Gov. Phil Scott doesn’t support the ESSEX Plan to reduce electricity costs and put more money in Vermonters’ pockets. And despite the fact that the plan has the support of business leaders, low income advocates, and environmentalists, he doesn’t want to learn about it either.
That’s willful ignorance, and Vermonters deserve better.
If the governor is too stubborn to even learn about a new approach to climate action and economic development, then it is up to real champions in the General Assembly to lead. The good news is that this is already happening.
House legislators will be formally introducing a bill based on the ESSEX Plan TOMORROW, Wednesday 1/31 at noon at the State House. Can you be there to show your support for their leadership?
This announcement is part of a coordinated roll out of other carbon pricing bills across the region – and we want to have a strong showing of supporters at the State House to show carbon pollution pricing is an idea who’s time has come in Vermont.
Last week, the governor rejected most of the recommendations of the Vermont Climate Action Commission – his hand-picked group of advisors, including many political appointees and financial donors.1,2 He even rejected their advice that he simply investigate and learn about the ESSEX Plan – the climate proposal that won the most support at an energy summit he headlined.3
The Governor is choosing to remain uninformed.
Economist across the political spectrum support carbon pricing as a way to grow the economy, protect the most vulnerable, and reduce pollution. Scott, however, refuses to even study this effective, efficient market mechanism to address climate change and boost the local economy. In fact, he goes so far as to say that we need to wait for Donald Trump’s administration to address climate change before Vermont can act.
That’s a terrible idea, and a textbook definition of willful ignorance.
Phil Scott isn’t just slow-walking climate action. He’s actually going backwards. For more than a decade, Vermont has priced carbon pollution in our electricity sector. Republican Gov. Jim Douglas implemented this first-in-the-nation pollution pricing program through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) – and across the region emissions are down further and the economy is up more than in non-RGGI states. That’s progress.
But now an uninformed Phil Scott is calling programs like RGGI bad for the economy. That makes no sense when the data is clear. What makes even less sense is that just a few months ago his appointees were promoting RGGI getting stronger and expanding.4,5 It’s clear that the Scott administration doesn’t have a plan. But that may be all we can expect from a governor who believes climate disruption will be an “economic boon.”
We cannot let the governor’s back-stepping on climate action stand. Join us TOMORROW, Wednesday, Jan. 31st at noon at the State House to demonstrate that Vermonters expect and deserve better.
Thank you for all that you do,
The EIV Team
P.S. What, exactly, is Phil Scott afraid of? Why should he oppose a cost/benefits analysis of carbon pricing? Perhaps it’s because it would show that an effective way to grow our economy and clean our air would be to price the pollution his fossil fuel friends are responsible for and return the proceeds to Vermonters in the form of lower electricity bills. We hope to see you at the State House this Wednesday to fight back against this willful ignorance.
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- 4 appointees (Walke, Schirling, Tierney, Boomhower), 4 donors (Green Mountain Power, Audet’s Cow Power, Casella Waste Management, Bourne’s Energy)
default/files/Uploads/Press- Releases/2017_08_23_ Announcement_Proposed_Program_ Changes.pdf
transportationandclimate.org/ northeast-and-mid-atlantic- states-seek-public-input-they- move-toward-cleaner- transportation-future