Montpelier, VT – In a widely-expected move, Vermont Governor Phil Scott says he plans to veto S.5 also known as the Affordable Heat Act.
The controversial bill passed the state legislature last week. It aims to implement a clean heat standard and a carbon credit marketplace in the state.
Supporters say it will help stabilize Vermonters’ heating bills and it will meet the state’s future emission goals. However, opponents, including Governor Scott, says it will “financially punish” those who can’t afford to make the transition.
One of the divisive issues in the bill is the role of the Public Utility Commission. The bill would spark what is being called a potential study by the PUC to determine the fiscal and environmental impacts. Those opposed believe the PUC would set up a framework for the market rather than study it.
Governor Scott said “Unfortunately, the Super Majority in the Legislature decided to take a completely different approach by giving an unelected commission, the Public Utility Commission (PUC), the power to design and adopt a system — without guaranteeing the details and costs will be debated transparently through the normal legislative process, in full view of their constituents.”
The Governor added, “For these reasons and more, I will veto S.5, and I’m asking Vermonters, even the many who have already contacted their legislators, to make their voices heard and ask their representatives and senators to sustain this veto.”