Vermont

VERMONT

The only New England state not to border the Atlantic Ocean, Vermont (with somewhat more than 600,000 residents) is the second-smallest state by population, after Wyoming, and the eighth-smallest state by area (with 9,616 square miles).

Vermont’s forest-covered mountains and fast-running rivers are home to substantial renewable energy resources and no fossil fuel reserves. Less than 100 miles across at its widest, Vermont lies between the shores of the Connecticut River on its eastern border with New Hampshire, and Lake Champlain and the Hudson River Valley on its western border with New York. The mountains that run the length of Vermont, from Canada in the north to the hills of Massachusetts in the south, occupy most of the state and have Vermont’s greatest wind resources. Rivers that descend from the mountains and those that border the state provide hydroelectric resources. Forests that cover almost four-fifths of Vermont support the state’s timber products industry, whose byproducts also fuel electricity generation and home heating. More than one in eight Vermont households use wood for their primary heating source, eight times more than the national average and the largest share of any state.

More than one-fourth of Vermont’s residents live along Lake Champlain in the northwestern county that includes the city of Burlington. Most other Vermonters live in small towns and on farms. Based on the percentage of its population that lives in rural census districts, Vermont is one of the two most rural states in the nation. In part because of the state’s small population, Vermonters use less total energy than the residents of any other state in the nation, and their total energy consumption per capita is among the lowest one-fifth of states. However, Vermont consumes more than three times as much energy as it produces.

Since 1900, and more emphatically since the 1960s, Vermont has been getting warmer, with spring arriving two weeks earlier and winter starting one week later. The air temperature has increased more than 4˚F in winter and more than 2˚F in summer over the past 50 years. With 78% of its land covered in forest, and renowned for its ski industry, the increasingly warmer winters, which threaten this area of the state’s tourism, are one of Vermont’s largest climate challenges. Only New Jersey, Rhode Island and Delaware have warmed faster. Annual precipitation has increased by almost 7 inches during the same time period.

More than half of Vermont’s electricity supply comes from out of state. In 2020,  renewable resources provided about 100% of Vermont’s in-state electricity generation – the largest share of any state. Half of that came from hydroelectric power, one-sixth came from biomass, primarily from generating units that burn wood and wood-derived fuels, and almost all the rest from wind and solar energy in nearly equal amounts. Solar energy’s contribution has increased rapidly, and, in 2020, was almost four times greater than it was in 2015.

The state generates virtually no other forms of energy, producing as a result, less carbon dioxide emissions than any other state. It consumes close to four times as much energy as it produces, even as its total energy consumption is the smallest of all the states. Residential use of energy represents 34.8% of its consumption; transportation 32.5%, Commercial 19.8% and Industrial 12.9%.

Vermont is a member of the 11-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which was established to cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power generation.\Proceeds from the sale of RGGI carbon allowances help fund state energy efficiency programs like Vermont’s Energy Efficiency Utility Program, which was created to provide energy efficiency services to residential and business energy consumers.

In 2011, Vermont set a goal to obtain 90% of all its energy from renewable resources by 2050 and to reduce its energy use by more than one-third. By 2016, Vermont had committed itself to a distributed energy future in which a significant portion of Vermont’s energy would be produced near where it was consumed. Published as the Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP), it established goals to reduce total energy consumption per capita by 15% by 2025, and by more than one third by 2050; to meet 25% of the remaining energy needs from renewable sources by 2025, 40% by 2035, and 90% by 2050. Vermont’s CEP has three end-use sector goals for 2025: 10% renewable transportation, 30% renewable buildings, and 67% renewable electric power.

Additionally, in 2018, Vermont committed itself to a reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions from its own energy use: 40% reduction below 1990 levels by 2030 and an 80% – 95% reduction below 1990 levels by 2050. One of their primary tools is to convert more heat and transportation to highly efficient electric technologies, such as heat pumps and electric vehicles.

Vermont’s CEP reflects the enormous progress they have made in the last years. They have ten times the amount of solar installed or permitted today than it did in 2010 and 20 times as much wind energy. Over the past two years, one out of every 100 new vehicles purchased in Vermont has been a plug-in or fully electric vehicles. All of this has contributed to a clean energy economy that supports over 16,200 jobs and has helped reduce electric bills in three of the last four years for the vast majority of Vermonters.

In June, 2020, the Vermont Senate took another step, approving the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2020 (it had already passed the House in February) and “creating a legally enforceable system by which Vermont will reduce its statewide greenhouse gas emissions and establish strategies to mitigate climate risks and build resiliency to climate change.” It specifically calls for the state to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to 26% below its levels in 2005 by 2025,  it requires that emissions are reduced to 40% below their 1990 levels by 2030, and ultimately 80% below by 2050. Although Governor Phil Scott vetoed the bill both the House and the Senate voted to override his veto and the measure became law in September 2020.

Vermont is one of twenty-four states, along with Puerto Rico, committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is working to implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

Vermont and New York Climate Acts are First in a Wave of Likely Climate Change Cost Recovery Laws

06/20/24
On May 30, 2024, Vermont’s Republican governor, Phil Scott, allowed Vermont’s S 259 — also referred to as the “Climate Superfund Act” — to become law without his signature. The stated goal of this law…
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Landmark Vermont Climate Bill Becomes Law Over Governor Concerns

By Drew Hutchinson 05/31/24
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) allowed the bill to become law without his signature, writing in a letter to the Vermont secretary of state that he was “deeply concerned” about the possible short- and long-term…
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Vermont Moves to Hold Fossil-Fuel Companies Liable for Climate-Change Damage

By Elizabeth Kolbert 05/27/24
On July 10, 2023, Vermont’s state capital, Montpelier, was hit with more than five inches of rain. The city sits at the confluence of the main stream of the Winooski and its north branch; the…
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Q&A: New Legislation in Vermont Will Make Fossil Fuel Companies Liable for Climate Impacts in the State. Here’s What That Could Look Like

By Paloma Beltran 05/25/24
Vermont’s House and Senate have approved a bill that would make fossil fuel companies financially liable for their carbon pollution and its role in the climate crisis. Lawmakers pointed to consequences of these carbon emissions,…
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Vermont is on the cusp of mandating 100% clean electricity by 2035

By Akielly Hu 05/10/24
The state’s Senate approved the measure this week, putting Vermont on track to be among the first states to fully decarbonize its power grid.
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Vermont passes bill to charge fossil fuel companies for damage from climate change

By Maura Barrett and Lucas Thompson 05/08/24
Vermont lawmakers passed a bill this week that is designed to make big fossil fuel companies pay for damage from weather disasters fueled by climate change. The legislation is modeled after the Environmental Protection Agency’s…
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The Vermont Legislature Considers ‘Superfund’ Legislation to Compensate for Climate Change

By Olivia Gieger 04/19/24
Last summer, on the evening of July 11, Andy Jones went on a surreal canoe ride. Jones, the manager of the Intervale Community Farm in Burlington, Vermont, joined a flotilla of a dozen neighbors and…
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A Climate Superfund Law Might Be Crazy Enough to Work

By Emily Pontecorvo 03/29/24
Dozens of cities and states have tried to sue the oil industry for damages related to climate change over the past several years, and so far, none of these cases has been successful. In fact,…
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Proposed transmission line for renewable power from Canada to New England canceled

By The Associated Press 03/07/24
A major electrical transmission line proposal intended to carry power to New England from Canada through Vermont and New Hampshire has been canceled.
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Vermont Governor Opposes Ambitious Renewable Energy Bill Over Costs

By Christopher Bonasia 03/07/24
Citing a disputed cost study, Vermont Governor Phil Scott is pushing back against a bill that mandates faster, wider adoption of renewable energy by the state’s power utilities.
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University of Vermont maple specialist discusses impact of climate change on the industry

By Pat Bradley 03/01/24
The groundhog predicted an early spring to no one’s surprise given the dearth of snow this winter. Warmer temperatures meant many people in the region did not see a white Christmas and some larger maple…
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Greener snowmaking is helping ski resorts weather climate change

By Tik Root 02/27/24
Trudging across the top of Bromley Mountain Ski Resort on a sunny afternoon in January, Matt Folts checks his smartwatch and smiles: 14 degrees Fahrenheit. That is very nearly his favorite temperature for making snow.…
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PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Updated renewable energy standard to become law following override

06/17/24
Members of both the House and Senate voted on Monday to override Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of a bill that aims to increase Vermont’s reliance on renewable energy. It requires most of the state’s utilities…

Standard Solar Acquires 18-Megawatt Solar Project Portfolio in Vermont, Reinforcing its Commitment to the State’s Renewable Energy Market

03/11/24
Standard Solar, a leading commercial and community solar developer and asset owner, today announced the acquisition of an 18.5-megawatt (MW) solar project portfolio in Vermont from local developer MHG Solar.

Will Vermont be the next state to commit to 100% renewable electricity?

03/01/24
Vermont lawmakers are moving forward with legislation, that if passed, would require electric utilities to get 100% of the electricity they provide to consumers from renewable energy sources by 2030. H.289, An Act Relating to…

Scott warns lawmakers over $1B clean energy bill

02/29/24
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott is cautioning lawmakers about advancing a clean energy bill he says could cost consumers more than $1 billion over the next decade.

State lawmakers advance renewable energy standard

02/11/24
State lawmakers advance a bill to source more of our energy from renewable resources.

A bill that would reform the renewable energy standard in Vermont clears key panel

02/07/24
A key committee has voted in favor of a bill that would increase the amount of renewable energy that Vermont utilities are required to purchase.

Utilities and environmentalists call for big reforms to renewable energy law

12/28/23
Vermont lawmakers plan to introduce a bill with the recommendations when the legislative session starts in January.

Vt., NH projects win $2M in grants for clean energy, food production

11/28/23
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing millions of dollars into clean energy and food production in Vermont, New Hampshire and across the country

Burlington approves new carbon fee and creates new fund for clean energy projects

11/22/23
The City Council this week voted 8-4 to charge developers a fee for installing new fossil fuel heating systems in new buildings and some existing buildings, despite opposition from some environmentalists who contend the measure…

Study: Renewable energy could up New England rates 20%

06/11/23
A new study shows power demand in New England has experienced an 11.4% drop from 2008 to 2020 but could cost ratepayers billions of dollars to incorporate zero-emissions electricity.

Clean Energy Technologies plans facility in Lyndonville, Vermont

06/01/23
Vermont Renewable Gas LLC, an affiliate of Clean Energy Technologies (CETY), Costa Mesa, California, has entered into an agreement with Northeastern Vermont Development Association to purchase 8 acres in the Saint Johnsbury/Lyndon Industrial Park. The…

South Burlington regs would require solar on new construction

05/07/23
New land use regulations under consideration with the South Burlington City Council would mandate the installation of solar photovoltaic systems in new commercial buildings and some new residential buildings.

Vermont governor vows to veto climate bill as too expensive

04/29/23
Republican Gov. Phil Scott said Friday he will veto a bill passed by the Legislature that aims to help the state reduce greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging Vermonters to move away from fossil fuels to…

Electricity Rates Are High in Vermont, Solar Panels Could Help

04/24/23
Vermont has some of the highest electricity rates, nearly 20 cents per kilowatt-hour in January 2023, according to SaveOnEnergy, CNET's sister site.

University of Vermont commits to carbon neutrality by 2030

04/19/23
Everett McGinley and his wife Susan bought a tract of land for their home in Montgomery, a small town on the Vermont-Quebec border, in 2006. “There are lots of small landholders in Vermont like us,…

Vermont Needs More Green Power, but Locals Resist Large Projects. Where Should Our Energy Come From?

04/19/23
Ken Kennedy stood in the driveway of his vacation home on a hillside in Shaftsbury, dodging questions about the solar development planned for his sprawling property. It was a frigid afternoon in February, a few…

University of Vermont pledges to go carbon neutral by 2030

04/18/23
This week is Earth week, and the University of Vermont is celebrating on Tuesday with a big announcement on the school’s environmental impact.

Funding to help Vermont farms go green

04/10/23
Vermont farms could become greener in the near future with the help of some federal funding. Some $1 billion is being made available nationwide for farms and rural businesses to invest in renewable energy technology…

Federal funding opens for rural renewables

04/07/23
Electricity moves through transmission lines -- highways to move power over long distances -- and distribution lines -- similar to city streets to get power to homes. The more excess energy generated through renewable resources,…

Norwich Solar Announces a Solar Project in Newbury, Vermont to Benefit Net Metering Customers

04/06/23
Vermont Business Magazine Norwich Solar has received a Certificate of Public Good (CPG) from the Vermont Public Utility Commission for a 500 kW AC solar array in Newbury, VT. The ground-mounted system will generate enough…

In effort to use more renewable energy, Milton Selectboard votes to approve location for town solar facility

04/05/23
In an effort to reduce dependence on petroleum and other non-renewable resources, Milton is partnering with Norwich Solar to create a solar facility in town.

Solar Split: Does large-scale energy development belong in Vermont?

02/25/23
People in Shaftsbury are wrestling with the idea of a utility-scale solar field in the small town. Could your town be next and would you welcome it? The developer already has plans for a similar…

New legislation would reform Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard

02/23/23
H.320, An act relating to the Renewable Energy Standard, is a proposal to reform Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard to prioritize the development of new renewable resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout Vermont and the…

Vermont signs on to hydrogen power hub plan

02/14/23
Vermont last week received a warm welcome into New Yorks’s proposed hydrogen hub plan. The plan aims to tap into the vast amount of new federal funding available for hydrogen-based projects to help lower greenhouse…

Burlington files for state approval of district energy project at McNeil plant

02/12/23
Discussed since the early 1980s, a plan to harness steam heat from Burlington’s wood-fired power plant took a step forward earlier this month when project consultants asked for state approval.

Climate savior or threat? 20-megawatt solar plant plan ignites public debate at forum in Shaftsbury

02/09/23
About 150 people attended a two-hour forum Wednesday night at the elementary school and via Zoom, during which residents lined up to offer comments or ask questions about a 20-megawatt solar facility proposed in the…

Initiatives target a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions

02/09/23
Initiatives targeting a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be funded if the Vermont Office of Climate Action gets an additional $200,000 in the state’s upcoming fiscal year 2024 budget.

Vermont Joins Multi-State Effort to Create Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub in Northeast

02/09/23
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced Vermont has signed on to a multi-state agreement, joining with New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island, to develop a proposal to become one of up to…

Vermont gas utility sees geothermal as a part of its carbon-cutting portfolio

02/08/23
Vermont Gas Systems is seeking possible sites for its first networked geothermal project, in which multiple buildings would be connected to a system that provides emission-free heating and cooling via underground pipes. Vermont gas utility…

Solar Advocates Push for More Aggressive Renewable Energy Goals

02/01/23
Solar energy advocates on Wednesday called for Vermont to adopt more aggressive renewable-energy goals to ensure the state does its part to fight climate change.

Norwich Solar gets approval for a solar project in Jamaica, VT

01/19/23
Another 500 kW AC solar project has passed a critical milestone of receiving a Certificate of Public Good from the Vermont Utility Commission this January.

New England states poised to capitalize on new federal climate law incentives

10/24/22
Years of work crafting climate and clean energy plans have left New England states in a prime position to take advantage of renewable energy incentives in the historic climate bill enacted by Congress over the…

Gov. Scott signs environmental justice policy and 2 other major environmental bills into law

By Abagael Giles 06/01/22
Vermont is one of the last states in New England to have an environmental justice policy on the books, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been pushing for one since 2016.

Vermont Standard Offer Program 2022 RFP released soliciting over 5 MW of new renewable energy

03/18/22
On March 14, 2022, the Vermont Standard Offer Facilitator (“Facilitator”) released the Request for Proposals (“RFP”) soliciting over 5 MW of new renewable energy projects under Vermont’s Standard Offer Program. The program’s individual project capacity…

Vt. House Approves Bill to Create Clean Heat Standard

03/17/22
Vermont’s House of Representatives passed a bill that would implement a clean heat standard, as recommended by the state's Climate Council.

Vermont Facility Reduces Energy Expenses with Solar Array

03/15/22
Green Lantern Solar, a renewable energy development and finance company focusing on commercial solar and energy storage systems, has completed a solar array for Chroma Technology, a Vermont-based certified B Corp in the precision optics…

Vt. lawmakers consider alternate transportation funding sources

02/24/22
As Vermont works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet climate goals, a big part of that involves electrifying the transportation sector. While the new infrastructure package approved by Congress is expected to be transformational,…

Towns in Vermont, New Hampshire collaborating on solar projects

02/22/22
A group of towns in Vermont and New Hampshire is collaborating on solar projects. The Valley News reports the Solarize 2022 campaign started in Cornish, New Hampshire. The town committed to a 100% renewable energy…
VPR

GlobalFoundries says it will comply with Vermont’s renewable energy requirements

02/22/22
Semiconductor manufacturer GlobalFoundries says it will move forward with its proposal to become its own electric utility, after state regulators told the company last week that it could not skirt the state’s renewable energy standard.

Groups urge bigger targets, more equity as RGGI states consider changes

12/21/21
As the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as RGGI, undergoes a thorough review by participating states, environmental advocates are demanding more ambitious emission reduction targets and a mandate for equitable distribution of the revenues.

Senate overrides veto of Global Warming Solutions Act, making it law

09/22/21
The Vermont Senate voted Tuesday to override Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of the Global Warming Solutions Act — legislation that legally requires the state to meet targets for reducing carbon emissions in the coming years.…

This Vermont Utility Is Revolutionizing Its Power Grid to Fight Climate Change. Will the Rest of the Country Follow Suit?

07/26/21
Visitors entering a code-locked central control room at Green Mountain Power (GMP)’s Colchester, Vt., headquarters instinctively lower their voices, whispering in deference to operators relaying orders from behind semicircular clusters of screens. It’s an intimidating…

Converting Dairy Waste to Renewable Energy and Clean Water

06/11/21
Leyline Renewable Capital announced a partnership with PurposeEnergy to facilitate the development of the SAINT project in St. Albans, Vt., that will anaerobically convert industrial food waste, including Ben & Jerry's high-strength dairy waste and depackaged…

Burlington is on track to meet Net Zero Energy city goal

05/11/21
EV driver Linda Provost listens to a question outside her Burlington home on Monday. To Linda’s right are Darren Springer and Jennifer Green. To Linda’s left are Mayor Weinberger, Stu McGowan, and Gabrielle Stebbins. Courtesy…

Vermont Electric plans for carbon neutrality by 2023, renewable energy by 2030

By Jack Summersby 05/06/21
Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) plans to reach carbon neutrality by 2023 and transition fully to renewable, carbon-free energy sources by 2030, according to an announcement released last month. CEO Rebecca Towne cited member enthusiasm and statewide climate…

Burlington is on track to meet Net Zero Energy city goal

04/12/21
 Mayor Miro Weinberger, the Burlington Electric Department, and other city team and community leaders today jointly announced that Burlington is off to a great start toward meeting its ambitious Net Zero Energy city by 2030 goal

Scott pitches $1 billion plan to invest in housing, broadband and climate

By Xander Landen 04/06/21
Gov. Phil Scott on Tuesday unveiled a plan to spend $1 billion of federal Covid-19 aid on major investments in broadband expansion, affordable housing and initiatives to address climate change. If approved by the Legislature,…

Scott pitches $1 billion plan to invest in housing, broadband and climate

By Xander Landen 04/06/21
Gov. Phil Scott on Tuesday unveiled a plan to spend $1 billion of federal Covid-19 aid on major investments in broadband expansion, affordable housing and initiatives to address climate change.

Preparing for Climate Change in Vermont

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps Vermont is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Vermont’s Climate Goals

03/27/19
Climate change could have disastrous effects across the world, and here in the northeast U.S. too, if left unchecked.  We’re already getting a preview. The extent of climate change is linked to how much carbon dioxide,…

Vermont 2016 Comprehensive Energy Plan

03/27/19
Vermont stands at a moment of great promise for a clean energy future. Over the four years since the publication of the last Comprehensive Energy Plan, Vermonters have built a foundation of infrastructure, policies, and programs…

KEY RESOURCES

Biden-Harris Administration selects National Grid’s Twin States Clean Energy Link as part of $1.3 billion commitment to build out nation’s transmission infrastructure

10/30/23
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced Twin States Clean Energy Link, National Grid’s proposed transmission project to support New England’s climate, clean energy, and energy security goals, has been selected as one of…

Vermont State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/19/21
Vermont's forest-covered mountains and fast-running rivers are home to substantial renewable energy resources, but the state has no fossil energy reserves. Less than 100 miles across at its widest, Vermont lies between the shores of…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Vermont

09/19/20
In 2018, Vermont experienced one severe storm. The damages of this event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Vermont

08/07/20
Vermont is vulnerable to increasing temperatures, floods and droughts, and a shorter winter

AllEarth Solar

02/28/20
We believe in Renewable Energy for All. Every AllEarth dual-axis solar tracker is designed, tested, and engineered in Vermont.

Renewable Energy Vermont

02/28/20
Continuing our history of innovative and independent leadership, we work hard every day to help Vermont become a national beacon of resilience and renewal through advancements in renewable energy.

NOAA State Climate Summaries: Vermont

02/28/20
Information from NOAA to help understand climate change in Vermont.

Climate Change in Vermont

02/28/20
An overview of how climate change is affecting Vermont.

Climate Change in Vermont

02/28/20
Explore Vermont’s climate goals and initiatives, and find out how you can take action.

MORE NEWS

It’s time for Northeast to prep for floods like those that hit this winter. Climate change is why

By Patrick Whittle   02/15/24  
After back-to-back storms lashed the Northeast in January, rental properties Haim Levy owns in coastal Hampton, New Hampshire, were hammered by nearly two feet of water, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage…
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Vermont, Other States Push for “Climate Superfund” Bill to Hold Polluting Companies Accountable

By Dana Drugmand   02/03/24  
In 2023—Earth’s hottest year in recorded history—extreme weather events wreaked havoc across the United States. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the country saw an “unprecedented number of billion-dollar disasters” in a single…
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A Superfund for climate change? States consider a new way to make Big Oil pay.

By Katie Myers   02/02/24  
Last July, the normally warm and humid but still pleasant New England summer was disrupted by a series of unusually heavy rain storms. Flash floods broke creek banks and washed away roads, inundating several cities…
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What do Vermont youth think are the pressing issues of their generation?

By April Barton   02/01/24  
Youth from across the state advised policymakers on issues impacting young Vermonters. What do they think should be the state's priorities?
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Is Vermont on track to meet its 2025 climate commitments? Not everyone agrees

By Abagael Giles   01/11/24  
The Scott administration on Wednesday told members of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy that their best modeling predicts the state is on track to meet the first deadline for reducing greenhouse gas…
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Will Vermont meet its 2025 climate emissions requirement? Experts clash over the data.

By Emma Cotton   01/11/24  
State agencies and data experts engaged in a tense discussion in front of lawmakers on Wednesday about whether the state is on track to meet a legally binding benchmark.
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New England storm aftermath: Shoreline flooding, evacuations, and washed-out roads

By Emily Sweeney and others   01/10/24  
A pounding rainstorm that lashed the region overnight caused extensive flooding along the coast Wednesday, washing out roads, engulfing vehicles, and forcing evacuations in Rhode Island and Hampton, N.H. The storm dropped several inches of…
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Vermont lawmakers want to help loggers adapt to climate change

By Abagael Giles   01/05/24  
Vermont is getting warmer and wetter due to climate change — especially in the winters.
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Vermont officials developing plan to prepare for impacts of climate change

By Aidan Scanlon   01/03/24  
Berlin, VT- Governor Phil Scott and State Treasurer Mike Pieciak have announced plans to develop a new strategy to make Vermont better prepared for natural disasters like the flooding seen in July, while also reducing…
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Due to climate change, winter flooding is likely to become more common in Vermont

By Emma Cotton   12/22/23  
This week’s storm was much milder than this summer’s deluge, with no reported injuries or deaths. Still, it caused widespread flooding, prompted 12 swiftwater rescues, closed 120 schools and flooded many basements.
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Vermont Farmers Share Struggles and Resilience in Face of Climate Change

By Colleen Goodhue   12/13/23  
The Food & Ideas Gathering (FIG) seminar series wrapped up its first semester of programming last week with a panel of Vermont farmers on the topic of how climate change has and continues to affect…
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Can we make Vermont’s forests more like old forests, faster?

By Abagael Giles   12/04/23  
Old forests are good for water quality, plant and animal and fungi life. Scientists also think they have a better shot at surviving climate change than younger forests do.
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Annual report finds Vermont not meeting greenhouse gas reduction goals

By Pat Bradley   11/16/23  
The Energy Action Network has issued its annual progress report assessing Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions and how it compares to surrounding states.
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Homeowners in Vermont weigh whether to repair or take a buyout after floods

By Liam Elder-Connors   09/12/23  
Nearly two months after rain and floods pummeled Vermont, the immediate cleanup is over. Now the hundreds of people whose homes flooded face a difficult choice. Should they rebuild, especially as climate change is expected…
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July flooding pulled nutrients, waste into Vermont’s waters — and climate change is making it worse

By Abagael Giles and Corey Dockser   08/24/23  
By July 13, the floodwaters from the Lamoille and Gihon rivers had largely retreated from Johnson, but at David Camley’s Main Street apartment, the air still smelled like No. 2 fuel oil.
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Why so many Vermonters were blindsided by July’s flooding

By Tik Root   08/08/23  
As heavy rain drenched Barre, Vermont last month, Kim Beinin was watching "Thor" with her two young children. About halfway through the movie, she peeked out the window and was startled to see water flowing…
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The dam near Montpelier held. As climate change brings stronger storms, experts fear many won’t.

By Sabrina Shankman   07/15/23  
As record rain pounded Montpelier for the second day and rivers raged far beyond their banks early last week, city leaders and first responders were awake deep into the night, huddled around a police station…
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Vermont Is the Soggy Edge of America’s Flood Insurance Crisis

By Emily Pontecorvo   07/12/23  
Torrential rain drowned parts of New York State and Vermont this week, bringing “historic and catastrophic” flooding, in the words of Vermont governor Phil Scott. Now, as the immediate horror of the event recedes and…
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Heat wave, flooding: Two of the biggest political stories of the week

By Olivier Knox   07/12/23  
You’re probably watching — and maybe living — two of the biggest political stories this week: The punishing heat wave across the West and South, and torrential rain drowning Vermont and upstate New York. But…
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Torrents of rain raise river levels, fears across Vermont and other locations in New England

By Travis Andersen and Kevin Cullen   07/11/23  
As pummeling rains fell Monday afternoon for the second straight day, Kim Crowell stood in the garage of her home, watching the Winooski River rise inch by inch. The river had already overflowed its banks…
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Flooding Closes Roads and Threatens Towns Through Much of Vermont

By Liam Stack, Jesse McKinley and Kristin Chapman   07/10/23  
Torrential rainfall and widespread flooding wreaked havoc in the river valleys and mountain towns of Vermont and New York State on Monday, ravaging communities and drawing comparisons to the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene more…
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Vermont taking Monsanto to court over polychlorinated biphenyls contamination

By Brent Addleman   06/20/23  
Vermont Attorney General Charity Clark is taking Monsanto to court for alleged school and environmental contamination. The suit is designed to protect Vermont's natural resources and schools that have been affected by contamination from the…
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Vermont is moving from fuel oil to clean heat

By Maria Gallucci   05/16/23  
The state legislature in Vermont overruled the governor’s veto to pass a law that will curb greenhouse gas emissions from heating homes and other buildings.
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Students rally at Statehouse for action on climate change

By WCAX News Team   04/15/23  
Hundreds of students and members of the Vermont Youth Lobby urged lawmakers to pass bills to reduce carbon emissions including the Affordable Heat Act.
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Vermont Public partners with award-winning science series NOVA as part of ‘Climate Across America’ initiative

By Michelle Owens   04/12/23  
Vermont Public has partnered with the award-winning PBS science series NOVA, a production of GBH, to produce and distribute multiplatform, climate-focused content as part of the series’ national Climate Across America initiative.
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Can you take an entire town ‘off the grid?’ A Vermont utility thinks you can

By Abagael Giles and Others   04/11/23  
Climate change is making weather more extreme in Vermont and across the country. In a lot of places, our electricity infrastructure — poles and wires — are pretty exposed. Nationwide, our power grid was built…
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Changing climate brings uncertainty for songbirds in our region

By Kevin Gaiss   04/06/23  
Vermont has over 180 different breeding birds in the state, but a changing climate in the region is putting some of those species at risk, including the songbirds that ring in spring with their sweet…
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Climate Council’s equity group reflects on accusations of tokenism, barriers to better representation

By Emma Cotton   03/22/23  
At a meeting of an equity-focused subcommittee of the Vermont Climate Council last week, Indra Acharya engaged other members in an exercise he acknowledged would be uncomfortable.
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Vermont teens call on lawmakers to act on climate change and pass the Affordable Heat Act

By Olivia Q. Pintair   03/19/23  
As legislators scrambled to meet crossover deadlines for policy bills at the Statehouse on Friday, youth climate activists spent the day calling on lawmakers to prioritize climate justice.
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Cases of tick-borne babesiosis increase significantly in New England

By Ross Cristantiello   03/19/23  
New research shows that the tick-borne disease babesiosis is becoming much more common in some New England states.
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Vt. business leaders rally for climate bills

By Kevin Gaiss   03/17/23  
A group of Vermont business leaders rallied at the Statehouse Thursday demanding lawmakers take further action to address climate change. Officials from businesses including Seventh Generation, SunCommon, Ben & Jerry’s, and Main Street Landing all…
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Proactive climate migrants look to find refuge in Vermont

By Kevin Gaiss   03/14/23  
We’ve met new Vermonters finding the Green Mountains as a refuge from a changing climate, fleeing wildfires, drought or flooding. Climate migrants is the term coined for their movement. But what about those who aren’t…
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Climate activists demand clean energy solutions at Statehouse

By Lily Miner   02/12/23  
Renewable energy and equitable distribution of that energy to all Vermonters was the top priority of the day. Those in attendance at the rally expressed their objections to current energy consumption methods and promoted some…
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Act 250 in the crosshairs as environmental groups prioritize forest loss

By Ciara McEneany   02/05/23  
Environmental advocates across the state head into this year’s legislative session with the goal of updating Act 250 — Vermont's land use and development law — to protect one of the state’s biggest natural resources:…
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New England clean energy goals slam into oil reality

By Miranda Willson   01/18/23  
New England power plants burned more oil for electricity on a single day during last month’s deep freeze than they have in four years, underscoring the gap between Northeastern states’ clean energy targets and the…
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In a season impacted by patterns of climate change, ski areas work to be ‘adaptable’

By Emma Cotton   01/16/23  
The start of the winter season has been difficult for snow sport enthusiasts across Vermont.
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Boston Is Losing Its Snow Wicked Fast

By Katherine J. Wu   12/19/22  
My first winter in Boston, the last patches of snow on my street didn’t melt until late June. It was 2015, the year the city broke its all-time record for annual snowfall: 110.3 inches, more…
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Vermont ranks #3 for renewable energy production

12/17/22  
Vermont Business Magazine As the world continues to deal with the realities of climate change, countries are increasingly turning towards renewable energy sources. Here in the U.S., the Biden administration has set ambitious targets to…
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USDA Rural Development distributing millions of dollars in Vermont and New Hampshire

By John Hawks   12/16/22  
he Vermont and New Hampshire United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development distributing millions of dollars to rural communities through climate initiatives. “If we can reduce our energy bills, people have more money to spend…
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Vermont’s dairy farms recede, giving way to shrimp, saffron and new ideas

By Laura Reiley and Zoeann Murphy   12/02/22  
There was a time when Vermont’s landscape was dotted with weathered red barns full of dairy cows, and every country store was chockablock with local maple syrup and candies. The barns are there still, as…
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Gov. Scott signs environmental justice policy and 2 other major environmental bills into law

By Abagael Giles   06/01/22  
Vermont is one of the last states in New England to have an environmental justice policy on the books, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been pushing for one since 2016.
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Vt. House gives early approval to bill creating a clean heat standard

By Emma Cotton   03/17/22  
Lawmakers in the Vermont House on Wednesday advanced a bill that would establish a clean heat standard, a system that would eventually lower greenhouse gas emissions in the home heat sector.
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Going Green for St Patrick’s Day: Brewing up sustainability

03/17/22  
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont has always been at the forefront of sustainability initiatives, and the craft beverage movement is no exception. Our favorite spots for a quick nip are thinking more and more about what…
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The Two Degree Difference: Climate impact on VT farms

03/07/22  
As our climate continues to warm, our seasons continue to change. Globally, over the last decade, our planet has experienced some of the warmest temperatures on record. That is a trend that continues into this…
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Vermont Research Center on Forefront of Climate Change Impacts on Maple Industry

By Jack Thurston   03/07/22  
Maple syrup production in Vermont is well underway for the 2022 season, with sugarmakers eager to rebound from a disappointing season last year. Vermont dominates production of maple syrup in the United States, but tough…
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Springer: Embrace local, renewable fuels and technologies through the Clean Heat Standard

By Darren Springer   03/07/22  
For example, when Burlington Electric was building the renewable McNeil Generating Station in the 1980’s to replace the Moran coal plant, there were posters warning that there would be no more trees once the new…
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Poll finds most Vermonters expect major impacts from climate change in the next 30 years

By Abagael Giles   02/28/22  
It's a warm February day at Northeast Slopes in East Corinth. Through the mist, the hillside is completely covered in snow, the texture of mashed potatoes. You’d think it was time for spring skiing. Wade…
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What does environmental justice look like in Vermont? Bill seeks to answer

By David Thill   02/24/22  
The bill would define an “environmental justice population,” set funding targets for state agencies to spend on these communities, and form an advisory council to elevate the voices of low-income residents, people of color and…
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Groups urge bigger targets, more equity as RGGI states consider changes

By Lisa Prevost   12/21/21  
As the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as RGGI, undergoes a thorough review by participating states, environmental advocates are demanding more ambitious emission reduction targets and a mandate for equitable distribution of the revenues.
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Vermont Climate Study Says Sweeping Change Is Happening — and More Looms

By Derek Brouwer   11/09/21  
More than that, the 2021 Vermont Climate Assessment, only the second of its kind, offers vivid details of how the climate crisis will continue to reshape life in the Green Mountain State over the coming…
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