We are very excited to be hosting our pre-Summit in just 12 days! This event will be a very interactive chance to brainstorm and strategize around the Network’s priorities and to start developing the pitches and Network Action Teams for our September Summit. The pre-Summit will be hosted at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier on May 24th from 8:30am-1:30pm. Note that this time has changed given some afternoon conflicts for a good number of our members, but we are keeping plenty of time for great discussions, as promised! If you have not registered yet, please do so at this link as soon as possible, and visit the landing page for the Pre-Summit event for more information, such as our COVID policy, agenda, pricing, and our sponsors.
We have heard that a few people have had difficulty registering. Once you successfully registered, you should have received an email named “Thank you for registering for 2022 EAN Network Pre-Summit”. If you aren’t sure if you are successfully registered, please email Matt.
Additionally, our Pitch application is now live! The Pre-Summit is your chance to help share and develop ideas that could later become Network Action Teams, but now is a great time to download this document and begin to consider the components of what makes a successful pitch. We encourage those who have not co-chaired a Network Action Team before to attend the Pre-Summit and consider developing a pitch to help make significant progress towards Vermont’s climate goals.
A few notes on EAN staffing: as you might have seen in the news earlier this week, our Executive Director Jared Duval will be a candidate for public office. As a 501(c)3 EAN cannot and will not engage in any advocacy for any political candidate. Jared will be using a previously scheduled sabbatical from July 12 – August 9 for the campaign but will otherwise continue working for EAN full-time.
Furthermore, as was shared in our previous newsletter, we have been seeking a new Operations and Events Manager for EAN. However, we have decided to postpone the deadline and start date for the position to late August to ensure a successful on-boarding process. See here to learn more about the role in the meantime.
Finally, as we work on our next Annual Progress Report for Vermont, we ask our members and public sector partners to double check that you are listed correctly on our website. Please let us know if any changes need to be made. We also welcome conversations with any who are not yet members, but who would like to be added.
Wishing you well,
Jared, Cara, and Matt
News from the World
Heat pumps do work in the cold — Americans just don’t know it yet
Called “the most overlooked climate solution”, heat pumps have been growing in popularity but also have had their skeptics. This article talks through the mechanisms of their functioning and describes how new heat pumps do indeed work in the cold weather.
A New York power line divided environmentalists. Here’s what it says about the larger climate fight.
“States waited too long to decarbonize, and now they have to make tough choices.” Faced with its own policy requiring zero emissions by 2040, New York struggles to bring renewable electricity from upstate to NYC, especially with community agreement.
Why Being Anti-Science Is Now Part Of Many Rural Americans’ Identity
This article details how certain approaches, namely utilizing local connections and in-person conversations, can lead to community agreement and policy support. Otherwise, conspiracy theory can infect public thought, as seen with the pandemic (and vaccines) and climate science.
There are many disparities in access to safe and affordable transportation between different demographic groups in Vermont. For our neighbors who are youth, seniors, have disabilities, or have low incomes, inadequate transportation options can create a major barrier — reducing employment and education options, as well as making it harder to get to medical appointments, grocery stores, and social engagements.
In Vermont, discussions around transportation tend to assume that most people have access to private vehicles. However 25% of Vermonters do not have a driver’s license – including youth, elders, people with disabilities, and people who choose not to drive. And some households don’t have a vehicle available to them at all, with 6.7% of occupied housing units in VT lacking a vehicle.
Network Action Team Highlight – Vermont Clean Transportation Equity
The Clean Transportation Equity Network Action team has had several pivots in its time, but is now poised with a great opportunity. The goal of the Clean Transportation Equity Network Action team is to advance a collaborative process to identify the highest impact investment opportunities, in terms of cost-effective and equitable greenhouse gas reduction strategies and actions, for clean transportation revenue in Vermont. Recently the group has released a Request for Proposals in search of community organizations who would each conduct a focus group with constituents or communities that may experience unmet transportation needs, and/or whose participants may be less represented in statewide conversations around clean transportation. These community groups would be offered $2,000 for helping design the process, holding the focus group, and offering back a brief report to the Network Action Team, with an additional $1,000 in funding to compensate focus group participants for their time. The Network Action Team is seeking responses by May 27th; please email Cara with any further questions.
Events and Opportunities
EAN Pre-Summit event
Come start developing connections and pitch ideas before the EAN Summit in September! This year’s Pre-Summit event will be held on Tuesday, May 24th from 8:30am-1:30pm at the Vermont College of Fine Arts’ Alumnx Hall, located at 45 College Street in Montpelier. No virtual option will be offered. All Network members and public sector partners who would usually attend our Summit are welcome to attend. Link to register
Vital Communities’ Virtual Local Energy Action Showcase
Join Vital Communities on Thursday, May 12th from 7:00-8:30 p.m. via Zoom for an evening of stories to inspire, connect, and re-energize anyone working to promote clean, efficient energy and address climate change at the local level. Register here.
“Reducing Transportation Emissions and Investing in Communities” Webinar
Presenters will provide an overview of and discuss the opportunities on how regional cap and invest programs covering the transportation sector could lower greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate the deployment of more cost-effective, efficient, and multi-modal transportation solutions for all Vermonters. Tune in on Friday, May 13th from noon-1:30pm – register and learn more here.
Park Your Carbon Week
Park Your Carbon is a week-long initiative to help change Vermonters’ transportation and commuting habits by encouraging green ways of travel from May 16th through May 20th. Participants are encouraged to do it for a day, a week or make it a habit. Whether this means biking, walking, sharing your ride, taking the bus, or working from home, this week celebrates the lack of car use. Find more information here.
Planning for EV Charging Infrastructure in Vermont
Join Vermont Clean Cities, Drive Electric Vermont, and VTrans on Wednesday, May 18th from 1:00-3:00 p.m. for a webinar about Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in Vermont. Hear about funding opportunities, including the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) passed in November 2021, federal and state EV charging goals, and more. Register and learn more here.
Bringing together community leaders and groups working to celebrate and strengthen Vermont’s resilience, this is a conference for Vermonters seeking to engage with each other, their communities, and the state at large through meaningful and interdisciplinary discussions and problem-solving. It will be hosted at Norwich University on Friday, May 20th – register and learn more here.
Vermont Climate Council Meetings
All Vermont Climate Council meetings and subcommittee meetings are open to the public, with all details on the Climate Council website.
The Vermont Total Energy Ticker
By one vote, House fails to override veto of the clean heat standard
An override of the Governor’s veto of H. 715 required 100 House votes, and it only got 99. Called the ‘most important policy in the Climate Action Plan’ in terms of its ability to meet emission reduction goals, legislators are scrambling to pick up the pieces before the end of the legislative session or be forced to let it die.
Lawmakers, governor weigh first ever environmental justice policy for Vermont
One of the last states in the region to adopt an environmental justice bill, Vermont now has S.148 up for consideration. The bill would “make it the official policy of Vermont that no community should have more than their fair share of access to environmental benefits — or harms.”
How Vermont is — and isn’t — on track to reduce its share of climate-warming emissions
An interview with Abagael Giles, VPR’s climate and environment reporter, detailing what the latest IPCC report calls for, how the GWSA targets stand in comparison, and how policy of this year shows Vermont’s level of commitment and responsibility, even as a small state.