Writer and environmental activist Bill McKibben is urging Vermont lawmakers to pass a big expansion of weatherization programs and block tar sands oil from being shipped on a pipeline that crosses northern Vermont.
Vermont lawmakers gathering for the opening of their session were greeted by hundreds of activists pushing issues ranging from unionization of early childhood and home care providers to providing driver's licenses to farm workers in the country without the required authorization.
Demand for heating assistance is rising in Vermont, and Governor Peter Shumlin is asking the Legislature to approve additional heating assistance funds for this winter.
Vermont’s Governor was joined by key lawmakers and advocates Tuesday as he called for 8.8 million dollars in additional state funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance program, known as LIHEAP.
The Governor plans to meet with the Legislature’s Emergency Board next week to get approval for the additional funds.
The Vermont Public Interest Research Group has released its assessment of legislative votes over the past biennium.
The scorecard released by the advocacy group looks at votes on ten issues, including health care reform, clean energy and a fracking moratorium. Vermont Public Interest Research Group Executive Director Paul Burns says it represents a range of their priority issues over the past two years.
The merger of Green Mountain Power and Central Vermont Public Service has become controversial due to how the merged company plans to refund $21 million owed to CVPS ratepayers. The companies want to repay ratepayers through energy efficiency measures, but AARP-Vermont and others have been pushing for direct cash refunds. An amendment was presented in the Vermont House that would force the direct payments to customers. The House Natural Resources and Energy and the Commerce and Economic Development committees took testimony Tuesday on the appropriateness of Legislative intervention.