Business leaders say investing in efficiency and renewable energy
is good for environment and keeps jobs and money local.
Montpelier, Vt. – More than 200 Vermont businesses have joined a growing coalition in support of using money from a carbon pollution tax to invest in renewable energy and efficiency jobs in the state, Energy Independent Vermont announced Wednesday.
Speaking at a State House press conference, several Vermont business leaders said climate change threatens Vermont’s economy, brand, and quality of life. Placing a price on carbon pollution and investing in efficiency and renewable energy will help grow the local economy, they said.
“For 25 years Seventh Generation has taken great care in the business choices we make to protect the planet for future generations,” said Ashley Orgain, Seventh Generation’s Manager of Mission Advocacy and Outreach. “As hard as we’ve tried to reduce our footprint its clear change will not come from one companies actions alone. That’s why we are proud to be standing today alongside more than 200 Vermont businesses calling for bold leadership on climate change by putting a price on carbon.”
Bill Suhr, the founder of Champlain Orchards said, “Unlike many Vermont farmers our orchards were thankfully minimally affected by Irene. And it’s not just extreme weather – we are also very concerned about rising summer temperatures, as well as excessive rainfall and dry spells during the growing season. We need to do what we can to tackle climate change while we still can, and that’s why we support a carbon pollution tax.”
“As a sugar maker, you used to not even think about tapping trees until after Town Meeting Day, and you’d make most of your syrup in April,” said Rick Barstow, the owner of the Adamant Sugar House. “Now we’re usually tapping in mid-February. The season’s already gotten shorter, and we’re only beginning to see the effects of global warming.”
“Climate change threatens our economy and our environment,” said Daniel Barlow, public policy manager at Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. “Right now we spend $2 billion each year on fossil fuels as a state and 80% of that money goes right out of the state. Investing in efficiency and renewable energy means we’re growing jobs right here in Vermont.”
Wednesday’s press conference coincided with hearings on a carbon pollution tax bill in the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee at the State House.