The House Energy and Technology Committee is considering legislation that would set mandatory greenhouse gas reduction targets for the state. The proposal raises serious concerns about whether the goals can be achieved by reasonable policies that would avoid undue economic harm, and what the consequences could be if draconian policies are required to be implemented without sufficient review and checks and balances should mandatory goals not be met.
The bill would require reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in three stages:
2025: 26% below 2005 levels
2030: 40% below 1990 levels
2050: 80% below 1990 levels
For reference, in 2016 Vermont emissions were 13% above 1990 levels.
The bill would create a council to develop proposed rules and other programs to meet goals, with regular scheduled updates. However, if the mandatory goals are not met, the bill provides for private lawsuits against the state that would empower the courts to direct regulatory action by ANR to meet those goals. The combination of mandatory reduction goals and court intervention is the primary source of concern with this legislation.
We will addressing this legislation and related issues in greater detail in future updates, but in the meantime you can review the bill, recently introduced as H.688, by clicking here.
More Information and Contacting Legislators
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