Senate overrides veto of Global Warming Solutions Act, making it law – vtdigger.org
“I share the Legislature’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing the resilience of Vermont’s infrastructure and landscape in the face of a changing climate,” Scott said.
“H.688, as written, will lead to inefficient spending and long, costly court battles, not the tangible investments in climate-resilient infrastructure, and affordable weatherization and clean transportation options, that Vermonters need,” he said.
Scott worries that the plan could lead to costly litigation for the state, that the Climate Council creates an “unconstitutional separation of powers” and that the bill does not include a “process ensuring the Legislature would formally vote” on a climate action plan.
It would be up to the Agency of Natural Resources to adopt new rules to regulate greenhouse gas pollutants by the following year after the Climate Council completed its plan.
After Scott vetoed the bill, Democratic leaders said they would act quickly to override the governor.
“The governor has said he believes Vermont should meet the goals set out in the Paris climate agreement, and rightly gets favorable headlines when he does,” Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe said last week. “But these goals don’t just meet themselves. You need to take action. To have a plan.”
In the last decade, other states — including Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maine — have enacted similar legislation requiring them to cut emissions in the coming decades.
As Vermont’s emissions have increased in recent years — with the most recent data from 2016 showing emissions 13% above 1990 levels — Democratic lawmakers made passing the Global Warming Solutions Act a priority heading into the 2020 session.
Missing out on the latest scoop? Sign up here to get a weekly email with all of VTDigger’s reporting on politics. And in case you can’t get enough of the Statehouse, sign up for Final Reading for a rundown on the day’s news in the Legislature.