Vermont Energy Efficiency Leaders Gather to Discuss Latest Initiatives to Save Money, Create Jobs, and Protect the Environment
MONTPELIER, VT. At Blodgett Supply in Montpelier today, Rep. Peter Welch met with a broad cross-section of Vermont energy efficiency leaders to outline his efficiency priorities for the new Congress and learn about the latest energy efficiency innovations in Vermont. The roundtable discussion comes on the heels of House approval this week of Welch-authored energy efficiency legislation which President Obama will soon sign into law.
WASHINGTON, April 22 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today opposed an effort to rush legislation through a Senate committee in order to hurry congressional approval of a controversial trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Sanders invoked a Senate rule to stop a morning meeting of the Finance Committee to mark up the so-called fast-track bill.
“This job-killing trade deal has been negotiated in secret. It was drafted with input by special interests and corporate lobbyists but not from the elected representatives of the American people. Instead of rubber stamping the agreement, Congress and the public deserve a fair chance to learn what’s in the proposal,” Sanders said.
WASHINGTON, April 22 – As the nation marked Earth Day, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) introduced legislation to close tax loopholes and eliminate other subsidies for the oil, gas and coal industries.
Subsidies for polluters now in place are projected to cost taxpayers more than $135 billion in the coming decade.
Sanders’ Senate bill and Ellison’s companion measure filed today in the House would remove tax breaks for fossil-fuel industries and ensure that taxpayers receive a fair return for energy resources owned by the American people and make research into renewable energy a national priority. The measures also would prevent companies from escaping liability for spills or deducting cleanup costs from their taxes.
WASHINGTON, April 20 – Protesting a trade deal that would throw Americans out of work, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today planned to march with leaders of the AFL-CIO and other labor organizations to a rally outside the U.S. trade representative’s office.
“One of the key reasons why the middle class in America continues to decline and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider is because of disastrous trade agreements which have sent millions of decent-paying jobs to China and other low-wage countries,” Sanders said.
Trio of bills address safety of spent fuel storage and decommissioning plans
Washington (April 15, 2015) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) reintroduced three bills today aimed at improving the safety and security of decommissioning reactors and the storage of spent nuclear fuel at nuclear plants across the nation.
When spent nuclear fuel is removed from the part of the reactor that generates electricity, it continues to produce significant quantities of heat and radiation for years. Spent nuclear fuel is too dangerous to be removed from the spent fuel pools for five to seven years. Studies conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and independent experts have shown that partial draining of the water from a spent fuel pool caused by an accident or terrorist attack could result in a spontaneous fire, the release of large quantities of radiation, and widespread contamination. However, NRC regulations allow spent fuel to remain stored in spent fuel pools until the reactor completes decommissioning, which can take as long as 60 years. Current NRC regulations also allow the NRC and the nuclear plant operator to adopt a decommissioning plan without considering the concerns of nearby states and communities. The three bills introduced today will address all of these problems.
WASHINGTON, April 14 – At the urging of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general has agreed to investigate how sudden price hikes by generic drug makers are driving up the cost of taxpayer-supported health care.
“It is unacceptable that Americans pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. Generic drugs were meant to help make medications affordable for millions of Americans who rely on prescriptions to manage their health needs. We’ve got to get to the bottom of these enormous price increases,” said Sanders.
WASHINGTON, April 13 – In a speech tonight at American University, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will call for overhauling how college education is financed by allowing students to refinance loans, eliminating federal profits on loans, making 4-year public colleges tuition-free, expanding work-study programs and providing incentives for colleges and universities to keep costs down.
The senator also will call for expanding Pell Grants to help more students afford college through a program targeted for steep cuts by Republican budget makers in Congress. Sanders also said student loan programs must be overhauled to reduce crushing debt loads which now exceed American’s credit card debt.
Marco Rubio has announced his attention to run for president.
He told donors he is "uniquely qualified" to represent the Republican Party and that the 2016 race will be a choice between the past and the future.
Hillary Clinton has announced her bid to become president.
“Everyday Americans need a champion, and I’m going to be that champion."
Sen. Rand Paul announced his candidacy for president today.
“I am running for president to return our country to the principles of liberty and limited government.”
Here's your political quiz for the day. Click for more info to get the answer.
Jeb Bush is a likley presidential candidate. 'Jeb' is a nickname that combines letters to make a folksy-sounding name.
What do the letters stand for? (answer below)
Texas Senator Ted Cruz has announced his campaign to become our next president:
“I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of America, and that is why today I am announcing I am running for president of the United States.”
He appears to be the first official major party candidate.
WASHINGTON, March 18 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today backed stronger curbs on the use of dangerous chemicals in consumer products but criticized a bill in Congress that would take away from Vermont and other states the power to protect consumers with new state regulations.
Under the current federal law, tens of thousands of potentially harmful chemicals have continued to be used in products without proper testing and without disclosure by the companies that use them. The law, enacted in 1976, is so weak that it kept the Environmental Protection Agency from even banning asbestos, which causes cancer.
Congressman Peter Welch, United States House of Representatives, Official Appearance Schedule
Friday, March 13th , 2015
Press Conference: Brattleboro
Rep. Welch will hold a press conference to highlight the importance of the Medicare Dependent Hospital and Low Volume Hospital Designations programs for rural Vermont hospitals and make an announcement regarding the status of the program.
WASHINGTON, March 4 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a member of the Senate energy and environment committees, issued the following statement today after the Senate voted to sustain President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill that would have allowed construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline:
“I applaud President Obama for vetoing the Keystone XL legislation and the Senate for sustaining that veto.
“The Senate and President Obama have sent an important message that the United States finally is listening to the scientific community and recognizing that global warming poses a real threat to our planet.
Questions were sent to all three candidates running for Selectboard. As of Friday afternoon, neither Donna Macomber nor John Allen has replied.
If either answers the questions, we'll post them here for the enlightenment of voters.
David Gartenstein is running for a one-year seat on the Brattleboro Selectboard. We asked him some questions, and his answers follow. Election day is Tuesday, March 3rd.
- What lessons would you say you have you learned since joining the board?
Serving as a member of the Selectboard, and as Chair, have reinforced for me the vital importance of ensuring that everyone is heard with respect. We face many competing priorities in Brattleboro, and our goal should be to achieve what is best for the town and its residents given our limited resources.
PROPOSED BRATTLEBORO CHARTER AMENDMENT INFORMATION SHEET
Proposed amendments to Brattleboro’s Charter are on the March 3, 2015 ballot. The Brattleboro Selectboard asks you to consider the following when voting.
TOWN MEETING TERM LIMITS
Brattleboro’s Town Meeting is both participatory and representative democracy. Up to 155 residents get elected and gather annually to make budget and policy decisions for the Town. It is anti-democratic to ban Brattleboro residents from Town Meeting because they have attended 6 years in a row. Term limits would bar many residents who now attend Town Meeting, and the institutional memory they bring with them would be lost. Right now there are 25 open Town Meeting slots, so anyone interested in joining already can. Term limits actually could empty out Town Meeting so there would not even be a quorum.
The Brattleboro Selectboard has drafted and is considering adopting and mailing the following "Fact Sheet" related to the proposed Charter changes on the upcoming March ballot. The mailing to all residences will cost under $3000.
Below you'll find an attachment that included the draft text being considered, as it appeared in the Selectboard meeting materials for their February 17 meeting, to be held later tonight. If approved, you will also get a copy in the mail.
Bipartisan initiative would boost Vermont’s biomass industry
Burlington, VT—This afternoon in Montpelier, Rep. Peter Welch announced bipartisan legislation that would make it more affordable for Vermonters to install wood heating systems in their homes or businesses.
The Biomass Thermal Utilization(BTU) Act would expand the existing renewable energy tax credit to include wood, or “biomass thermal,” heating systems. Welch made the announcement at National Life Group’s Montpelier campus. The company installed a wood heating system in 2010 that has reduced its carbon footprint by 45 percent and heating costs by 50 percent.