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.


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

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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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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…

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

 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

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

Vermont’s Climate Goals

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

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…


Vermont State Profile and Energy Estimates

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

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

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

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

Vermont is vulnerable to increasing temperatures, floods and droughts, and a shorter winter

AllEarth Solar

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

Renewable Energy Vermont

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

Information from NOAA to help understand climate change in Vermont.

Climate Change in Vermont

An overview of how climate change is affecting Vermont.

Climate Change in Vermont

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


Vermont public-private partnership turns unused corn silage land into 2.2-MW solar array

By SB Staff   01/06/21  
Vermont Public Power Supply Authority (“VPPSA”) and Encore Renewable Energy announced that the Lawrence Brook Solar project is now supplying renewable energy to the electric grid in Morrisville. The new 2.2-MW solar array is sited on property owned…
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2020 was Vt.’s 2nd-warmest

By John Lippman   01/03/21  
To a year of disturbing events, here’s one more to add: 2020 was the second-warmest year on record. That, at least, is the latest from the Burlington station of the National Weather Service, which reports…
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Speaker of the House fills vacated seat on Climate Council

Montpelier, VT, Speaker Mitzi Johnson announced the appointment of Brian Gray, General Manager of the Energy Co-op of Vermont, to represent the fuel sector on the Vermont Climate Council. 
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Vermont will not join the Transportation and Climate Initiative, for now

By Xander Landen   12/21/20  
Vermont has declined for now to join the Transportation and Climate Initiative, a regional effort to cut carbon emissions over the next decade.
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Vermont regulators cut incentives to switch to solar energy

By Amanda Gokee   12/20/20  
Anew report says solar energy has saved Vermonters $79 million and New Englanders $1.1 billion in just six years.
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Bill Bender: Vermont greenwashing

By Bill Bender   12/16/20  
Green Mountain Power, which is owned by a Canadian natural gas distributor and supplies 70% of Vermont with electricity, claims that their energy supply is 94% carbon free and more than 63% renewable. This sounds great, except…
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Vermont Architects Address the Climate Crisis Through the Built Environment

By Amy Lilly   12/15/20  
month, I had a heat pump installed in our Burlington home. The centrally ducted system helps address the climate crisis by replacing some natural-
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McClaughry: Meet your new climate government

By John McClaughry   12/15/20  
by John McClaughry Now, with the legislature overriding Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of the Global Warming Solutions Act, the new Vermont Climate Council is in business. It has eight ex officio members from the current administration,…
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Over 100 Vermont organizations support Transportation & Climate Initiative

Vermont Business Magazine A diverse group of more than 100 businesses and community organizations from across Vermont called on Vermont’s Governor to support the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI)— a regional policy initiative led by eleven…
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Cow burps and cars top causes of Addison County emissions

By Emma Cotton   12/13/20  
Vermont’s newly minted Global Warming Solutions Act requires the state to cut 80% of carbon greenhouse emissions by 2050. But how, exactly, will the state know where those emissions are coming from?
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Vermont Climate Council plans to revamp lagging clean energy progress

By David Hill   12/07/20  
Vermont is adding teeth and a new task force in an effort to get the state back on track toward its climate goals after several years of stalled progress.
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UVM Leads the Largest Study of Climate Change in Vermont

When it comes to stories about climate change in Vermont, it’s hard to beat Joe’s Pond in the Northeast Kingdom – where locals bet on when the ice melts.
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Vermont wants to help low-income residents buy fuel-efficient cars

By David Thill   10/23/20  
A pandemic-delayed incentive program offers rebates on fuel-efficient vehicles, but it’s been a tough sell so far.
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Cities With the Highest Flood Risk in Every State

By Andrew Lisa   08/23/20  
Floods accounted for three of the 14 natural disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage in the United States in 2019. In total, flooding impacted 14 million Americans last year and put another…
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Renewable energy sources reach new peak in New England

Vermont Business Magazine New data released by the US Energy Information Administration shows renewable energy use exceeded coal for the first time since 1885
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Vermonters Want To Keep Food Waste Out Of Landfills. They Just Don’t Want To Pay For it

By John Dillon   01/22/20  
Many Vermonters support a pending ban on food waste from landfills. But a new University of Vermont study found few people want to pay for curbside pick-up of their food scraps.
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Area looking toward composting to reduce carbon footprint

By Charlotte Rene Woods   12/16/19  
What would the future of composting look like in the region? Local stakeholders and an out-of-state company are trying to figure that out.
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Maine and Vermont governors sign plastic bag bans on same day

By Cole Rosengren   06/18/19  
Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill Monday (LD 1532) that will ban single-use plastic bags across the state by April 22, 2020. Reusable plastic and paper bags will be permitted for at least $0.05…
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Scrap Collector: Vermont passes nation’s ‘toughest’ plastics bill yet

By Rina Li   05/24/19  
Heads up, plastic watchers: Vermont legislators have passed what is being credited as the nation's "toughest bill yet" with regard to single-use plastics regulation. S.113, which was sent to Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday, would…
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16 towns pass Town Meeting climate change resolutions

By Ellie French   03/06/19  
Sixteen Vermont towns passed non-binding climate change resolutions on Town Meeting Day, bringing the state total to 55 municipalities. The resolutions call for an end to construction of fossil fuel infrastructure, a commitment to 100…
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The Green New Deal: The View From Vermont

By Jane Lindholm & Sam Gale Rosen   03/05/19  
The so-called "Green New Deal" is a set of proposals that would tackle climate change and economic inequality at a national level. The package of policies is unlikely to become law anytime soon, but is…
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Bernie Sanders, the godfather of the Green New Deal, announces presidential run

By Zoya Teirstein   02/19/19  
Bernie Sanders announced he’s running for president on Tuesday, confirming rumors that have been swirling since pretty much the moment it became clear Donald Trump had won the White House in 2016. By now, you…
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Vermont now has nation’s broadest single-use plastics ban

By Elizabeth Gribkoff   10/07/18  
Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill into law on Monday that gives Vermont the distinction of having the most comprehensive restrictions on single-use plastic of any state in the U.S.
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