Vermont Climate Action Commission

Formation

Governor Phil Scott announced the creation of the Vermont Climate Action Commission (VCAC) on July 20, 2017.

Executive Order 12-17 defines the makeup and charge of the commission.

Membership

  • Peter Walke, Chair, Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources
  • Paul Costello, Co-Chair, Vermont Council on Rural Development, representing the rural development sector
  • Michael Schirling, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development
  • June Tierney, Commissioner of the Department of Public Service
  • Michele Boomhower, designee of the Secretary of the Agency of Transportation
  • Marie Audet, Audet’s Blue Spruce Farm, representing the agriculture sector
  • Linda McGinnis, Energy Action Network, representing the clean energy sector
  • Joe Fusco, Casella, representing the commercial hauling or trucking sectors
  • Bob Stevens, Stevens and Associates, representing the construction or development sectors
  • Kristin Carlson, Green Mountain Power, representing energy utilities
  • Mary Sprayregen, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, representing the energy efficiency sector
  • Johanna Miller, Vermont Natural Resources Council, representing a statewide environmental organization
  • Peter Bourne, Bourne Energy, representing the fuels sector
  • Liz Gamache, Mayor of St. Albans, representing local government
  • Adam Knudsen, Dynapower, representing the manufacturing sector
  • Bill Laberge, Grassroots Solar, representing small businesses
  • Bethany Fleishman, Vital Communities/Upper Valley Transportation Management Association, representing the transportation demand management sector
  • Tom Donahue, BROC Community Action in Southwestern Vermont, representing the Vermont Community Action Partnership
  • Stuart Hart, Co-Director, Sustainable Entrepreneurship MBA program, UVM Grossman School of Business, representing the research and development sector
  • Harrison Bushnell, U-32 High School Senior, representing Vermont's students
  • Robert Turner, Consulting Forester, representing the forestry and forest products sectors

To complete this important work, the Commission has divided into two categories of subcommittee, one division based on sector-specific greenhouse gas emission concerns and one division based upon cross-cutting focus areas.  The membership of each sub-comitteee is listed below:

Sector subcommittees:

  • Power Production, Distribution, and Use – Bill Laberge, Joey Miller, Mary Sprayregen, June Tierney, Kristin Carlson, and Adam Knudsen
  • Commercial and Residential Buildings – Peter Bourne, Bob Stevens, Liz Gamache, Stu Hart, and Mike Schirling
  • Transportation – Joe Fusco, Michele Boomhower, Bethany Fleishman, Linda McGinnis, and Harrison Bushnell
  • Agriculture/Forestry/Waste/Industry – Paul Costello, Marie Audet, Robert Turner, Tom Donahue, and Peter Walke

Cross-cutting subcommittees:

  • Access to Capital – Bob Stevens, Robert Turner, Kristin Carlson, June Tierney, and Mike Schirling
  • Education, Communication, and Outreach – Joey Miller, Liz Gamache, Harrison Bushnell, Michele Boomhower, and Tom Donahue
  • Rural Solutions – Peter Bourne, Bill Laberge, Mary Sprayregen, Bethany Fleishman, and Peter Walke
  • Research and Development / Non-emissions-based climate actions – Joe Fusco, Stu Hart, Linda McGinnis, Paul Costello, Marie Audet, and Adam Knudsen

Technical Advisory Group

If you're interested in serving on the technical advisory group, please contact the Chair, Peter Walke, at peter.walke@vermont.gov.

The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) serves as a pool of resources for the Commission to use as it seeks expertise not resident on the Commission.   Participation in the TAG pool of resources is entirely voluntary, and membership will come from a combination of self-identification of interest from engaged stakeholders and from the Commission identifying and requesting specific individuals serve.  Two Co-chairs of the TAG have been named to assist the Commission in the event the Commission is unable to identify expertise needed on its own.

The current TAG membership (this list will continue to evolve):

  • Annette Smith (Co-Chair)
  • Kevin Jones (Co-Chair)
  • Bob Amelang
  • Henry Bonges
  • Edward Cameron
  • Olivia Campbell-Anderson
  • Karen Horn
  • Sarah Jackson
  • Ellen Kahler
  • Ben Luce
  • James Maroney, Jr.
  • John McCormick
  • Erik Phillips-Nania
  • Jason Schafer
  • Jim Stiles
  • Rick Wackernagel
  • Richard Watts
  • Steve Wright
  • Ryan Yoder
  • Eric Zencey

Schedule

The first meeting of the VCAC was held on August 15, 2017 from 1-4 pm.  Regular, monthly meetings will take place on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 1 - 4 pm, beginning on October 12, 2017.  Meetings will be held at the State Offices located at 1 National Life Drive, Montpelier, VT.  If you are a member of the public and you wish to attend a meeting, please be sure to bring an id as you will need to check-in at the security desk upon arrival.

Public Scoping and Comment

The Commission held four public scoping meetings around the State in the following locations

  • St. Johnsbury (public testimony) - Sept 13 at the Kingdom Taproom Meeting Hall (297 Railroad St) 
  • Manchester (public testimony)- Sept 21 at Burr and Burton Hunter Seminar Room (57 Seminary Lane)
  • St. Albans (public testimony) - Sept 28 at the City Hall Auditorium (100 North Main St)
  • Brattleboro (public testimony) - Oct 5 at Marlboro College Graduate School, Room 2-E (28 Vernon Street)

If you have information or perspective you would like to share with the Commission and all Vermonters, please submit these to anr.vcac@vermont.gov.  Additionally, you can use our new web-based form to submit recommendations (click on link). 

Here is an updated list / decision matrix developed from public comments from the meetings, email and web-submitted comments, and TAG member inputs

Here is a full compilation of the email and web-summitted public comment as of 10/16/17.  (Note: The emails to the anr.vcac@vermont.gov email have begun to be sorted for compilation into the master list of ideas, accounts for the non-chronological order.  Additionally, this is a large file (~16MB)) 

Commission Meetings

August 15, 2017 (Agenda / Minutes (unapproved) / Minutes (approved))

October 12, 2017 (Agenda / Minutes (unapproved) / Minutes (approved))

  • The Department of Envionmental Conservation Air Quality and Climate Division provided additional information  based on Commission questions surrounding 8/15 GHG Emissions Inventory presentation
  • The Chair provided the Commission with two draft documents that could be used to evaluate ideas developed by the commission and submitted through the public comment process:
    • Draft list of ideas (Note: This list will eventually be comprehensive, but we are still working through compiling the full list from the hundreds of submissions received to date.  The draft list was developed to provide a discussion for the commission.  We also plan to update this as we receive additional public comment) 
    • Draft decision matrix (Note: this is based on the list above, so it is also incomplete)

November 9, 2017 (Agenda / Minutes (unapproved))

Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings

Innovation and R&D Sub-Committee Meeting

  • Met November 7, 2017

Rural Solutions Sub-Committee Meeting

  • Met November 3, 2017
  • Link to meeting notes

Transportation Sub-Committee Meeting

  • Met November 2, 2017

Power, Production, Distribution and Use Subcommittee

  • Met Wednesday November 1, 2017

Ag/Forestry/Waste/Industry Sub-Committee Meeting

Education, Communication, and Outreach Sub-Committee Meeting

 

Background Documents/Links

Vermont Climate Change website

2016 Comprehensive Energy Plan

2011 Comprehensive Energy Plan

2014 Total Energy Study

2007 Final Report of the Governor's Commission on Climate Change and Plenary Group Report

Materials Submitted to the Commission

VT Climate Change Economy Council Action Plan Submitted by Paul Costello of the Vermont Council on Rural Development and Co-Chair of the Commission.

VT Core Climate and Energy Reports is a list of web links to national reports and articles on climate change and energy. Submitted by Linda McGinnis of Energy Action Network and a member of the Commission. Opens as a word document.

Green Bank Proposal and Additional Information Submitted by John McCormick

Converting to Organic Submitted by James Maroney, Jr.

List of Ideas Submitted by Jim Stiles

Vermont Genuine Progress Indicator Submitted by Eric Zencey 

US Emission by Economic Sector (EPA) Submitted by Annette Smith

US Emissions by State (EIA) Submitted by Annette Smith

Solar Recommendations Submitted by James Moore

27 Reasons to Price Carbon Pollution Submitted by Thomas Hughes

Letter from Vermont Dairy Producers Alliance Submitted by Heather Shouldice

We will not be driven, but we can be led Submitted by Guy Page

VEIC Energy Burden Heat Map Submitted by Mary Sprayregen

Meditation Solution Submitted by Erik Phillips-Nania

The ESSEX Plan Submitted by Ashley Orgain