The Vermont State legislative session ended Friday, the 21st, but before we hop into a wonderful summer, we should reflect on why this legislative session meant something a little different for climate progress this year.
Although Vermont has a long and winding way to go to meet its climate goals, it is important to celebrate the wins we have along the journey. Vermont is investing in a clean future and that is certainly something to be psyched about!
Ten million dollars—seven zeros indeed—is being used on the Affordable Community-Scale Renewable Energy Program, to support and enable the creation of renewable energy projects for lower-income Vermonters. Breaking down barriers for people to help fight the climate crisis in a collective and accessible way is how we will succeed in this fight for our planet.
Another total of ten million dollars will go to the Clean Energy Development Board next year.
Let’s talk electrification. The state is investing almost 7 million dollars in electric vehicle and e-bike incentives, as well as emission repair programs and electric vehicle supply equipment grants. With more electric vehicles and e-bikes on the road, Vermonters are setting themselves up nicely to reach the maximum benefits of pairing these electrified uses with going solar. When Vermonters can produce electricity as locally as their own property, not only can they ensure power for their essentials like the lights and the refrigerator, but also for their mode of sustainable transportation!
Can we be doing more? Absolutely. But we’re not going to knock this win. The bottom line to all of this is that we are starting to seriously shift away from supporting fossil fuel infrastructure and utilization.
With millions of dollars in addition to this going to the workforce and business development as well as comprehensive energy planning, it is safe to say that progress is being made to keep the “Green” in the Green Mountain State.
By Jane Stromberg