In a 7-2 vote, the House Energy Committee passed “Global Warming Solutions” legislation. The proposal will spend just shy of a $1 million over the next two years designing a “Climate Action Plan.” The measure has the support of nearly 90 lawmakers and is expected to pass the full House next week. The legislation mandates a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions: 26% by 2025, 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. What happens if they don’t go down? Failure to comply would allow anyone to sue the state of Vermont.While the Scott administration asked lawmakers to push back by 25 years the date the state could be sued, that request was denied. The measure creates a regulatory authority called the Vermont Climate Council which could propose bans or fees on the combustion of the fuels needed for transportation and heating. The 22 member Climate Council includes one member representing the fuel industry.
VFDA is working with the Vermont Truck and Bus Association and the DMV on changing the way we apply for overweight permits for delivery trucks. As a reminder, if you have a delivery truck anywhere other than the interstate, state highways, or class 1 Town Highways, you most likely need a permit. Right now this is done by each individual town. Since most town roads are limited to 24,000 pounds, every fuel company should determine which towns they need to apply. Fuel trucks can get an exemption for $5 (or $10 for an entire fleet) through an annual permit. These permits must be filed before March 31 every year in every town that requires them. If you don’t have a permit, you could be liable for thousands of dollars in fines. Go to vermontfuel.com/weight for a list of towns that require permitting, where to apply, and to download a permit form. VFDA and the VTBA have proposed eliminating permit requirements for trucks weighing up to 80,000 pounds on paved Class 2 town highways. The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles wants to conduct an analysis first to determine whether this policy would work on all Class 2 roads.
The Senate passed a veto override for the minimum wage bill by a vote of 24 to 6. The fate in the House isn’t certain. The minimum wage will increase to $12.55 per hour over the next two years if the measure gets enough votes in the House.
How Cold Is It?
3092 heating degree days have been recorded outside VFDA’s office since December 1. That’s about 8% less than normal, and 10% less than last winter. 5019 heating degrees days have been recorded in Montpelier since July 1. That’s about 4% less than normal, and 7% less than last year.
Chain Chain Chains
The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) has truck chain-up areas in Bennington along Route 9 to help alleviate winter weather related traffic tie-ups. Message boards on all routes leading to Bennington and Wilmington will activate if winter weather travel advisories are in effect on Route 9. Chains are only required when the warning signs are activated. There are no exemptions for commercial vehicles carrying oil or gas.
News of Note
What has Vermont got wrong that much of the rest of America has got right?
Vermont’s last dairy farmer-lawmaker is selling his cows.
State officials cut workers’ compensation insurance rates.
Lawmakers look to expand efficiency efforts to include heating and transportation.
Scott vetoes minimum wage increase, setting up another possible override vote.
Vermont lawmakers seek to make robocalls a crime.
Go to vermontfuel.com/crash to read the latest incident report from the Vermont Commerical Vehicle Enforcement Unit.
VFDA Training: Get Certified, Stay Certified.
Basic Oilheat Tech Training — February — Rutland Class Full
AST Seminar — February 18 — Berlin, VT – Class Cancelled 2/13/20
NORA Silver Seminar—February 19—Montpelier-Class Cancelled 2/13/20
Propane CETP Series — March — Montpelier
NORA Silver Seminar — March 25 — Rutland
Propane/Natural Gas Continuing Education — March 27 — Berlin Class Full
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