YCQM - Liz Miller - Dec. 2, 2012 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM - Liz Miller - Dec. 2, 2012

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

You Can Quote Me -- Dec. 2, 2012 -- Liz Miller, the commissioner of the Dept. of Public Service, joins Darren Perron to discuss energy issues and Miller's new role as incoming chief of staff for Gov. Peter Shumlin.

TRANSCRIPT:

>> Announcer: FROM VERMONT'S

MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE, WCAX

BRINGS YOU YOUR NEWSMAKERS, YOUR

NEIGHBORS.

THIS IS "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

>>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

TODAY WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ENERGY

ISSUES WITH PUBLIC SERVICE

COMMISSIONER LIZ MILLER.

WE'LL ALSO DISCUSS HER NEW

APPOINTMENT TO BE THE GOVERNOR'S

NEXT CHIEF OF STAFF.

COMMISSIONER MILLER, THANKS FOR

JOINING US THIS MORNING.

>> OF COURSE.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

>> LET'S START WITH THIS NEW

APPOINTMENT.

YOU WILL BE REPLACING BILL

LOATHY.

HOW DID THIS APPOINTMENT COME

ABOUT?

DID YOU APPROACH THE GOVERNOR,

DID HE APPROACH YOU?

>> FIRST OF ALL, COMMISSIONERS

AND SECRETARIES WORK CLOSELY

WITH THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE, SO

IN THIS INSTANCE, I HAD AN

ONGOING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE

GOVERNOR AND HIS STAFF AND THEY

CAME TO ME WHEN THEY LEARNED

THAT BILL WOULD BE MOVING ON AND

ALEX McLANE HAD DECIDED TO JOIN

THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND ASKED ME

WHETHER I WOULD TAKE THIS ON AND

I AGREED TO DO IT.

>> YOUR ROLE AS PUBLIC SERVICE

COMMISSIONER IS OBVIOUSLY MORE

OF A REGULATORY ROLE AND THIS IS

MOVING IN A DIRECTION OF MORE

POLICY AND IN A POLITICAL

SPHERE.

HOW DO YOU VIEW THESE TWO THINGS

AND WHY MAKE THAT JUMP?

>> THEY'RE DEFINITELY DIFFERENT

ROLES AND I SEE THE NEW

CHALLENGE DISTINCT FROM THE

CURRENT ONE.

AS A COMMISSIONER OF THE

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE, I

DO HAVE A POLICY AND PLANNING

ROLE AND I ALSO, OF COURSE,

INTERACT WITH THE MEDIA AND THE

PUBLIC, BUT IN ADDITION, I

OVERSEE THE REGULATORY FUNCTION

OF THE DEPARTMENT.

THE NEW ROLE WILL BE MANAGING

ACROSS AGENCIES AND DEPARTMENTS

TO MAKE SURE THAT GOV. SHUMLIN'S

AGENDA IS IMPLEMENTED AS THAT

THINGS GET DONE, NOT JUST WITHIN

THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC

SERVICE, BUT ACROSS ALL THE

OTHER DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

AS WELL, SO IT'S A BROADER

CHALLENGE, A DIFFERENT FORM OF

MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP THAN I

CURRENTLY HAVE.

>> AND DEFINITELY MORE

POLITICAL.

>> YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT THAT

PERCEPTION IS LARGELY ACCURATE.

I UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE FEEL

THAT WAY.

THE ISSUES THAT ARE AT THE

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE

CERTAINLY ARE MUCH IN THE NEWS

AND THERE ARE DIFFERING OPINION

AND POLITICS INVOLVED THERE TOO.

I SEE THE CHIEF OF STAFF'S ROLE

NOT PRIMARILY POLITICALLY,

ACTUALLY.

I SEE IT MORE AS TAKING GOV.

SHUMLIN'S AGENDA AND MAKING SURE

THAT THE FOLKS HE HAS WORKING

FOR HIM IN STATE GOVERNMENT

UNDERSTAND THE AGENDA,

UNDERSTAND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT,

HAVE A PLAN TO IMPLEMENT IT AND

GET IT DONE.

>> WHAT DO YOU THINK THE BIGGEST

CHALLENGES IN THIS NEW ROLE WILL

BE FOR YOU?

>> FIRST AND FOREMOST,

BROADENING, MY AREA OF

UNDERSTANDING AND EXPERTISE.

RIGHT NOW I MANAGE A GREAT

DEPARTMENT OF 40-SOME-ODD PEOPLE

ON TELECOM AND ENERGY POLICY

ISSUESES IN IN THE NEW JOB, I'LL

HAVE SOME RESPONSIBILITY AND

OVERSIGHT IN MANY OTHER AREAS.

ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTHCARE,

EDUCATION, ETCETERA.

MY FIRST JOB WILL BE MAKING SURE

I KNOW ENOUGH TO BE HELPFUL TO

THE COMMISSIONS AND SECRETARIES

AS WELL AS THE GOVERNOR.

>> SOME FOLKS SITTING AT HOME

MAY BE THINKING THIS IS A STEP

SORT OF INTO THE POLITICAL

SPHERE.

DO YOU HAVE ANY AMBITIONS TO RUN

FOR POLITICAL OFFICE YOURSELF?

>> OH, NOT AT ALL.

I SEE MY ROLE AS A MANAGER AND A

LEADER AND I AM GRAD THAT I HAVE

ENTERED PUBLIC SERVICE AND FEEL

THAT I'VE MADE A CONTRIBUTION,

HAPPY TO MAKE THE CONTRIBUTION

TO THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE, BUT I

HAVE NOT SEEN MY PATH AS ONE

RUNNING FOR OFFICE MYSELF.

>> NOT YET ANYWAY.

>> YEAH, I -- NOT YET, NOT IN

ANY CONCEIVABLE FUTURE THAT I

HAVE YET DREAMED OF.

I REALLY APPRECIATE THE FOLKS

WHO DO IT THOUGH, I MUST SAY.

>> LET'S TALK, COMMISSIONER,

ABOUT YOUR CURRENT ROLE WITHIN

STATE GOVERNMENT AND IN RUNNING

THE PUBLIC SERVICE DEPARTMENT.

SOME SERIOUS CHALLENGES HAVE

COME YOUR WAY.

>> YUP.

>> UNDER THIS ROLE.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST

CHALLENGE, WOULD YOU SAY, AND

DID YOU ANTICIPATE IT?

>> THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE.

WELL, YOU KNOW, THERE'S BEEN A

NUMBER OF THINGS I'M REALLY

PROUD THE DEPARTMENT'S

ACCOMPLISHED IN THE LAST TWO

YEARS, AND MANY OF THEM WERE

THINGS THAT I ANTICIPATED TAKING

ON WHEN I CAME IN SUCH AS THE

ENERGY PLAN.

THAT WAS A MAJOR EFFORT OF

PLANNING ACROSS STATE

GOVERNMENT.

THE PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT THAT WE

HAD WAS AMAZING AND I'M VERY

PROUD OF IT.

THAT CHALLENGE, I UNDERSTOOD

COMING IN THE DOOR AND I THINK

THE WORK PRODUCT AND RESULTS

HAVE BEEN VERY GOOD.

OTHER ISSUES, SUCH AS VERMONT

YANKEE, WHICH REMAINS AN ONGOING

MATTER OF LITIGATION AT THE

DEPARTMENT, I ALSO UNDERSTOOD

THAT I'D BE TAKING ON WHEN I

WALKED IN THE DOOR, BUT THEN

THERE WERE THINGS THAT CAME UP

SUCH AS THE GMP MERGER THAT WAS

NOT ON THE RADAR SCREEN OR IN MY

MIND WHEN I TOOK THE JOB.

AND CERTAINLY IT TOOK A

TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF EFFORT AND,

AGAIN, A RESULT THAT I'M PROUD

OF, BUT IT WASN'T SOMETHING I

ANTICIPATED WALKING IN THE DOOR.

>> LET'S DISSECT SOME OF THOSE

TOPICS.

>> SURE.

>> SPEAKING OF THE MERGER,

OBVIOUSLY THE CONTROVERSY OVER

THAT REALLY STEMMED FROM THE

$21 MILLION THAT HAD BEEN USED

TO BAIL OUT CVPS WHEN THEY WERE

STRUGGLING FINANCIALLY.

DO YOU THINK STILL THAT THAT WAS

THE RIGHT MOVE TO USE THAT MONEY

TOWARD ENERGY EFFICIENCY

PROJECTS VERSUS REFUNDING

DIRECTLY IN A PAYCHECK TYPE FORM

TO THE RATE PAYERS WHO REALLY

BAILED THEM OUT?

>> I ABSOLUTELY DO, AND FOR A

COUPLE OF REASONS.

NOT ONLY DOES THE ENERGY

EFFICIENCY INVESTMENT THAT'S

BEING MADE ENSURE THAT THE MONEY

CONTINUES TO GENERATE LOCALLY

AND, FRANKLY, IT'S LEVERAGED IN

TERMS OF THE EFFICIENCY PROJECTS

THAT WILL BE GOING IN, THE

ENERGY SAVINGS THAT WILL LAST

FAR INTO THE FUTURE FROM THAT

AND THE JOBS, OF COURSE, THAT

ARE CREATED BY HAVING THOSE

ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECTS, BUT

ALSO THE RESULT THAT WE CAME UP

WITH IN THE MERGER WAS FULLY

CONSISTENT WITH THE BOARD'S

PRIOR ORDER IN THE GMP

ACQUISITION BY GAS METRO AND

THAT WAS SOMETHING I REALLY TOOK

SERIOUSLY AT THE TIME.

I THINK THE BOARD HANDLED THE

ISSUES WELL, CERTAINLY HEARD

FROM ALL SIDES, TOOK VERY

SERIOUSLY THE ARGUMENTS THAT

WERE MADE, BUT ULTIMATELY WENT

WITH THE DECISION THAT HAD BEEN

MADE PREVIOUSLY, THAT AN ENERGY

EFFICIENCY INVESTMENT WAS AN

APPROPRIATE WAY TO RETURN THE

VALUE TO THE CUSTOMERS FOR THE

MONEY THAT THE UTILITIES

RECEIVED SOME DECADE AGO BECAUSE

OF THE HQ CONTRACT.

>> NOW, A LOT OF PEOPLE USED

THIS AS A SORT OF POLITICAL PAWN

AND SORT AFTER THIS DEAL WAS

ANNOUNCED AND THAT THE

21 MILLION WOULD BE REINVESTED.

SOME FOLKS HAVE ALSO BEEN

CRITICAL OF THE FACT, SAYING

THAT DPS REALLY SHOULD BE SORT

OF LOOKING OUT FOR THE RATE

PAYERS MORE, NOT BECOMING THE

SORT OF MOUTHPIECE OR THE

PERSON -- OR THE DEPARTMENT THAT

REALLY LOOKS OUT FOR THE

GOVERNOR'S POSITION.

IS THAT NOT CORRECT?

>> WELL, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT

THE PERCEPTION OF THE DEPARTMENT

VARIES DEPENDING UPON THE ISSUE

THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, SO LET

ME JUST FIRST CLARIFY WHAT THE

DEPARTMENT DOES AND HOW WE

APPROACH OUR JOB.

THE DEPARTMENT SERVES AS BOTH

THE POLICY VOICE FOR ENERGY IN

THE STATE AS WELL AS THE

PLANNING VOICE, AND THAT'S A

LEGISLATIVELY DIRECTED ROLE,

ACTUALLY.

IN ADDITION, OF COURSE, WE SERVE

AS THE PUBLIC ADVOCATE, LOOKING

AT THE PUBLIC GOOD ON ALL

MATTERS THAT COME BEFORE THE

PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD AND

GENERALLY THAT'S A BROAD

INQUIRY.

IT'S NOT AN INDIVIDUAL CUSTOMER

OR INDIVIDUAL LANDOWNER ROLE.

IT'S INSTEAD LOOKING STATEWIDE

AS WHAT'S BEST FOR THE PUBLIC,

AND IN THAT REGARD, I THINK OUR

ROLE ALIGNS WELL WITH THE

GOVERNOR AND THE FACT THAT THE

GOVERNOR APPOINTS THE

COMMISSIONERS AND THEN I OVERSEE

THE DEPARTMENT.

ULTIMATELY, OF COURSE, THE

GOVERNOR IS ELECTED BY

VERMONTERS AND HIS AGENDA NEEDS

TO REFLECT THE CONSTITUENTS THAT

PUT HIM INTO OFFICE.

WE DO APPROACH OUR ROLE AS

PUBLIC ADVOCATE FROM A POINT OF

VIEW OF WHAT IS BEST FOR THE

PUBLIC GOOD IN THE SITUATION.

THAT'S HOW WE HANDLED THE MERGER

AND IN THE MERGER'S CASE, I WAS

VERY PROUD THAT WE MADE THE DEAL

QUITE A BIT BETTER THAN HAD BEEN

ORIGINALLY OFFERED BY GMP.

WE FELT VERY STRONGLY THAT WE

STRENGTHENED THAT SIGNIFICANTLY

FOR CUSTOMERS AND, FRANKLY, THE

DEPARTMENT WILL BE MAKING SURE

GMP DELIVERS IN THE COMING

YEARS.

SO I SEE THOSE ROLES AS ALIGNED,

BUT I DEFINITELY HAVE HEARD THE

COMMENT AND SOMETIMES THE

CONFUSION ABOUT WHERE THOSE

MINDS ARE AND HOW FRANKLY THE

DEPARTMENT WEARS ITS DIFFERENT

HATS.

>> WHAT ABOUT THE CRITICISM ALSO

THAT THIS MERGER REALLY GIVES

GAS METRO A STRONGHOLD ON ENERGY

IN THE STATE OF VERMONT AND THAT

THERE COULD BE A PUSH TO USE

THIS MERGER AND ALL OF THAT --

THE THINGS THAT GO WITH IT TO

SERVICE SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND IN

A CHEAPER WAY.

DO YOU THINK THAT THE TWO ARE

COMPLETELY DIFFERENT?

>> YOU KNOW, I UNDERSTAND --

AGAIN, I UNDERSTAND THE COMMENTS

AND THE BOARD RECEIVED SOME OF

THOSE COMMENTS IN THE MERGER

PROCEEDING AND ADDRESSED THEM IN

ITS FINAL ORDER.

I THINK, AGAIN, IT'S A

MISPERCEPTION ABOUT HOW THE

MATTER IS REGULATED HERE IN

VERMONT.

GAS METRO, OF COURSE, HAS OWNED

VERMONT GAS SYSTEMS FOR 25-PLUS

YEARS, I BELIEVE, AND HAS OWNED

GMP FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS NOW.

WE HAVE A REAL REGULATORY

HISTORY WITH THEM AND IT'S

OVERALL A VERY POSITIVE ONE.

THEY HAVE BEEN A GOOD PARTNER IN

VERMONT.

THEY HAVE KEPT CONTROL AND

DECISION-MAKING CENTRALIZED, YOU

KNOW, HERE IN VERMONT RATHER

THAN UP NORTH, AND I THINK THAT

THE CONCERN THAT AN EVEN GREATER

PERCENTAGE OF OUR UTILITIES ARE

NOW OWNED BY GAS METRO MEANS

THAT THE DEPARTMENT AND THE

BOARD NEED TO BE ESPECIALLY

VIGILANT GOING FORWARD, THAT ALL

OF THE RULES ARE FOLLOWED, ALL

THE RULES REGARDING FINANCIAL

REPORTING AND DECISION-MAKING

AND APPROVAL, BUT THAT

ULTIMATELY THOSE RULES APPLY

REGARDLESS OF WHO THE ULTIMATE

OWNER OF THE UTILITY IS, WHETHER

IT WAS GMP, GAS METRO, A

PUBLICLY TRADED COMPANY SUCH AS

CVPS, OR A DIFFERENT FOREIGN

OWNER, THAT WOULD BE TRUE.

>> ARE WE IN A BIT OF A

DISADVANTAGE, THOUGH, BECAUSE SO

MUCH OF OUR ENERGY REALLY IS IN

THE HANDS OF ONE COMPANY NOW?

>> NO, NOT AT ALL.

THERE'S NO DIFFERENCE IN TERMS

OF THE REGULATORY OVERSIGHT OR

APPROVALS BEFORE OR AFTER THE

MERGER.

INDEED, THE BOARD PUT A NUMBER

OF RESTRICTIONS ON THE MERGER

AND THE FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS

JUST BECAUSE OF ITS

UNDERSTANDING AND CONCERN THAT

IT KEEP CONTROL OVER THOSE SORTS

OF ISSUES.

AND WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR OTHER

QUESTION REGARDING SOMEHOW USING

VERMONT TO GET TO THE SOUTHERN

MARKET AS A BYWAY, IF YOU WILL.

>> THAT WAS REALLY RELATED TO

THE VELCO PORTION OF THE MERGER,

AND THERE AGAIN, I THINK PUTTING

ON THE PUBLIC ADVOCATE HAT, I'M

REALLY PROUD OF WHAT THE MERGER

ACHIEVED.

WE WERE ABLE IN THE MERGER TO

SIGNIFICANTLY SHIFT TOWARD THE

PUBLIC INTEREST THE VELCO

GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE COMPARED TO

WHAT IT WAS EVEN BEFORE THE

MERGER, AND SO BEFORE THE

MERGER, YOU HAD TWO RELATIVELY

LARGE UTILITIES WITH THE

MAJORITY STAKE AND VOICE IN

VELCO GOVERNANCE AND INSTEAD OF

THAT COMBINED MAJORITY, YOU

KNOW, HOLDING AFTER THE MERGER

AND JUST BEING GMP, WE WERE ABLE

TO MAKE SURE THAT IT REALLY

SHIFTED AND NOW THERE ARE MORE

VOICES IN PUBLIC POWER AND THE

PUBLIC INTEREST ON THE VELCO --

ON THE BOARD THAN BEFORE THE

MERGER.

AND SO THAT'S A FUNDAMENTAL

SHIFT IN HOW VELCO WILL BE

GOVERNED, AND THEREFORE, THE WAY

THAT IT WILL APPROACH ITS

ESSENTIAL FUNCTION OF

TRANSMISSION SERVICES HERE IN

VERMONT.

SO IN THE EVENT THAT THERE'S A

TRANSMISSION PROJECT THAT IS

PROPOSED, NOT ONLY WILL YOU HAVE

THE REGULATORY CONTROL THAT

WE'VE ALWAYS HAD AT THE BOARD

LEVEL, BUT YOU WILL ALSO HAVE A

DIFFERENT MAKE-UP ON THE VELCO

BOARD LOOKING TO MAKE SURE THAT

ANY SUCH DEAL REALLY BENEFITS

VERMONT BECAUSE THAT'S THE HAT

AND -- YOU KNOW, THAT'S THE WAY

WE NEED TO LOOK AT ALL OF THOSE

DECISIONS.

>> YOU HAD ALSO MENTIONED THE

VERMONT YANKEE LITIGATION.

WHERE DOES THAT STAND RIGHT NOW?

>> IT'S IN THE MIDST OF

DISCOVERY IN FRONT OF THE PUBLIC

SERVICE BOARD AND THIS IS THE

PORTION I SHOULD SAY BECAUSE

THERE'S MANY DIFFERENT ASPECTS

OF LITIGATION WITH YANKEE THESE

DAYS --

>> SURE.

>> THIS IS THE PORTION OF THE

PROCEEDING IN FRONT OF THE

PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD TO

DETERMINE WHETHER THEIR

CERTIFICATE OF PUBLIC GOOD FOR

OPERATION FOR AN ADDITIONAL 20

YEARS SHOULD BE RENEWED, AND THE

BOARD WILL CONDUCT HEARINGS ON

THAT TOPIC.

I BELIEVE FIRST IN FEBRUARY AND

THEN AGAIN IN JUNE, AND PROBABLY

WILL BE ISSUING A DECISION LATE

SUMMER OR FALL, SOMEWHERE IN

THAT TIME FRAME.

>> LET'S MOVE ON TO WIND,

ANOTHER BIG --

>> SURE.

>> -- ENERGY TOPIC HERE IN THE

STATE.

WHERE ARE WE -- WE HAVE TWO UP

AND RUNNING RIGHT NOW IN THE

NORTHEAST KINGDOM, CORRECT?

LOWELL AND SHEFFIELD.

>> YES, AND THEN THERE'S

SEARSBURG DOWN SOUTH.

>> AND OTHERS WAITING TO COME ON

LINE.

THERE'S A RUSH TO GET THESE DONE

BECAUSE OF TAX BREAKS?

>> THERE'S ONE OTHER BEING

CONSTRUCTED RIGHT NOW AND THAT'S

AT GEORGIA MOUNTAIN HERE AT THE

FRANKLIN-SHIPMAN COUNTY LINE AND

THAT'S THE ONLY OTHER ONE UNDER

CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW AND

THERE'S NO ACTIVE 248

PROCEEDINGS -- THAT'S THE

TECHNICAL TERM FOR A PROJECT

LIKE THIS -- PENDING AT THE

BOARD RIGHT NOW, ALTHOUGH THERE

ARE TWO PROJECTS SEEKING

METEOROLOGICAL TOWERS, EXACTLY.

>> TWO UP IN THE NORTHEAST

KINGDOM AND OBVIOUSLY THEY'RE

GENERATING POWER AND ALSO

GENERATING CONTROVERSY FROM

NEIGHBORING TOWNS.

THE GOVERNOR HAS APPOINTED A

PANEL TO TAKE A LOOK AT THIS.

NOW THAT THEY'RE UP AND RUNNING,

SOME PEOPLE ARE STILL NOT HAPPY

WITH THE AESTHETICS OF THEM,

THERE HAVE BEEN NOISE COMPLAINTS

AS OF LATE.

IS THIS PANEL A GOOD IDEA?

DO YOU THINK IT'S NECESSARY?

>> IT IS.

I SHOULD BACK UP.

THE ENERGY GENERATION SITING

COMMISSION THAT THE GOVERNOR

ASKED ME TO APPOINT IS BROADER

THAN WIND AND I THINK THAT'S

IMPORTANT FOR FOLKS TO

UNDERSTAND.

ONE OF THE THINGS I'VE SEEN IN

THE DEPARTMENT OVER THE LAST TWO

YEARS IS THERE IS BROADLY IN VET

A REAL DESIRE TO SEE MORE

RENEWABLE ENERGY, PARTICULARLY

ON THE LOCAL LEVEL.

HOWEVER, FOLKS HAVE

UNDERSTANDABLE CONCERN ABOUT HOW

PROJECTS ARE CHOSEN, SITED, AND

BUILT, AND THAT'S NOT JUST FOR

WIND.

THAT'S TRUE OF SOLAR PROJECTS,

BIOMASS PROJECTS.

I BELIEVE IT WOULD BE EQUALLY

TRUE IF WE HAD A FOSSIL FUEL

PROJECT PROPOSED.

AND SO WHEN WE LOOKED AT THE

ENERGY PLAN AND MADE

RECOMMENDATIONS, THAT PLAN SAID

WE SHOULD BE CONSIDERING HOW

BEST TO SITE THESE PROJECTS AND

WHETHER THE PRACTICES THAT WE'VE

HAD IN PLACE FOR YEARS AND YEARS

ARE STILL THE BEST PRACTICES NOW

THAT WE HAVE A NUMBER OF

PROJECTS BEING PROPOSED, MORE SO

THAN WE DID A DECADE AGO BY FAR,

AND MANY OF THEM ON A SCALE

WHERE WE'LL SEE A SMALL PROJECT

HERE, MAYBE A LARGER PROJECT

OVER HERE, AND FRANKLY, WE JUST

HAVEN'T HAD THAT IN THE STATE

BEFORE.

SO AGAIN, SORRY, THE COMMISSION

ITSELF IS LOOKING AT THAT

BROADER ISSUE AND WIND IS

CERTAINLY PART OF THAT, BUT IT

IS MOSTLY FOCUSED ON PROCESS AND

PROCEDURE AS WELL AS ON ENSURING

THAT WHAT GETS BUILT HAS GOOD

REVIEW GOING FORWARD FROM AN

ENVIRONMENTAL POINT OF VIEW AS

WELL AS OTHER IMPACTS, SO THAT

WE MAKE SURE WE HAVE A GOOD

PROCESS.

>> AND IS THE BOTTOM LINE HERE

TO MAKE SURE THAT NEIGHBORS AND

PEOPLE WHO WILL BE LOOKING AT

THESE WIND FARMS LIKE THEM?

GIVE THEM MORE OF A SAY?

>> PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

PARTICULARLY ON THE VERY LOCAL

LEVEL, NEIGHBORS, TOWNS,

REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSIONS,

IS A BIG PART OF WHAT THE

COMMISSION IS LOOKING AT.

RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE A PROCESS IN

VERMONT THAT'S STATEWIDE

APPROVAL AND THERE'S LOTS OF

GOOD REASONS FOR STATEWIDE

APPROVAL IN VERMONT GIVEN HOW

OUR LAWS WORK AND HOW THE POWER

SYSTEM IS ALL INTEGRATED, BUT

ONE OF THE QUESTIONS THE

COMMISSION IS LOOKING AT IS

WHETHER WE COULD DO SOMETHING

DIFFERENTLY IN TERMS OF PUBLIC

PARTICIPATION OR, LIKE I SAID,

TOWN LEVEL OR REGIONAL LEVEL

PARTICIPATION.

SOME OTHER STATES HAVE ADOPTED

DIFFERENT MODELS THAN VERMONT

AND THAT'S SOMETHING THE

COMMISSION IS LOOKING AT.

>> VERY QUICKLY, CHRIS BRACCHIA

FROM A&R, THE DEPUTY SECRETARY

WILL BE REPLACING YOU.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE?

>> CHRIS IS GOING TO BE A GOOD

CHOICE FOR THIS JOB.

HE RAN THE DEPARTMENT OF

CONSERVATION AND WAS A PARTNER

ON THE ENERGY PLAN AT A&R.

I THINK THE ADVICE WOULD BE

LISTEN A LOT, EXPECT A LOT OF

EMAILS AND CORRESPONDENCE, AND

BE PREPARED TO DIVE INTO THE

ISSUES AND BE RESPONSIVE TO THE

PUBLIC.

I HOPE I'VE BROUGHT THAT TO THE

OFFICE.

I'VE MADE SURE WE HAVE GOOD

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT AND I BELIEVE

CHRIS WILL DO THE SAME.

>> COMMISSIONER LIZ MILLER AND

SOON TO BE CHIEF OF STAFF,

THANKS FOR JOINING US.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> WE'LL BE BACK WITH NEIGHBORS

IN THE NEWS RIGHT AFTER THIS.

>>> THE POPULARITY OF GOAT

CHEESE IS HELPING TO FUEL A BOOM

IN THE DAIRY GOAT INDUSTRY IN

VERMONT.

NOW THERE'S A NEW EFFORT TO HELP

PRODUCERS GET SOME ADDED VALUE

FROM THEIR HERD.

ALEXIA RUBENSTEIN HAS THE STORY.

>> IT'S FEEDING TIME AT THE

WINDING BROOK FARM IN

MORRISVILLE.

>> CANDY TIME.

>> ALONG WITH LAMB, PORK,

CHICKENS AND TURKEYS, ART KNEAD

SELLS ABOUT 400 GOATS A YEAR,

PRIMARILY FOR ETHNIC CUSTOMERS

IN THE BURLINGTON AREA.

>> I BUY THE OLDER DAIRY GOATS

ONCE THEY HAVE ENDED THEIR LIFE

CYCLE AS FAR AS PRODUCTIVITY FOR

THE DAIRY FARMERS, AND I SELL

THOSE TO MY SOMALIAN AND REFUGEE

CUSTOMERS.

>> GOAT IS THE MOST WIDELY

CONSUMED RED MEAT IN THE WORLD

AND IT'S CATCHING ON IN THE U.S.

AND IN VERMONT, THAS AN UNTAPPED

SUPPLY LOOKING FOR A MARKET.

WITH THE EXPLOSIVE GROWTH IN

RECENT YEARS AND INTEREST IN

GOAT CHEESE AND OTHER DAIRY

PRODUCTS, THERE'S A QUESTION OF

WHAT PRODUCERS CAN DO TO MAKE

THE MOST VALUE OUT OF THE MALE

KIDS.

VERMONT GOAT DAIRIES HAVE A

SURPLUS OF NEARLY 7,000 OF THEM

OR ABOUT 80% OF THE TOTAL ANNUAL

CROP OF KIDS THAT END UP BEING

AUCTIONED OUT OF STATE OR EVEN

DISCARTED.

HOW TO -- DISCARDED.

HOW TO GET MORE ADDED VALUE OUT

OF THOSE ANIMALS WAS THE FOCUS

OF THE NO KID LEFT BEHIND

SYMPOSIUM AT MONTPELIER.

>> OUR GOAL IS TO RAISE THEM TO

THAT MARKET WEIGHT AND GET THEM

TO THE MARKET BOTH HERE IN VOT

AND OUTSIDE.

>> THE MEETING BROUGHT TOGETHER

MEMBERS OF THE FOOD INDUSTRY AND

STATE AND FEDERAL AG OFFICIALS

WITH DAIRY GOAT AND MEAT GOAT

FARMERS.

ONE OF THE GOALS IS GETTING GOAT

DAIRIES ON BOARD.

PRODUCERS LIKE RENEE DELOUX

WHOINGS IN THE MIDST -- WHO IS

IN THE MIDST OF RAMPING UP A

GOAT INDUSTRY.

>> THE MEAT MARKET IS THERE AND

WE HAVE A VIABLE INDUSTRY TO

MOVE THEM INTO, VERSUS THE PAST,

WHICH IS GET RID OF THEM AS FAST

AS YOU CAN.

>> BACK AT THE WINDING BROOK

FARM, ART SAYS THE CHALLENGES OF

MERGING THE DAIRY AND MEAT

MARKETS ARE MANY.

FROM BREEDING THE TYPE OF GOAD

THAT'S DESIRABLE FOR BOTH MILK

AND MEAT, TO THE LACK OF THE

SCALE TO BRING THE GOAT TO

MARKET.

>> IT TAKES THAT LONG TO RAISE

DAIRY GOATS UP AND THEY DON'T

HAVE THE MUSCLE TONE THAT YOU

GET OUT OF THE TRUE, YOU KNOW,

MEAT GOAT.

IF THEY SOMEHOW CAN GET THE COST

OF RAISING THEM, YOU KNOW, INTO

LINE.

>> FINDING AN APPETITE FOR GOAT

MEAT IN THE GREEN MOUNTAINS.

>> IT'S A NICE TASTING MEAT, BUT

NOTHING THAT I GET TOO EXCITED

ABOUT.

I LIKE MY BEEF.

>> ALEXI RUBENSTEIN, CHANNEL 3

NEWS, MORRISVILLE.

>>> A HISTORIC LANDMARK IN

BENDING TON TAKEN DOWN A DECADE

AGO IS BACK.

>> REMEMBER THIS BIG CHAIR THAT

STOOD IN BEDDINGTON FOR ABOUT 40

YEARS?

>> EVERYONE IN TOWN WOULD USE IT

AS A LANDMARK FOR DIRECTIONS.

TAKE A LEFT BY THE BIG CHAIR,

TAKE A RIGHT BY THE BIG CHAIR.

>> WELL, THE BIG CHAIR IS BACK.

>> HISTORICAL LANDMARK, TO BRING

IT BACK TO BEDDINGTON WAS A

WONDERFUL THING AND I WAS

EXCITED TO DO IT.

>> SCOTT WAS HIRED TO CONSTRUCT

A NEW VERSION OF THE BIG CHAI,

WHICH WAS TAKEN DOWN 12 YEARS

AGO AFTER IT ROTTED.

HE RECENTLY OPENED HIS LATEST

FURNITURE STORE RIGHT BEHIND

WHERE THE CHAIR ONCE STOOD.

EACH TIME HE OPENS THE STORE, HE

TRIES TO FIND A UNIQUE WAY TO

GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY.

>> I CAN'T THINK OF A BETTER

WAY.

PEOPLE, YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT I

DID SOMETHING MUCH MORE

REMARKABLE THAN WHAT I DID.

IT'S JUST HUMBLING TO SEE THEIR

RESPONSE.

EVERYONE IS SO HAPPY AND I'M

AMAZED.

>> THE NEW CHAIR IS OVER 19 FEET

TALL, JUST LIKE THE OLD ONE, AND

IT'S CONSTRUCTED JUST LIKE A

REAL LADDERBACK CHAIR, ONLY

BIGGER.

>> THIS IS TRADITIONAL JOINERY

WITH THE OLD CHAIR, IT GOES

HALFWAY INTO THE LOG AND HELD IN

PLACE BY A WOODEN DOWEL, A

WOODEN PEG.

>> THE CONSTRUCTION TOOK NEARLY

3,000 POUNDS OF LUMBER AND THE

CHAIR SEAT REQUIRED ALMOST A

THOUSAND FEET OF ROPE WEAVED

EXACTLY AS IT WOULD BE FOR A

REAL CHAIR AT YOUR KITCHEN

TABLE.

>> I NEVER WOVE A SEAT THAT I

COULD STAND ON BEFORE, SO THIS

IS THE FIRST TIME I'VE EVER BEEN

ABLE TO STAND ON MY WORK.

>> PAULA IS A SEAT WEAVER FROM

BENNINGTON.

SHE DESIGNED THE SEAT TO ALLOW

THE RAIN TO FALL THROUGH.

>> IT'S A MARINE GRADE ROPE, SO

IT WILL BE VERY WEATHER

RESISTANT.

>> TO PUT IT ALL IN PERSPECTIVE,

YOU'D HAVE TO BE ALMOST 30 OR 40

FEET TALL TO ACTUALLY SIT IN

THIS CHAIR.

FRIDAY, THE CHAIR WILL BE

DELIVERED TO THE EXACT SAME SPOT

WHERE THE OTHER STOOD.

>> THE BACK LEGS WILL START JUST

ABOUT OVER HERE.

>> AND HE HOPES IT WILL BECOME A

LONG-TIME LANDMARK ONCE AGAIN.

>>> A BERRY TEEN'S WISH COMES

TRUE AND HE INSPIRED HIS

FAVORITE FOOTBALL TEAM TO A BIG

WIN.

GINA BULLARD REPORTS.

>> SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS THE NEW

YORK GIANTS MIGHT NOT BE THE

EASIEST GROUP OF MEN TO INSPIRE.

BUT AFTER THEIR WIN AGAINST THE

GREEN BAY PACKERS SUNDAY, COACH

COUGHLIN AND THE TEAM AGREED,

THERE WAS SOMETHING, OR RATHER

SOMEONE, PUSHING THEM TO FIGHT

EXTRA HARD.

>> HE WINDS UP WITH THE

RECOVERY.

>> VERY APPRECIATIVE THAT HE WAS

HERE.

>> THE PERSON THAT INSPIRED

THESE NFL SUPERSTARS?

15-YEAR-OLD ADAM MERCHANT FROM

BERRY.

>> ONE OF THE GREATEST THINGS IN

MY LIFE.

>> ADAM IS A HUGE NEW YORK

GIANTS FAN.

>> THE GREATEST BECAUSE IT WAS A

LIFE-LONG DREAM COME TRUE, AFTER

ADAM WAGED HIS OWN BATTLE OFF

THE FIELD.

ADAM WAS DIAGNOSED WITH A RARE

FORM OF NON-HODGKIN'S LYMPHOMA

IN MARCH.

HIS FAMILY WAS STRONG FOR HIM,

BUT PRIVATELY IN PAIN AND

WORRIED.

>> I WOULD SAY, I JUST WANT TO

GIVE UP.

I JUST WANT TO GIVE UP AND

CALL -- CAN'T TELL HIM WHY HE

WANTS TO LIVE AND THAT WAS

TOUGH, BUT HE JUST WAS SO

STRONG.

THAT'S HARD.

>> AFTER SIX MONTHS OF PAINFUL

TREATMENTS, HIS CANCER WENT INTO

REMISSION AND HE WAS READY FOR

ANOTHER BIG MOMENT IN HIS LIFE.

>> VERY IMPRESSIVE.

>> THE MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION

FLEW HIM AND HIS FAMILY TO NEW

YORK.

HE THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO

ATTEND A GIANTS GAME, BUT IT

TURNED OUT TO BE MUCH MORE.

[ APPLAUSE ]

>> ALL THE PEOPLE I LOOKED UP TO

WERE JUST SWARMING ME.

>> THIS SUPERFAN GOT TO MEET THE

PLAYERS AND EVEN ATTENDED A

PREGAME PRACTICE.

>> I GOT A LITTLE EMOTIONAL.

>> WHEN YOU'RE IN THE HUDDLE?

>> AND OUTSIDE.

>> IT WAS IN THAT HUDDLE THAT

ADAM DELIVERED A MESSAGE TO THE

TEAM.

>> THEY HAD SPRUNG IT ON ME THAT

I WAS GOING TO DO THE HUDDLE AND

I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW IT AND I

DIDN'T HAVE MUCH TIME TO THINK

ABOUT IT, BUT I KNEW THEN PRETTY

MUCH RIGHT AWAY WHAT I SHOULD

SAY.

>> WHAT DID YOU SAY?

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

>> A SIMPLE MESSAGE TO PLAY LIKE

WORLD CHAMPS, THAT THE TEAM TOOK

TO HEART FROM A KID WHO SHOWED

THEM TRUE COURAGE AND STRENGTH.

>> I WILL NEVER LOOK AT THOSE

PLAYERS THE SAME AGAIN.

>> GOOD JOB, MAN.

>> GOOD JOB, BUDDY.

>> AWESOME.

>> THEY'RE NOT JUST PLAYERS ON A

FIELD NOW.

NOW I'LL JUST REMEMBER HOW THEY

TREATED MY SON AND MADE HIM FEEL

SO WELCOME.

>> THE WISH HAPPENING IS MAKING

ME FEEL LIKE EVERYTHING IS BACK

ON TRACK, KNOWING THAT

EVERYTHING IS BETTER AND THAT I

CAN JUST CONTINUE ON WITH LIFE.

>> JUST SHOW ME WHAT YOU HAVE

GOT.

>> ADAM IS AN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN

AND HAD TO STOP PLAYING FOOTBALL

AFTER HIS CANCER DIAGNOSIS.

HE'S NOW CLEARED TO PLAY NEXT

YEAR.

GINA BULLARD, CHANNEL 3 NEWS,

BURLINGTON.

>> AMAZING KID.

>>> WELL, SHE LOST HER HUSBAND

TO THE WAR IN IRAQ AND THIS

HOLIDAY SEASON, SHE DOESN'T WANT

HIM OR THOSE STILL FIGHTING FOR

OUR COUNTRY TO BE FORGOTTEN.

MATT HENSON HAS MORE ON THAT.

>> NIKEL FORTON IS ON A MISSION

IN SEASON.

SHE'S BUSY COLLECTING DONATIONS

FOR HER TROOPS PROJECT.

CABOT CHEESE DONATED 400

INSULATED COFFEE MUGS.

>> WE COULDN'T SEND CHEESE, IT'S

PERISHABLE, SO WE WENT WITH THE

CUPS BECAUSE IT'S SOMETHING

THAT'S USEFUL FOR THEM AND THEY

CAN ENJOY A LITTLE BIT OF HOME

WHILE THEY'RE THERE.

>> THE WOMAN FROM BARNETT LEADS

THE ANNUAL GIFT DRIVE IN HONOR

OF HER LATE HUSBAND, U.S. ARMY

LIEUTENANT JOSEPH FORTON.

HE WAS KILLED BY A BOMB BLAST IN

IRAQ IN 2009, JUST A YEAR AFTER

THE HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEARTS GOT

MARRIED.

>> IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT HIM.

IT'S ABOUT ALL OF THEM.

THEY PUT THEIR LIVES IN HARM'S

WAY EVERY SINGLE DAY AND WE

FORGET ABOUT THEM.

>> LAST YEAR, THE PROJECT SENT

240 GIFT PACKAGES AND 4,000 HAND

MADE CHRISTMAS CARDS TO

SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN OVERSEAS.

>> WHOEVER GIVES ME AN ADDRESS,

I'LL SEND TO THEM.

WHOEVER YOU WANT, WHOEVER WANTS

ONE.

>> THE PACKAGE INCLUDE A WIDE

VARIETY OF ITEMS, SUCH AS FOOD,

SUPPLIES, GAMES, AND OTHER SMALL

GIFTS.

WHEN THE PACKAGES ARE SENT TO

ENTIRE UNITS, A SMALL CHRISTMAS

TREE IS ALSO INCLUDED.

>> NICE AND WARM.

>> THIS YEAR, SOME LUCKY

SOLDIERS WILL RECEIVE SOCKS FROM

CABOT HOSIERY WHICH DONATED 200

PAIRS.

>> VERY, VERY WORTHY AND IT WAS

EXCITING TO US BECAUSE THAT'S A

LOT OF WHAT WE DO HERE, WE DO

PRODUCE MILITARY SOCKS FOR

MILITARY, SO IT JUST SEEMED LIKE

A REALLY NICE CONNECTION.

>> MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY ARE

INVITED TO COME HELP PACK THE

BOXES THIS SATURDAY FROM 9:00 TO

12:00 AT THE ELKS CLUB IN

ST. JOHNSBURY.

THEY DONATED THE SPACE FOR THE

EVENT.

THIS YEAR'S GOAL WAS TO SEND 400

CARE PACKAGES TO THE MEN AND

WOMEN SERVING OUR COUNTRY THIS

HOLIDAY SEASON.

>> THINK ABOUT IF YOU WERE AWAY

FROM HOME AND YOU GOT A LITTLE

BOX, JUST A LITTLE BOX THAT HAD

SOMETHING FROM HOME, SOMETHING

FROM SOMEONE YOU LOVED OR

SOMEONE WHO'S THINKING ABOUT

YOU, I MEAN, IT JUST BRINGS A

SMILE TO YOUR FACE AND YOU FEEL

LOVED AND THAT'S WHAT THE

HOLIDAY SEASON IS REALLY ABOUT.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

I APPRECIATE IT.

>> A VOLUNTEER MISSION HERE AT

HOME TO SPREAD HOLIDAY CHEER TO

OUR TROOPS ON A MISSION

THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY.

MATT HENSON, CHANNEL 3 NEWS.

>> AND TO DONATE OR VOLUNTEER,

WE HAVE MORE INFORMATION ON OUR

WEBSITE.

>>> THAT WILL DO IT FOR US.

TAKE CARE, EVERYBODY.

HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY.

CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY.

CAPTION ASSOCIATES, LLC

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