Greetings from the Statehouse:
It is this time of the legislative session that Committees are trying to finish work on their respective bills so they can be brought to the full House for consideration and voting. This timeframe is necessary so that the Senate will have time to consider the House bills before the session ends. And in reverse, so that we will have time to consider theirs. It has been termed ‘crossover’.
In my Committee - Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, we have been working on several bills now that the Act 250 bill been voted out. These include- An act relating to non game migratory birds. Funding for the Fish and Wildlife Department. Concerns about inter basin transfer of surface waters. Free hunting and fishing licenses for the Abenaki. A clean water topic. A bill related to the intrastate trade of endangered species and ivory.
The House also passed H.688-The Global Warming Solutions Act. This Act will require Vermont to meet strict emissions targets: reduction of greenhouse gas pollution to 26% below 2005 levels by 2025, 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and then 80% below by 2050.
The approval of the bill will hold the State accountable for developing and achieving greenhouse gas reduction goals. This could result in costly legal battles if the State does not meet these.
This bill does not state how to achieve this end. A large group of people called the Climate Action Study Panel will come up with a plan by the end of 2021. There will certainly be a cost to this Act which will result in more spending.
Considering that Vermont contributes almost no carbon footprint compared to the rest of our Country and the World, is this aggressive plan going to be good for the economy and the residents of Vermont? Or will it make it more expensive and difficult to live and thrive here?