“Examination of Green Jobs Development Policies in Vermont”
Green Jobs Subcommittee Hearing in Montpelier, Vermont
MONTPELIER, August 20 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy, held a field hearing today in the Statehouse in Montpelier to examine clean energy job development policies in Vermont and their applicability nationwide.
“Today’s hearing is an opportunity to learn about what is happening in Vermont on energy efficiency, sustainable energy, and green jobs development. While Vermont has been a leader in many ways, there is a big opportunity to do more,” Sanders said in his opening statement (available here). “To me, what we are talking about today is nothing less than a revolution in this country in terms of how we do energy. It is a revolution which, over a period of years will create millions of good-paying jobs, will help us substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat global warming and, in many cases, will help us save money as consumers.”
Sanders has coauthored two major green collar jobs programs: the green jobs training program and the Energy and Environmental Block Grant program. The green jobs legislation authorized funding to train workers in green collar jobs that involve the design, manufacture, installation, operation, and maintenance of clean, efficient energy technologies. The Energy and Environmental Block Grant program authorized funding directly to states, cities, towns, and counties to invest in technologies and approaches that improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and decrease overall energy use.
Participating in the roundtable discussion were David Blittersdorf, CEO of EarthTurbines and founder of NRG Systems; Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power; David O’Brien, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service; Beth Sachs, co-founder of Efficiency Vermont; Blair Hamilton, co-founder of Efficiency Vermont; Jeff Wimette, business manager and financial secretary of the International of Brotherhood Electrical Workers, Local 300; Jack Byrne, director of the sustainability integration office at Middlebury College’s Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest; Adam Sherman, program manager for Biomass Energy Resource Center; Jim Merriam, COO for GroSolar; and Joan Richmond-Hall, Ph.D., assistant professor of Science at Vermont Technical College.