Note: We send out biweekly updates to the VLS community about the goings-on at the Institute. We will re-post them here for posterity.
Greetings from the Eaton House,
Neither spring break nor college hoops have slowed down the IEE. Still plenty happening over here during the past couple of weeks.
Talking Divestment on WDEV
Institute Director Michael Dworkin was invited to join Equal Time Radio on WDEV to discuss the divestment of public pensions from fossil fuels. As careful Fortnightly readers will recall, Michael was in Montpelier a few weeks ago testifying before a rare joint-session of the House and Senate Committees on Government Operations. Late last month, the House passed a resolution that asked the state’s pension fund panel to consider the actions recommended by the testimony. On Friday, Michael, with VLS Masters student Brandon Oldham, was back in Montpelier, talking to the State Treasurer about reasons and strategies for divestment.
Listen to Michael on Equal Time Radio: http://www.equaltimeradio.com/2016/should-we-divest-pensions-from-fossil-fuels-for-financial-reasons
Baby It’s Cold Inside
During Spring break week, the Rutland Herald ran an op-ed by an Energizer alum and a recent IEE staffer. In their commentary, Benjamin Sovacool and Jonathan Teller-Elsberg (who now works over in Norwich for our friends at Solaflect), discuss energy poverty in Vermont. The piece is based on research by the Institute’s Energy Security and Justice team, and the team’s report on Vermont’s energy burden, which was funded by VLITE and published in Energy Policy this month.
The commentary was also picked up by VTDigger.
And you can find the report itself here.
Growing Energy: A New Resource for Farmers
The Institute released a report, “On-Farm Biodiesel Production in Vermont: Legal and Regulatory Overview,” that reviews all of the federal and Vermont state regulations related to on-farm biodiesel production. The work, commissioned by the Vermont Bioenergy Initiative at the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, lays out and puts into plain English all of the laws and regulations surrounding on-farm biodiesel production.
Recent IEE Global Energy Fellow Carla Santos coordinated the legal review, with support from Energizers Diana Chace, Christopher Cavaiola, Jeannie Oliver, and Jeremy Walker.
More Press for the RECs
The press and public really dug into the REC report released a couple of weeks ago. There were first the AP reports that had our students and Deputy Director Kevin Jones on the pages of every local newspaper, as well as the webpages of others from San Jose to Des Moines to Ft. Lauderdale. And then US News and World Report called.
Here are some more articles about the REC report — and the political fallout — that came out after the last installment of Fortnightly.
- Utility Dive: Report: Vermont consumers receive no renewable energy despite industry’s growth
- Smart Grid News: Zero, zilch, nada: Bernie Sanders’ home state gets no energy from solar, wind
- VT Digger: Law students call for changes to renewable energy market
- Vermont Watchdog: Vermont Senate committee debates net metering costs, use of prime-ag land
- Caledonia Record: Solar emissions: Deceptive Advertising
Energy Law Society: Energy Audit Reminder
If you’ve never seen a blower door test in action, you owe it to yourself to go check it out! Our friends at the Energy Law Society are weatherizing the student center. (Yes, we have a student center!) RSVP to Paige, info below:
Energy Audit Workshop
on Thursday, March 31
in the Student Center
This event has limited capacity so please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place!