Sen. Sanders held a press conference in his Burlington office with Vermont firefighters and EMS personnel to discuss recruitment and retention needs. He announced a $100,000 grant to recruit, train and retain firefighters and emergency medical services personnel throughout Vermont. The senator was flanked at a press conference in his Senate office here by Kristy Oxholm President of the Vermont State Firefighters Association; Jim Finger, president of the American Ambulance Association; Gary Dillon of the Waterbury Volunteer Fire Department; Chief Charles Cole of the Essex Volunteer Fire Department; Dean Gilmore of the New Haven Volunteer Fire Department; Chief Tom Hooker of the Pittsford Volunteer Fire Department; and Chief Jim Litevich of the Vermont Fire Academy.
Water heating is responsible for as much as 25 percent of an average U.S. household’s annual energy usage. Sen. Bernie Sanders secured federal funds to help pay for energy-efficient and money-saving solar water systems for public housing complexes in Burlington, Barre, Brattleboro, and Bennington. The Vermont project will significantly decrease energy costs while making cutting-edge renewable energy technology accessible to more Vermonters. “At a time when we are spending $350 billion a year importing oil from Saudi Arabia and other countries, it is important that the United States move away from foreign oil to energy independence,” Sanders said. “Programs like this are a major step forward.” In addition to the project that the senator announced Wednesday, the $787 billion economic stimulus bill that Congress passed last year offers eligible homeowners a tax credit equivalent to 30 percent of the cost to buy and install solar hot water systems. Since solar water heating systems can pay for themselves in as few as five years, the incentives will make this technology more accessible than ever before.
Also photographed is Nancy Owens, Pres. Housing Vermont.
Sanders hosted a news conference on his opposition to the nomination of Ben Bernanke to a second term as Federal Reserve chairman. He was joined in the Capitol Visitor Center by Professor William Black and Robert Borosage.