Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, June 10, 2010

Sen. Bernie Sanders seeks end to tax breaks for oil, gas industry | The Burlington Free Press | Burlington, Vermont
Sen. Bernie Sanders is pushing a measure to end more than $35 billion in tax breaks for the oil and gas industry.

The Vermont independent Wednesday proposed putting $25 billion in savings toward reducing the deficit and $10 billion toward the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program over five years. Such funds help municipalities build windmills, make energy efficiency improvements or improve sewer treatment plants.
Public discusses biomass at forum: Times Argus Online
The sponsors of a public forum on biomass energy held in Montpelier on Wednesday said they believe wood from Vermont's forests should play a role in future electricity and heat production in the state.

But what's the best way to ensure an increase in biomass-fueled plants doesn't wreck those same forests and doesn't speed up climate change?

Striking that balance was the subject of a public forum at the Statehouse sponsored by several groups, including the Biomass Energy Resource Center, the Vermont Natural Resources Council and the Sierra Club.
On Berlin Pond, much ado about an old order: Times Argus Online
An 84-year-old state order prohibiting recreational use of Berlin Pond is receiving renewed scrutiny from the lawyer representing defendants who have challenged Montpelier's efforts to regulate the use of its public drinking water supply.

Oreste Valsangiacomo Jr. is arguing he believes the order is no longer in force or enforceable.

Montpelier claims that the 1926 order prohibiting "… boating, fishing and bathing in the waters of Berlin Pond" was never repealed or rescinded.
Groups decry US decision not to do more for wolves -
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is refusing to provide special protection for wolves in five Northeastern states where there has not been a known breeding population for more than 100 years, but where occasional wild wolves, believed to have made it into the region from Canada, are found.

In a decision published Thursday, the Wildlife Service rejected a petition filed by a handful of wolf advocates saying it would not give wolves in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine or Massachusetts status as a distinct population since they already are protected by the Endangered Species Act.
$786,000 in USDA grants given to Vermont organizations | The Burlington Free Press | Burlington, Vermont
Six Northeast Kingdom organizations and the University of Vermont will receive $786,000 in Rural Business Enterprise Grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Office.
Intervale Food Share Goes Car-less - Project Economy News Story - WPTZ Plattsburgh
The Intervale Food Hub is a food share program on Burlington's Intervale -- and this summer, customers will get their deliveries in a new way -- by bike.

One Revolution -- a local bike delivery company -- rigged up some new bike carts from scratch, specially for the Intervale's summer farm share. Every week, they'll deliver food straight from local farms to businesses and pick-up locations around town -- to feed more than 300 people.