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MONTPELIERVermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan released the following statement for Earth Day 2019:

“Today is Earth Day and like many Vermonters I care passionately about our natural environment. I am also worried about the threats it faces. We see the effects of climate change here in Vermont with stronger storms, flooding, and increasing annual temperatures.
Let me be clear: Climate change is real. The science is real. The climate crisis is real. The students and others who have marched to the State House this spring show us our fight against climate change is not only the fight of our future but that we have to engage in this fight right now. Vermonters want clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. We want to leave the planet in better shape for our children.
My team and I remain committed to working every day – here in Vermont and on the national level – to do our part to protect Vermont’s environment from harm, but we all have a role to play. Today, on Earth Day, I ask every Vermonter to think about our environment, think about our planet, and take a moment to find a way to do your part.”
Attorney General Donovan also announced the following recent actions taken by his Office:
NEW MULTI-STATE WEBPAGE: A new page on the Attorney General’s website tracks all multi-state environmental actions taken or joined by the Vermont Attorney General’s Office since January 2017:
BENNINGTON WATER: Last week, the Attorney General and Governor Phil Scott announced that the State had reached a final agreement with Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation to address perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination on the east side of Bennington. As a part of the agreement, 244 homes on the east side of Bennington are eligible to receive municipal water service. When combined with a 2017 settlement that covered Bennington’s west side and North Bennington, the State has now secured the extension of waterlines to 470 homes or businesses in Bennington and North Bennington. Saint-Gobain also agreed to drop its challenge to Vermont’s protective groundwater standard for PFOA.
CLEAN AIR: On April 17th, Attorney General Donovan joined a coalition of 27 state, county and municipal offices to file comments opposing the EPA’s reversal of course on its decision to regulate power plant emissions of mercury and other air toxics under the Clean Air Act. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA must regulate emissions of hazardous air pollution from power plants if it finds that it is “appropriate and necessary” to do so. Breaking with a precedent that stretches back to 2000, the EPA is now proposing a determination that the cost of regulation outweighs the benefits, and therefore, it is “not appropriate and necessary” to regulate the emissions. Power plants are the nation’s largest source of hazardous air pollution, including acid gases, mercury and other toxic metals such as arsenic, chromium and nickel. Power plant mercury emissions are a major contributor to mercury pollution in the nation’s lakes and streams, which have necessitated fish consumption advisories in all fifty states.
HAZARDOUS WASTE: Late last month, the Attorney General announced a settlement with a Vermont hazardous waste storage company for violations of Vermont’s Hazardous Waste Management Regulations. Through the court-approved settlement, Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc., resolved claims that it failed to properly identify and manage hazardous waste at its Barre, Vermont facility. Safety-Kleen took steps to address the violations to the satisfaction of the State and agreed to pay civil penalties of $70,000.
CLEAN WATER: On April 15th, Attorney General Donovan joined 14 other attorneys general to file comments opposing the new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule proposed by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. The proposed new WOTUS rule would roll back protections for ecologically important wetlands and ephemeral streams. It also disregards the extensive scientific record underlying the 2015 WOTUS rule. The filing of the new WOTUS rule comments continues the active role of the Vermont Attorney General’s Office on clean water, having been active in defending the Clean Water Rule (a rule designed to ensure that the nation’s lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands receive proper and consistent protection under the federal Clean Water Act) and opposing other threatened rollbacks of clean water protections.
PORTLAND PIPELINE: On April 12th, Vermont joined with 13 other states in the filing of an amicus brief in the First Circuit case of Portland Pipe Line Corporation v. City of South Portland Maine. The states’ amicus brief was filed in support of the City of South Portland, Maine as it defends a city ordinance that prohibits bulk oil-loading activities in certain harbor districts. The ordinance effectively prevents the Portland Pipeline from transporting tar sands oil from Canada – through Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine – to ships in the South Portland harbor. The states’ amicus brief argues that the city ordinance is not preempted by federal law and does not violate the dormant Commerce Clause.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARDS: In early March, Attorney General Donovan joined nine attorneys general and the City of New York to file comments to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) calling for the publication of proposed energy efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces and commercial gas water heaters that would increase energy efficiency from 80% to 92-95%. The comments call upon the DOE to deny a petition filed by the natural gas industry that seeks to roll back the efficiency standards.
CLIMATE CHANGE: Also in March, Attorney General Donovan joined eight other states and the District of Columbia to file an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in the matter of City of Oakland and City of San Francisco v. BP PLC, et al. The amicus brief was filed in support of the rights of states and local governments to promote the public welfare through pursuit of state law climate change related claims in state courts

April 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Greta Thunberg’s Visit To Britain Is A Huge Moment For The Climate Movement” • This afternoon an international sensation is taking to the stage in central London. She’s young, but she is admired around the world. Her name is Greta Thunberg. She’s a 16-year-old climate hero. And she is much needed in a time of crisis. [The Guardian]

Greta Thunberg speaking in Rome (Matteo Nardone | Pacific Press via ZUMA Wire | REX | Shutterstock)

  • “‘It’s Already Begun’ – Feedback Loops Will Make Climate Change Even Worse, Scientists Say” • Rising Arctic temperatures set free a vast amount of carbon previously locked beneath permafrost, these additional greenhouse gases speed up warming, and that melts more permafrost. It is a feedback loop, and scientists say it has begun. [Yahoo News]
  • “Alaska’s In The Middle Of A Record-Breaking Spring Melt, And It’s Killing People” • The average temperature for March recorded at the NOAA observatory in Utquiagvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska, was 18.6° F above normal. The above-normal temperatures are part of a trend that has been going on for many years. [ScienceAlert]
  • “On Earth Day, North Carolinians Rally For 100% Clean Energy By 2050” • Citizens, scientists, legislators, and faith leaders are rallying for Earth Day on the campus of North Carolina State University in support of legislation calling for 100% clean energy by 2050. North Carolina is already a leading state for solar PV capacity. [Public News Service]
  • “Fate Of Northern Vermont Solar Projects Uncertain” • The waiting game continues for developers of eight solar projects planned for the congested northern tier of Vermont’s electrical grid. They remain on hold until grid constraint issues are addressed. The region they are in already has considerable renewable power production. []

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

April 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “When Airplanes Are Designed To Be Energy Agnostic, You Know Electricity Is Banging At The Door” • Lift Air subsidiary Flight Design General Aviation GmbH, based in Germany, announced new 4-seat airplane that could be certified in a year. Importantly, it is energy agnostic, so it is ready for a full electric propulsion system. [CleanTechnica]

Flight Design aircraft – designed for possible electric power

  • “Power Outages Are A Thing Of The Past In Zambia” • The African Development Bank Group celebrated a success, tweeting, “Power cuts are now a thing of the past in #Zambia! A major boost in electricity production, – thanks to a robust hydraulic and solar power generation industry – means the country is now self-sufficient in energy.” []
  • “Clean Energy Laws Force Colstrip Owners To Weigh Options” • As the state of Washington edges closer to banning coal power by 2025, the owners of Montana’s coal-burning Colstrip Power Plant are weighing options. Colstrip supplies customers in three states, but without those in Washington it will be hard to justify running the plant. [Billings Gazette]
  • “NEVS Will Build Sion Solar-Powered Electric Car At Former SAAB Factory In Sweden” • Sono Motors’ Sion will be the first production car to have built-in solar panels. Sono says the panels can generate enough electricity to drive the Sion up to 21 miles on a sunny day. National Electric Vehicle Sweden and Sono will make them in a former SAAB plant. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Battle Of Waterloo Bridge: A Week Of Extinction Rebellion Protests” • “It’s been a resounding success,” said one of the group’s organisers on Thursday. “We are holding all the sites, we are attracting loads of new members, … the police are generally positive and friendly, … and we are getting our message out there.” It is still going on. [The Guardian]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

April 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “The World’s Biggest Electric Vehicle Company Looks Nothing Like Tesla” • The number one producer of plug-in vehicles globally is BYD, based in Shenzhen, China. Though it gets a tiny fraction of the attention of Tesla, BYD now has about a quarter-million employees and sells as many as 30,000 vehicles every month. [Bloomberg]

BYD plant (Billy HC Kwok | Bloomberg Businessweek)

  • “China To Promote Using Wind Energy To Power Heating Systems” • China’s National Energy Administration urged local authorities to set annual targets for generating heating using energy from wind farms over the period form 2019 to 2021. The country is pushing to reduce carbon emissions from all uses of coal, including heat. []
  • “Washington Utility Avista Commits To 100% Clean Energy By 2045” • Avista announced its goal to serve its customers with 100% clean electricity by 2045 and to have a carbon-neutral supply of electricity by the end of 2027. Avista claims a long-standing history of providing clean, reliable, and affordable energy to its customers. [Solar Power World]
  • “Texas Proves That Booming Renewable Energy Doesn’t Bring Electricity Price Armageddon” • Many energy pundits still warn of an Armageddon of high electricity prices and unreliable grid electricity for those too reliant on renewable power generation. There’s just a tiny problem with such claims: The data do not support them. [Dallas News]
  • “Puerto Rico Will Stop Burning Coal Next Year” • The Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act, recently signed by Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Roselló, puts the island on track to completely ditch all non-renewable energy sources by 2050. But also, the bill says, Puerto Rico’s coal-burning power plants will get the axe in 2020. [Futurism]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

April 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “LM Wind Rolls Out First Haliade-X Blade” • LM Wind Power has produced the first 107-meter blade that will be fitted to the prototype GE Renewable Energy Haliade-X 12-MW offshore turbine. Testing and validation will begin once finishing touches are done. The prototype is being installed in the Netherlands, later this year. [reNEWS]

Haliade-X 12-MW offshore turbine (LM Wind Power image)

  • “Bernie Sanders Calls For An End To Fossil Fuels” • Bernie Sanders made a rather stunning proposal, saying climate change is “not a hoax but is an existential threat.” He wants “to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy and, in the process, create millions of good paying jobs.” [CleanTechnica]
  • “Americans’ Energy Use Surges Despite Climate Change Concern” • Americans used a record amount of energy in 2018, with a 10% jump in natural gas consumption helping to lead the way, according to the Energy Information Administration. Total consumption of all fuels rose 4% year on year, the largest such increase in eight years. [Associated Press]
  • “Massachusetts Approves Vineyard Power Deal” • Long-term off-take contracts for the 800-MW Vineyard Wind farm being developed off the state’s coast have been approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. Officials said the off-take deals will spur economic development and ensure a “resilient energy future.” [reNEWS]
  • “New York City Sets Ambitious Climate Rules for Its Biggest Emitters: Buildings” • Plans approved by the City Council of New York are expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions from large buildings by 40% compared to 2005 levels by 2030, about 26% below current levels. Buildings account for two-thirds of the city’s emissions. [InsideClimate News]
  • “NJ Approves $300 Million Of ZECs For Salem, Hope Creek Nukes” • New Jersey regulators approved zero-emission credits totaling $300 million for the state’s three nuclear reactors, nearly a year after the governor signed off on an ambitious energy plan aimed at boosting the use of carbon-free resources to 50% over the next decade. [RTO Insider]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

April 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Greta Thunberg Meets The Pope After Scolding EU Leaders On Climate Change” • Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg met Pope Francis at the Vatican. A day earlier, she had addressed a committee of the European Parliament, scolding them for spending their time “arguing about taxes or Brexit” in the face of a building climate crisis. [CNN]

Greta Thunberg meets Pope Francis

  • “Official Warning To Banks: Get Real About Climate Change Or Risk Going Bust” • Central bankers and finance regulators from 34 countries, including the UK, France, Germany, China, and Japan, have warned banks to act urgently to fight climate change or risk going bust. The policymakers argue that banks must invest sustainably. [CNN]
  • “Offshore Wind Farms Are Spinning Up In The US – At Last” • On June 1, the Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massachusetts will shut down, a victim of hard nuclear power economics. The electricity it generated will be replaced by another carbon-free source: a fleet of 84 offshore wind turbines rising nearly 650 feet above the ocean’s surface. [WIRED]
  • “Maine Company Launches Renewable Energy System To Power Remote Communities” • Maine-based Ocean Renewable Power Co has already powered more than 30% of the remote Alaskan community of Igiugig. Now, it wants to increase its current reach to isolated and indigenous communities around the world. [Press Herald]
  • “How 18 Democratic Candidates Responded To A Climate Policy Survey” • The New York Times asked all 18 declared Democratic presidential candidates for their views on a number of policy options related to climate change. While they agreed on major issues, such as return to the Paris accord, there are distinctions among them. [The New York Times]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

April 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Elizabeth Warren Calls For Ten-Fold Increase Of Renewable Generation On Public Lands, Waters” • Elizabeth Warren, US senator and presidential candidate, announced her plans for a targeted expansion of renewable energy development on public lands along with a moratorium on new fossil fuel leases and other measures. [pv magazine USA]

Elizabeth Warren (Image: Marc Nozelle | Flickr)

  • “Holtec Adds Indian Point Nuclear Plant To Decommissioning Portfolio” • Entergy said it will sell its Indian Point Energy Center to Comprehensive Decommissioning International, based in Camden, New Jersey. CDI is a jointly owned subsidiary of Holtec International, a company buying nuclear plants that are closed or scheduled for retirement. [S&P Global Platts]
  • “Oil And Gas Industry Has Way Too Much Control Over Congress” • In October 1992, the US Senate ratified the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Yet since then, the US Congress has failed to pass a single major piece of legislation to implement the treaty. The reason is oil and gas campaign donations. [CNN]
  • “Microsoft Hikes Its Internal Carbon Tax In A New Sustainability Drive” • Microsoft announced that it will nearly double the internal carbon fee it charges its business units to $15 per metric ton. The company said the higher fee will help it hold its divisions accountable for their emissions as it “doubles down on sustainability.” [CNN]
  • “50% Renewables Bill Passes NV Senate, Unanimously” • The Nevada Senate voted unanimously to update the law that sets the minimum amount of electricity big Nevada electricity providers must get from clean, renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind. Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard was increased to 50% by 2030. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

Haven’t you wondered what electric vehicles are like up close?

Find your nearest Drive Electric Earth Day event!

Transportation is now the largest source of carbon emissions in the U.S. In celebration of Earth Day and the fact that we must transition transportation to be fossil fuel-free, Drive Electric Earth Day events will be showcasing the many shapes and sizes of clean transportation.

Electric vehicles put more money back into your pocket and benefit our local communities and the climate, so that’s definitely something to cheer about. Drive Electric Earth Day events are hosted by local volunteers, so show them some love and support clean air and a thriving community. 

Find your nearest Drive Electric Earth Day event here!

What can you expect by attending a Drive Electric Earth Day event? A fun and cordial atmosphere, with the opportunity to meet owners of electric vehicles and learn about their great experience owning them. Depending on your event, there will be parades, ride and drives, electric tailgate parties, activities for children, food, press conferences, award ceremonies, and more. 

RSVP now, and show your support for Earth Day and for reducing vehicle emissions in your community.

Public Hearing on Legislation to Ban New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure in Vermont

Tuesday, April 23 From 5-7 PM
Room 11 at the Statehouse in Montpelier
The House Energy and Technology Committee will be holding a public hearing on House Bills 51 and 175 both of which would meet the demands of the No New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Petition signed by nearly 1,500 Vermonters and the Town Meeting Day resolutions passed by 55 towns.
This is our opportunity to address our legislators and make the case for prohibiting development of new fossil fuel infrastructure in Vermont so we can avoid the health and safety risks, the unjust and wasteful costs and the climate changing consequences of new gas pipelines and oil or gas fired electric generation plants and so that we can begin to move rapidly toward building the next and sustainable energy system we must have.
This hearing will take testimony from members of the public. Please come to let the legislature know how urgent you are about climate change, climate justice and refashioning our energy system. Come to speak, to listen and learn, and to show your support for this crucially important legislation.
Each speaker will have only 2 minutes. If you would like to speak, you will have to sign up at 4:15 in Room 11 of the Statehouse. Even if you don’t plan to speak, come early. The room is small and seating is limited.
You may also submit written testimony to the committee by email to:
Indicate in the subject line, “Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Public Comment.”
Be There To Show How Urgent and Widespread Support Is
To Prohibit New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure
Room 11 at the Statehouse in Montpelier
Tuesday, April 23 5-7 PM
Questions about the event or the legislation? Contact us at