VPIRG Backs Off Criticism of Gov. Shumlin's Energy Plan | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

VPIRG Backs Off Criticism of Gov. Shumlin's Energy Plan 

The Vermont Public Interest Research Group today had some harsh words for Gov. Peter Shumlin's new comprehensive energy plan, but then quickly took them back.

Earlier today, VPIRG clean energy advocate Ben Walsh fired off an email titled "Really? This is what we waited for?" The email criticized Shumlin's plan for being less aggressive in the development of renewable energy than his predecessor — Republican Gov. Jim Douglas.

Gasp!

"After more than six months of anticipation and hard work put forth by Vermonters all across the state, the Shumlin administration’s comprehensive energy plan was released last week. Parts of the plan are visionary but we need action, not just vision. Shockingly, the plan promotes slower clean energy adoption than we saw happen under the Douglas administration*," noted Walsh.

At the bottom of the email, Walsh adds this explanation after the asterisk:

"*Really. Since 2005, Vermont utilities have signed up for 13 percent of their electricity to come from new renewable projects by 2013. That is 1.6 percent new per year. The Shumlin plan is only calling for 1.1 percent new renewable electricity per year. :-("

I bet it was the emoticon that really peeved Team Shumlin. Whatever happened, less than four hours later Walsh's boss — James Moore — issued an apology under the email subject line, "Correction: too harsh, good plan."

Aww, must be the gov's office took VPIRG out to the proverbial woodshed, a woodshed chock full of biofuels. Or, maybe the governor threatened to boycott VPIRG's Mardi Gras float in next year's Magic Hat Mardi Gras parade (see picture). Actually, Shumlin chief of staff Bill Lofy says the gov's office did reach out to VPIRG to complain but VPIRG was already in the process of issuing a new statement.

That statement by Moore reads: "Earlier today we sent you an email about the Governor’s new energy plan. We missed the mark with the email. So I want to be very clear. We are thrilled to have a comprehensive energy plan that shows real vision for where this state can and should go to create a clean energy legacy for our kids, reduce our dependence on oil and put Vermonters to work. It has been a long time since we had a real energy plan for the state, any plan.

"There are parts of the plan that we feel are weak, like the renewable energy requirements," Moore goes on. "We hope those parts of the plan will be improved as it is refined."

Moore told Seven Days it was an internal communications snafu that led to the "too harsh" email.

With energy advocates like that, global warming might have a chance after all.

One or more images has been removed from this article. For further information, contact web@sevendaysvt.com.
Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Tags: ,

More By This Author

About The Author

Shay Totten

Shay Totten

Bio:
Shay Totten wrote "Fair Game," a weekly political column, from April 2008-December 2011.

Comments (11)

Showing 1-10 of 11

 

Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation