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Senate Moves Forward On Controversial Renewable Energy Bill

The Vermont Senate moved a controversial energy bill forward Tuesday after removing most of the provisions causing problems.

The Senate passed a last minute revision of a renewable energy bill on a 24 to 6 vote that followed four hours of debate and weeks of repeated changes to the bill. It began as a proposed moratorium on large scale wind development, had provisions added and removed, and ended up calling for more study of large-scale renewable energy development in Vermont. VTDigger-dot-org is an on-line investigative newspaper.  Energy Reporter Andrew Stein has been following the bill’s progress since it was introduced.

Stein explains that the bill attempted to do that by adding Act 250 regulatory control over renewable energy projects.

Progressive Senator David Zuckerman offered an amendment that stripped the Act 250 provisions, allowing the measure to pass.  Vermont Public Interest Research Group Executive Director Paul Burns calls it a much better result for clean energy in the state.

Energize Vermont is against industrial scale wind projects.  Executive Director Lukas Snelling says it’s unfortunate that some tried to make the bill a black and white reflection of renewable energy support. He believes the bill remains a vehicle for continued discussion about renewable energy development and its impacts.

The bill must pass a third, and final, reading in the Senate before moving to the House for consideration.

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