As discussed previously, the House Energy and Technology Committee has been working on legislation, H.688, that would establish mandatory goals for Vermont to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The bill would create a private right of action for suing the state if implementation benchmarks are not met. The Committee voted the bill out on Tuesday, and it is currently awaiting action in the House Appropriations Committee.
AIV led off testimony from the business community earlier this session, outlining concerns with the bill including:
- Lack of sufficient representation of key stakeholders, including from manufacturing and transportation, on the Vermont Climate Council created by the bill to impose policies and regulations to meet the greenhouse gas reduction goals;
- Unwarranted authority of the unelected Vermont Climate Council to require programs and regulations without requiring approval by the Legislature and Governor;
- Unnecessary and unrealistic rigidity of specific mandatory reduction targets;
- Costly and potentially arbitrary imposition of regulatory requirements through court action rather than normal legislative and regulatory processes;
- Resulting overall concerns about unwarranted inflexibility, costs, and compliance burdens for Vermont employers.
As noted, AIV will provide additional information and analysis next week and as warranted moving forward. Members interested in more information, including options for weighing in on this legislation with their legislators and the Administration, should contact us at email@example.com.