News August 8

Senator Sanders

Irene Waterbury officials want Vermont's congressional delegation to help stop an apparent decrease in Federal Emergency Management Agency funding.  Rep. Peter Welch and Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernard Sanders met last week with the head of FEMA to discuss the funding, but Leahy spokesman David Carle said the process is ongoing and revealing details could hurt, the Times Argus reported. LINK

Irene A special event commemorating the anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene and the beginning of construction on a new Bartonsville Bridge, which was destroyed by the storm, is planned for Aug. 28. Sens. Sanders and Leahy as well as Gov. Peter Shumlin have been invited, the Brattleboro Reformer reported. LINK

Gas Prices Ben Brockwell, director of data for the Oil Price Information Service, said Sen. Sanders' suggestion that stifled competition has driven up gas prices in northwestern Vermont "might deserve closer inspection." His research ruled out other factors, Brockwell told a Senate energy committee hearing, vtdigger.org reported. LINK

Gas Prices The hearing also considered the impact of high gas prices on services providers. Jim Coutts, who directs the Franklin County Senior Center, said that high gas prices can create a barrier for drivers who deliver meals to homebound seniors, the St. Albans Messenger reported. LINK

Climate Change Addressing the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gave one of the most powerful public speeches on climate that any national policymaker has made in years. Reid joins Senators Al Franken, John Kerry, Bernie Sanders, and Sheldon Whitehouse, all of whom have made excellent climate speeches on the Senate floor in the last year, Think Progress reported. LINK

World

Afghanistan NATO says a suicide attack has killed three coalition troops in eastern Afghanistan, and a regional Afghan security official tells CBS News the slain troops were Americans. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the assault. LINK

National

Green Jobs Mitt Romney's presidential campaign has been savaging what it calls President Obama's "unhealthy" obsession with "green jobs." But when a campaign spokesman said last week that Congress should let a tax break for wind energy producers expire at the end of the year, some Republicans were concerned the candidate had gone too far, The Associated Press reported.

Vermont

Irene Gov. Peter Shumlin says an event will be held in Randolph on the anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene to celebrate how far the state has come in recovering from one of the worst storms in the state's history, AP reported.

Irene State officials say they're planning to appeal dozens of cases where the Federal Emergency Management Agency has refused to cover all the costs of town flood recovery projects. Vermont officials had downplayed disagreements with FEMA, but are now using words like deceived and frustrated, Vermont Public Radio reported. LINK 

Dairy Farm for Sale Many dairy farmers across Vermont are struggling to keep afloat as the price of milk plummets and the price of grain and corn rises. For Bob and Mary Clark and their son Rob, the family's Milky Way Farm in the small town of Ira is no exception. The 150-acre dairy farm on Route 133 is up for sale. It is the last milking farm left in Ira, the Rutland Herald reported.