The Energy Independent Vermont coalition held another educational forum last Thursday at the Montshire Museum in Norwich. More than 50 people from all across the Upper Valley came to listen to presentations and learn about putting a price on carbon pollution in Vermont. They were joined by several Vermont state legislators who made the trip to come hear the details on this bold new policy.
VPIRG’s Field Director, Liz Edsell, set the stage with some inspirational comments and context from her personal experience with Tropical Storm Irene. “For me, climate change went from an academic issue, to a real life issue when Irene flooded the community of South Royalton I called home. That’s why I’m so motivated to work on this effort.”
Next attendees were lucky enough to hear from Janet Milne. Janet is a Vermont Law School professor and a nationally known expert on pricing carbon pollution. Her presentation was extremely informative and provided examples of how this is not a new or radical idea. She further demonstrated how similar policies have been successfully implemented in other parts of the world.
Ben Walsh, VPIRG’s Climate and Energy Program Director, wrapped up the presentation with an overview of the policy’s goals. After the presentation, there was a half hour of questions and comments from the audience. The discussion was very lively, with town energy committee members, business owners and local officials asking meaningful and productive questions about how this policy would affect the state. Afterward, people were so excited about getting involved in the campaign the lights had to be shut off to ensure the building was cleared in a timely fashion.