Vt. officials concerned with meeting climate target timeline

Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 4:56 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Scott administration officials testified Thursday that they have concerns about meeting near-term climate targets outlined in the Global Solutions Act.

Vermont lawmakers are moving forward with plans to revise a clean heat bill. About a third of carbon emissions in our region come from heating our homes and many see the new Affordable Heat Act -- which incentivizes businesses to move away from fossil fuels -- as a key to reducing emissions.

Governor Phil Scott vetoed the “Clean Heat Standard” last year over concerns about the cost and that it gave too much power to energy regulators. A recent analysis shows if passed, the bill would cost Vermont $2 billion over the next seven years.

Under the Global Warming Solutions Act, Vermont has to meet greenhouse gas reduction benchmarks. Vt. Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore told lawmakers the state should be working toward its 2050 goals.

“2030 is an important milestone on the road from here to there to let us know if we are making adequate progress. I don’t know if we should be so beholden to it that we make less than optimal decisions in the near term which may cost us dearly in our ability to meet that long-term goal,” said Vermont Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore.

The first climate benchmark is approaching in 2025.

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