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.
Final Recommendations and Public Comment
The Commission submitted its final report to the Governor on July 31, 2018. Governor Phil Scott asked the Agency of Natural Resources to host an informal public comment period on the final report, so that he could review the comments of Vermonters alongside the recommendations contained in the report. The public comment period was open from July 31 to September 30, 2018. ANR compiled those comments and shared them with the Governor for his review as he continues to evalute the Commission's recommendations.
When the Governor announced the formation of the Vermont Climate Action Commission, he charged the Commission to develop at least three recommendations by January 1, 2018. This report outlines that preliminary set of recommendations. The Commission will continue to look at possible policy options to meet Vermont's greenhouse gas and clean energy goals in line with EO 12-17. The Governor sent this letter to the Commission on January 26th to the Commissioners for their work thus far and to provide feedback on their initial recommendations.
- 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 (during a period of personal leave, Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur represented Ms. Sprayregen on the Commission)
- Johanna Miller, Vermont Natural Resources Council, representing a statewide environmental organization
- Matt Cota, Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, representing the fuels sector (took over for Peter Bourne, Bourne's Energy, who left the Commission for personal reasons)
- 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 Innovation 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 the work needed to complete the Governor's directive to develop at least three ideas by January 1, 2018, the Commission used the following subcommittee structure to accomplish that task. 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. Going forward, the Commission will not use this structure to accomplish its tasks:
- 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
- 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 email@example.com.
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
- Richard Faesy
- 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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, you can use our new web-based form to submit recommendations (click on link).
Here is an updated list developed from public comments from the meetings, email and web-submitted comments, and TAG member inputs. The list also contains a tab that Commission may use as a decision matrix in evaluating ideas from different sources.
Here is a full compilation of the email and web-summitted public comment as of 12/4/17. (Note: The emails to the email@example.com 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))
- Presentations (GHG Emissions Inventory / 2016 Comprehensive Energy Plan)
- Commission Work Product (Initial concept development matrix)
- The Department of Environmental 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 on 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)
February 8, 2018 (Agenda / unapproved Minutes) * Please note that the February VCAC meeting will be from 8:30-4:30 at the ANR Annex located at 190 Junction Rd, Berlin, VT, opposite the entrance to the Montpelier Amtrak station.*
- State agency staff coordinated the development of background papers on the six topics the Commission elected to pursue moving forward for use in the February meeting and beyond:
Note: Due to inclement weather, the March VCAC meeting was postponed to March 23.
- The working groups established at the February have developed the following draft work plans for the Commission to discuss:
Note: Due to the delay in the March meeting and the need to focus on working group efforts, the April meeting was canceled.
May 10, 2018 (Agenda / Minutes). As discussed at the February meeting, the Commission has selected to conduct this and future meetings at the ANR Annex, located at 190 Junction Rd., Berlin, VT, which is across the street from the entrance to the Montpelier Amtrak station.
Draft Work Plan Recommendations (May 10, 2018)
- Agricultural Sequestration
- Building Energy
- Climate Economy
- Forest Sequestration
- Smart Growth
- Partial Draft Report
- Draft Transportation Recommendations
- Draft Building Energy Recommendations
- Draft Smart Growth Recommendations
- Draft Climate Economy Recommendations
- Draft Sequestration Recommendations
Upcoming Working Group Meetings
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.
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