April 8, 2016

Obscurity in Green Energy Development Incites Conflict in House

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Rep. Klein – House committee on Natural Resources & Energy chairman

Legislative Council Aaron Adler met with the House committee on Natural Resources and Energy wednesday to discuss proposed changes to the Vermont Energy Development and Improvement Act. The amendments, described as ‘technical’ by Mr. Adler met immediate backlash from Rep. Klein, committee chairman who sharply stated his disagreement with the council on the notion that the amendments are purely logistical.  The changes to the act would increase the scope of regional development plans in Vermont municipalities, in an effort to promote the development of green power such as wind and solar. Despite this, the bill acts more as an incentive for towns to adopt green energy technologies rather than a binding mandate. The vague wording and lack of enforcement measures provided by the bill brought into question whether the proposal can be not only effective but relevant in its implementation. A number of the representatives present, including committee Vice Chair Kesha Ram commented on the the unclear wording of the bill, noting that a law that is not precise in its choice of words opens the door to possible law suits. Franklin county Rep. Marianna Gamache doubted whether the Vermont Energy Development and Improvement Act should even be amended citing that “If it can’t be made better I question whether it should be passed at all?” reiterating the uncertainty of some in the committee. The sixty-six page long amendments are scheduled to be further reviewed by the committee on Natural Resources and Energy in the coming weeks, but initial attitudes towards the proposition remain dubious. Additional pressures such as the closely approaching adjournment of the legislator incite a chaotic choice to either approve a poorly constructed bill or to pass no legislation at all, in effect postponing progress until congress next meets. The amendments are expected to receive additional testimony and commentary in the coming days.

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