the Veto

The veto of H.289 by Governor Scott has stalled the state’s efforts to modernize the Renewable Energy Standard and achieve the goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2035. This legislation, which aimed to increase support for new renewable energy projects and significantly reduce carbon pollution, would have positioned Vermont as a leader in clean energy innovation and climate action.

By vetoing this bill, Governor Scott has been criticized for prioritizing fossil fuel interests over the well-being of Vermonters and the state’s environmental future. The veto not only jeopardizes clean energy job growth but also leaves Vermont vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and reliant on outdated, polluting energy sources.

Reactions from Stakeholders

Various stakeholders have expressed their disappointment with Governor Scott’s decision to veto H.289. Peter Sterling, executive director of Renewable Energy Vermont, emphasized the importance of transitioning away from fossil fuels towards 100% renewable energy and criticized the governor for hindering progress on addressing the climate crisis.

Lauren Hierl, executive director of Vermont Conservation Voters, highlighted the opportunity for Vermont to lead the nation in renewable energy innovation and called on the legislature to overturn the veto. Johanna Miller, climate and energy program director at Vermont Natural Resources Council, pointed out the benefits of H.289 and the risks of the governor’s veto on clean energy job growth and climate resilience.

Ben Edgerly Walsh, climate and energy program director for VPIRG, echoed the sentiment that Governor Scott’s veto undermines the state’s efforts to combat the climate crisis. Vanessa Rule, Co-Director and Lead Organizer of 350VT, emphasized the need for urgent action in the face of climate change and criticized the veto for disregarding the will of Vermonters.

Call to Action

Supporters of H.289 are urging legislators to override the governor’s veto and ensure the enactment of this critical legislation. With bipartisan support in the Vermont House and Senate, there is hope that the veto can be overturned and the state can continue its trajectory towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.

It is essential for the Legislature to act decisively and prioritize the state’s environmental and economic well-being by overturning the veto of H.289. By upholding the necessary clean energy progress for Vermont, lawmakers can demonstrate their commitment to addressing climate change and securing a brighter future for generations to come.

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