To the editor: Conservation Voters sets 2015 agenda

Vermont Conservation Voters today released its 2015 Vermont Environmental Common Agenda.

“This agenda highlights the most pressing environmental legislative priorities for 2015 – priorities shared by leading environmental organizations in Vermont,” said Lauren Hierl, political director of Vermont Conservation Voters.  Hierl noted that the groups consulted in assembling the Common Agenda are advocates for Vermont’s natural resources, healthy citizens, and vibrant communities.

The legislative priorities laid out in the Environmental Common Agenda will be a focus of Vermont Conservation Voters and partners’ advocacy in the State House, and will be key issues on which VCV will assess lawmakers’ actions in its Environmental Scorecard. VCV will then educate voters on their elected officials’ leadership, support, or opposition to these goals.

Legislative priorities include:

  • A clean energy future, specifically enactment of:
  1. an innovative renewable energy standard; and
  2. a carbon pollution tax.
  • Healthy state waters, specifically enactment of:
  1. stronger regulations and better enforcement mechanisms to address major pollution sources including farms, roads, and commercial developments;
  2. creation of a Clean Water Fund with better accountability for how funds are spent; and
  3. increased funding for clean water initiatives, including new fees on polluters.

The Environmental Common Agenda provides further details on goals for clean energy and water quality legislation. It also describes several additional legislative priorities, including policies to: strengthen the vitality of downtowns, invest in working lands, maintain the integrity of the state’s environmental permitting system, promote dam safety, and ban plastic microbeads from personal care products.

Organizations consulted in compiling the Common Agenda include: Vermont Natural Resources Council, Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club, Conservation Law Foundation, Toxics Action Center, Lake Champlain Committee, and Preservation Trust of Vermont.

Please note that each organization consulted for the Environmental Common Agenda has its own distinct set of legislative priorities and platforms. Further, this list of priorities is not exhaustive — other relevant legislation might arise this session that could also be considered for inclusion in VCV’s Environmental Scorecard.

The 2015 Vermont Environmental Common Agenda can be found at:

Vermont Conservation Voters

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