Governor Phil Scott Signs S.337 Which Directs Funding to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Thermal Energy and Transportation Sectors

23 September 2020

Governor Phil Scott today signed S.337, creating new programs to reduce to greenhouse gas emissions in the thermal energy and transportation sectors.

“In my State of the State address, I once again advocated for using energy efficiency funds to support transportation electrification – a key transformation we must achieve to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Governor Scott. “I am pleased this was an area of common ground and appreciate the Legislature’s work to implement it through S. 337 and incorporate changes proposed by my Administration. As we continue our work together to do Vermont’s part in addressing climate change, it is concrete actions like this bill that will make a difference.” 

Under S.337 Vermont’s efficiency utilities will create programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation and thermal sectors. Electrification of transportation and heating are essential to the state’s work to lower carbon emissions. This transition can also have positive impacts on energy affordability for Vermonters.

In a letter to the Legislature, Governor Scott commended lawmakers for the collaborative work to pass this bill which takes meaningful action on climate change.

See the Governor’s full letter to the Legislature below:

September 23, 2020

Vermont General Assembly

115 State Street

Montpelier, VT 05633

Re: S.337, An act relating to energy efficiency entities and programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the thermal energy and transportation sectors

Dear Legislators:

Today, I signed S.337, An act relating to energy efficiency entities and programs to reduce to greenhouse gas emissions in the thermal energy and transportation sectors.  In January, when I delivered my State of the State address, I advocated for using energy efficiency funds to support transportation electrification – a key transformation we must achieve to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. I am pleased this was an area of common ground, and appreciate the Legislature’s work to implement it through S.337. As we continue our work together to do Vermont’s part in addressing climate change, it is concrete actions like this bill that will make a difference. 

Vermont has long understood the need to address climate change.  To this end, we have worked together productively to achieve a cleaner – and more affordable – energy future for Vermont.  And reducing the percent of household income spent on energy is a key performance indicator in the State strategic plan that guides my Administration, because it helps to ensure every family is moving up the economic ladder in measurable and meaningful ways.

Electrification of transportation and heating are essential components of these strategic goals. S.337 authorizes our efficiency utilities to create programs that are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation and thermal sectors. Using the legislative process to target and achieve such reductions in emissions is consistent with Vermont’s 2016 Comprehensive Energy Plan, as well as with the recommendations of the 2018 report of the Climate Action Commission to accelerate electric vehicle adoption and building electrification.  It also stands in stark contrast to H.688 which, in my view, is not constitutional and did not take immediate action to reduce emissions.

I have great confidence that S.337 will yield real results - measurable progress – in addressing climate change. It is founded on a broad consensus built on thoughtful policy work in which ideas and data were rigorously vetted to define our action.

This bill is the kind of practical and concrete step we need to take to tackle the challenge we are facing.  It is a solution we can implement now without additional costs on Vermonters.

Sincerely,

Philip B. Scott

Governor

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Contact Information

Office of Governor Phil Scott
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609
Phone: 802 828-3333 (TTY: 800 649-6825)
Fax: 802 828-3339

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