This session, our Vermont legislators are considering some meaningful legislation to reduce carbon emissions. Let’s let them know that we want this legislation passed.

Climate change is already hurting our economy with the costs from severe storms, shortened winter seasons for outdoor sports, invasive pests and plants, and health issues. Doing nothing will only increase those costs.

Vermont has not met carbon reduction goals we set in 2016. In fact, our state levels of carbon in the atmosphere continue to go up, increasing global climate change.

Legislation can, and should, include a variety of programs. A new study by the non-partisan Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office assessed the economics of a variety of proposed policies and found that: “The combined climate and health benefits of the carbon pricing policies would exceed the economic costs for every carbon pricing scenario considered.”  For example, the value of climate and health benefits from the resulting improved air quality are estimated to outstrip the financial impact of the policies by $7-17 million. And, subsidies for weatherizing houses result in both reduced carbon emissions and decreased heating costs for homeowners.

The proposed state budget does include some funds for weatherization and for aiding electric vehicle purchases. Ask your legislators to pass the budget bill that includes funding for such programs and to enact additional effective climate change legislation.

Susan Hodges

South Strafford

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