Roll Call! House Mandates 75% of Electric Sales Be From “Renewables” by 2035

Roll Call Graphic
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PASSED
in the State House of Representatives
on March 10, 2015, by a vote of
121-24
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Purpose: H.40 has multiple purposes. First is to replace the 2005 SPEED program with a new program (RESET), which will ensure Vermont utilities’s ability to continue selling Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to other states. Vermont was accused “double dipping” — selling RECs to other states while also counting them against our own carbon footprint — and those other states threatened to ban purchase our RECs. Selling RECs offsets Vermont electric rate payers’ bills by more than $50 million.
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Beyond this, H.40 seeks to set into law renewable energy benchmarks for the state, force utilities to buy (and therefore sell) renewable energy to their customers (this artificially increased demand is intended to spark construction of more renewable energy generation facilities in Vermont), and mandate that utilities take action to reduce their customers’ energy usage.
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Analysis: Analysis. That the bill fixed Vermont’s flawed (fraudulent) REC selling scheme is well and good.However, H.40 puts into law (“gives teeth to”) the first steps of what had been the official but non-binding goal of having 90 percent of all energy in the state come from renewable sources by 2050. This will come at tremendous cost in terms of increased electricity rates, the impact higher electricity costs will have on the economy at large, and the damage to Vermont’s natural environment as ridge lines and fields are developed into wind and solar electricity factories.
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As the bill states, “The target amounts of total renewable energy established required by this subsection shall be 55 percent of each retail electricity provider’s annual retail electric sales during the year beginning on January 1, 2017, increasing by an additional four percent each third January 1 thereafter, until reaching 75 percent on and after January 1, 2032.”
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The bill gives unprecedented power to the already powerful Public Service Board: “In addition to its existing authority, the Board may establish by order or rule a volumetric charge to customers for the support of energy efficiency programs that meet the requirements of section 218c of this title. The charge shall be known as the energy efficiency charge, shall be shown separately on each customer’s bill, and shall be paid to a fund administrator appointed by the Board and deposited into an Electric Efficiency Fund.”
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And, H.40 changes the nature of the relationship between electric utilities and their customers. As Rep. Cynthia Browning (D-Arlington) argued on the floor, through H.40, “We are not raising taxes, we are not funding new government bureaucracies. Instead, we are using the utilities and the rate payers to do it for us….When the big utilities and the regulatory bodies and the government are holding hands and telling you let’s go forward and do this, the ordinary rate-payer needs to put his hand on his wallet!… And that is exactly the problem here: We have been imposing charges within the rates to finance efficiency projects to meet state goals…. Ratepayers will end up paying for projects that they may or may not end up benefiting from.”
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As for the costs of H.40, the Joint Fiscal Office analysis stated, “…there is no way to assess the actual benefits of many of the most important program investment expenditures. Without such measurement, program expenditures are guaranteed, while precise program benefits are largely hypothetical.
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As Recorded in the House Journal, Tuesday, March 10, 2014: “Shall the bill pass? Was decided in the affirmative. Yeas, 121. Nays, 24.” (Read the Journal, p.336-371.)
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How They Voted

(Click on your Rep’s name to send an email)

Janet Ancel (D-Calis) – YES

Bob Bancroft (R-Westford) – YES

John Bartholomew (D-Hartland) – YES

Fred Baser (R-Bristol) – YES

Lynn Batchelor (R-Derby Line) – NO

Scott Beck (R-St. Johnsbury) – YES

Steven Berry (D-Manchester Center) – YES

Stephen Beyor (R-Highgate Springs) – YES

Clement Bissonnette (D-Winooski) – YES

William Botzow (D-Bennington) – YES

Carolyn Branagan (R-Georgia) – YES

Patrick Brennan (R-Colchster) – YES

Timothy Briglin (D-Thetford) – YES

Cynthia Browning (D-Arlington) – NO

Thomas Burditt (R-West Rutland) – NO

Mollie Burke (P/D-Brattleboro) – YES

Sarah Buxton (D-Tunbridge) – YES

William Canfield (R/D-Fair Haven) – YES

Stephen Carr (D-Brandon) – YES

Robin Chestnut-Tangerman (P-Middletown Springs) – YES

Kevin Christie (D-White River Jct.) – YES

Alison Clarkson (D-Woodstock) – YES

Joanna Cole (D-Burlington) – YES

James Condon (D-Colchester) – YES

Daniel Connor (D-Fairfield) – YES

Charles Conquest (D-Wells River) – YES

Sarah Copeland-Hanzas (D-Bradford) – YES

Timothy Corcoran (D-Bennington) – YES

Lawrence Cupoli (R-Rutland) – NO

Leigh Dakin (D-Chester) – YES

Maureen Dakin (D-Colchester) – YES

Paul Dame (R-Essex Junction) – NO

Susan Davis (P/D-Washington) – YES

David Deen (D-Putney) – YES

Dennis Devereux (R-Belmont) – YES

Eileen “Lynn” Dickinson (R-St. Albans) – NO

Anne Donahue (R-Northfield) – YES

Johannah Donovan (D-Burlington) – YES

Alyson Eastman (I-Orwell) – YES

Rebecca Ellis (D-Waterbury) – YES

Alice Emmons (D/W-Springfield) – YES

Debbie Evans (D-Essex) – YES

Peter Fagan (R-Rutland) – YES

Martha Feltus (R-Lyndonville) – YES

Rachael Fields (D-Bennington) – YES

Larry Fiske (R-Enosburg Falls) – YES

Robert Forguites (D-Springfield) – YES

William Frank (D-Underhill) – ABSENT

Patsy French (D-Randolph) – YES

Douglas Gage (R-Rutland) – YES

Marianna Gamache (R-Swanton) – YES

Diana Gonzalez (P/D-Winooski) – YES

Maxine Grad (D-Moretown) – YES

Rodney Graham (R-Williamstown) – NO

Adam Greshin (I-Warren) – YES

Sandy Haas (P/D-Rochester) – YES

Helen Head (D-So. Burlington) – YES

Michael Hebert (R-Vernon) – YES

Robert Helm (R/D-Fair Haven) – YES

Mark Higley (R-Lowell) – NO

Mary Hooper (D-Montpelier) – YES

Ronald Hubert (R-Milton) – NO

Mark Huntley (D-Cavendish) – YES

Timothy Jerman (D-Essex) – YES

Willem Jewett (D-Ripton) – YES

Mitzi Johnson (D-S. Hero) – YES

Bernard Juskiewicz (R-Camdridge) – YES

Kathleen Keenan (D-St. Albans) – YES

Warren Kitzmiller (D-Montpelier) – YES

Anthony Klein (D-Montpelier) – YES

Patricia Komline (R-Dorset) – NO

Robert Krebs (D-S. Hero) – YES

Jill Krowinski (D-Burlington) – YES

Rob LaClair (R-Barre Town) – YES

 

Martin LaLonde (D-South Burlington) – YES

Diane Lanpher (D-Vergennes) – YES

Richard Lawrence (R-Lyndon) – YES

Paul Lefebvre (R-Newark) – NO

Joan Lenes (D-Shelburne) – YES

Patti Lewis (R-Berlin) – YES

William Lippert (D-Hinesburg) – YES

Emily Long (D-Newfane) – YES

Gabrielle Lucke (D-White River Junction) – YES

Terence Macaig (D-Williston) – YES

Ann Manwaring (D-Wilmington) – YES

Michael Marcotte (R/D-Newport) – YES

Marcia Martel (R-Waterford) – NO

Linda Martin (D-Wolcott) – YES

James Masland (D-Thetford) – YES

Curtis McCormack (D/W-Burlington) – YES

Patricia McCoy (R-Poultney) – NO

James McCullough (D-Williston) – YES

Francis McFaun (R/D-Barre) – YES

Alice Miller (D-Shaftsbury) – YES

Kiah Morris (D-Bennington) – YES

Mary Morrissey (R-Bennington) – NO

Michael Mrowicki (D-Putney) – YES

Barbara Murphy (I-Fairfax) – YES

Linda Myers (R-Essex) – YES

Betty Nuovo (D-Middlebury) – YES

Anne O’Brien (D-Richmond) – ABSENT

Jean O’Sullivan (D-Burlington) – YES

Oliver Olsen (I-Jamaica) – ABSENT

Corey Parent (R-St. Albans) – NO

Carolyn Partridge (D-Windham) – YES

Avram Patt (D-Worcestor) – YES

Albert “Chuck” Pearce (R/D-Richford) – YES

Christopher Pearson (P-Burlington) –  YES

Paul Poirier (I-Barre) – YES

David Potter (D-Clarendon) – YES

Ann Pugh (D-S. Burlington) – YES

Joey Purvis (R-Colchester) – YES

Constance Quimby (R/D-Concord) –  ABSENT

Barbara Rachelson (D-Burlington) – YES

Kesha Ram (D-Burlington) – YES

Herbert Russell (D-Rutland) – YES

Marjorie Ryerson (D-Randolph) – YES

Brian Savage (R-Swanton) – YES

Heidi Scheuermann (R-Stowe) – YES

David Sharpe (D-Bristol) – YES

Charles Shaw (R/D-Pitsford) – YES

Loren Shaw (R/D-Derby) – NO

Amy Sheldon (D-Middlebury) – YES

Laura Sibilia (I-West Dover) – YES

Harvey Smith (R-New Haven) – NO

Shapleigh Smith (D-Morristown) – PRESIDING

Thomas Stevens (D-Waterbury) – YES

Vicki Strong (R-Albany) – NO

Valerie Stuart (D-Brattleboro) – YES

Mary Sullivan (D-Burlington) – YES

Donna Sweaney (D-Windsor) – YES

Job Tate (R-Mendon) – NO

Thomas Terenzini (R/D-Rutland) – NO

George Till (D-Jericho) – YES

Tristan Toleno (D-Brattleboro) – YES

Catherine Toll (D-Danville) – YES

Maida Townsend (D-S. Burlington) – YES

Matthew Trieber (D-Bellows Falls) – YES

Chip Troiano (D-Hardwick) – YES

Donald Turner (R-Milton) – NO

Warren Van Wyck (R-Ferrisburgh) – NO

Gary Viens (R-Newport) – NO

Tommy Walz (D-Barre City) – YES

Kathryn Webb (D-Shelburne) – YES

Janssen Willhoit (R-St. Johnsbury) – NO

Mark Woodward (D-Johnson) – YES

Kurt Wright (R-Burlington) – YES

Michael Yantachka (D-Charlotte) – YES

Samuel Young (D-Glover) – YES

Teo Zagar (D-Barnard) – YES

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