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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Carbon tax number one at climate hearing

(This story by by Cherise Madigan was posted Sunday in the Bennington Banner.)

Dr. Alan Betts, of Atmospheric Research in Pittsford, speaks at the Governor’s Climate Action Commission’s public hearing at Burr and Burton on Thursday. Photo by Cherise Madigan/Bennington Banner

Dr. Alan Betts, of Atmospheric Research in Pittsford, speaks at the Governor’s Climate Action Commission’s public hearing at Burr and Burton on Thursday. Photo by Cherise Madigan/Bennington Banner

MANCHESTER — The implementation of a carbon tax was the No. 1 request at a public hearing of Gov. Phil Scott’s Climate Action Commission at Burr and Burton Academy Thursday night.

Members of the commission, including locals Tom Donahue from BROC Community Action and Bill Laberge from Grassroots Solar, came to Manchester for one of four public hearings across the state.

“We’re here to get to the action; what do you want us to recommend to the governor?” asked Peter Walke, deputy secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. “Our job is to make realistic recommendations. We all know that climate actions are needed, but we need to do it in a way that continues to drive Vermont forward and helps us reach all of the other goals that we have.”

The hearing brought out dozens of local activists, business owners, educators and ordinary citizens hoping to influence Vermont’s climate policy.

“Our economic system that maximizes profit and value now specifically discounts the future. In the process, it discounts the future of all of our children’s lives and the earth itself,” said atmospheric researcher, Dr. Alan Betts, of Pittsford, who served on Gov. James Douglas’ Climate Commission. “There’s a lot we have to pay for; both mitigation and dealing with Vermont’s issues. A carbon tax is an obvious source for that.”

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