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Energy/Climate Change

The Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club is continuing its work with a growing coalition of advocates for a sustainable energy future.  The primary driver of our work is the tremendous concern we have about the impacts of climate change.  Not long ago, we needed to talk about this as a concern for the future, or for those vulnerable populations around the world.  While these are still major concerns, we can now see evidence of a changing climate, and evidence of its disastrous impacts, in our own lives and communities.  At the same time, we are witnessing the complete inability of the global community or our federal government to take meaningful action.  This makes the role of state and local government all the more important.  And we can’t forget the formidable task in front of each of us as individuals in addressing how the choices we make in our daily lives connect with the future of our planet.

The chapter’s Energy Committee is working to address these issues in several ways.

1.       Advocating for a strong Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan.  Our chapter submitted comments on the CEP, which you can download here.

2.       Advocating for sensible use and regulation of our Vermont forests as an energy source, in a way that avoids wasteful use and protects the forest ecosystem as one of Vermont’s most critical assets.

3.       Working with the legislature to strengthen and implement the measures within the CEP, and other steps to ensure a sustainable energy path.  Among our major concerns,

a.       Strong RPS and Standard Offer programs; fix problems with the SPEED program

b.       Enhance the built infrastructure with strong and enforced codes, and ensuring transparency in energy rating when older homes are sold.

c.        Develop a comprehensive approach to educating the public about climate and energy, both in formal settings and informal settings.

d.       Institute a feebate program that will encourage the purchase of more efficient vehicles, and discourage the real guzzlers out there.

4.       Continue to work with the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network to help and encourage the efforts of citizens through their town energy committees.  

5.        We continue our support for Idle-Free Vermont -- a non-profit, grassroots campaign formed to address the issue of unnecessary vehicle idling (idling when parked or in drive through lanes) in Vermont. Its main goal is to raise awareness of idling. It also advocates enactment of a Vermont state all motor vehicle idle-reduction law. Idle-Free VT seeks to achieve its goals by raising awareness with citizens and businesses, through media exposure, legislative lobbying, and encouraging local activism (town ordinances or resolutions and school policies).  For more information: visit

For more information and to join our efforts, contact Energy Committee chair, Steve Crowley, at

Additional Information and Resources

  • Letter to Welch
    by John Harbison 03-19-2007
    A letter to Congressman Welch asking for support on the Markey-Platts CAFE standards bill.

  • Cool Cities
    by Denis Rydjeski 03--2007
    Sierrra Club's Cool Cities initiative takes root in VT

  • Lighting the Way
    by Steve Crowley 09-11-2005

  • Safe Power Vermont
    by Denis Rydjeski --
    A collaborative are to broaden the understanding of the state’s need for safe, clean, reliable, affordable and renewable energy sources

  • Wind Talking Points
    by Steve Crowley 03--2004
    WIND POWER IN VERMONT Attempting to Strike a Difficult Balance The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is holding hearings to help determine its approach to the use of public lands for commercial wind power. These meetings are very important, and we urge Sierra Club members to take part.

  • Nukes or Wind
    by Keith Dewey, AIA, LEED AP 01--2009
    Commercial Wind a Better Energy and Environmental Solution than Nuclear


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