Vermont House Overrides Governor’s Climate Veto

A strong climate law will be good for public health

September 17, 2020 (MONTPELIER, VT) – Vermont’s House of Representatives successfully voted to override Governor Scott’s veto of the Global Warming Solutions Act today. The bill will require Vermont to reduce its climate-damaging emissions while simultaneously creating jobs, improving community resilience, and reducing energy burdens for rural and marginalized communities.

A coalition of groups in support of the bill released the following statements. The groups commend House Leadership, Representatives Briglin and Sibilia, and the Climate Solutions Caucus for their strong support and leadership in moving this important bill forward with a 103-47 vote.

“We can’t afford to let politics get in the way of preparing Vermont for the climate crisis,” said Jen Duggan, Vice President and Director of Conservation Law Foundation Vermont. “The science is clear: the longer we kick the can down the road on dealing with climate impacts, the more disastrous it will be for our communities. Today, our Representatives overwhelmingly voted to support the Solutions Act and ensure we don’t leave any Vermonters behind. We urge the Senate to follow the House’s lead so we can get to work.”

“A heartfelt THANK YOU to the House for their commitment to building a better future for all Vermonters,” said Lauren Oates, Climate & Energy Policy Manager at The Nature Conservancy in Vermont. “In the absence of federal leadership on tackling climate change, we are so grateful for our strong leadership in the Statehouse to follow the science and prepare us for the decades ahead. We look forward to getting to work after the Senate’s support next week.”

“Governor Scott’s veto of the Solutions Act paid lip service to the countless climate-forward businesses who are not only feeling the impacts of climate change but taking decisive action to shrink their carbon footprints and shift their businesses toward energy independence and climate resilience,” said Jordan Giaconia, VBSR Public Policy Manager. “We are thrilled to see that their efforts and those of impassioned Vermonters across the state have inspired our legislature to overcome the Administration’s shortsighted decision and seize this historic opportunity to create family-sustaining jobs, grow our economy, and better prepare our state for future climate-driven disasters. We thank our climate champs in the House for this successful vote and urge the Senate to join us in stepping forward into a clean energy future.” 

“Today, the Vermont House demonstrated what real leadership looks like and put their foot down on the Governor’s shortsighted veto of the Global Warming Solutions Act,” said Johanna Miller, Energy and Climate Program Director at Vermont Natural Resources Council. “I hope the Senate acts just as decisively and, from there, we can finally get to work doing our part to reduce planet-warming pollution and enjoy all the benefits climate action offers.”

“With the West on fire and the Gulf Coast underwater – and the need for modern, resilient infrastructure clearer than ever in the middle of this pandemic – there couldn’t be a better time for this bill,” said Ben Edgerly Walsh, Climate and Energy Program Director at VPIRG. “We thank the 103 representatives who had the courage to vote to override Gov Scott’s veto today, and Representatives Briglin and Sibilia and Speaker Johnson in particular for their extraordinary leadership on this.”

Experts are available for further comment.