In the absence of federal leadership, and building on a string of clean energy policy wins in states across the nation, Vermont Conservation Voters is joining with the national League of Conservation Voters and other state affiliates in the Conservation Voter Movement to double down on the progress that can be made at the state and local levels by launching a first-of-its-kind “Clean Energy for All(link is external)” campaign to advance clean energy solutions and support leaders in an effort to move the country closer to a goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050.
With an initial investment of over $2 million, the network of organizations is collectively launching the “Clean Energy for All” campaign to engage at the state and local level by:
Winning ballot initiatives that promote clean energy and reduce pollution in Arizona, Nevada and Washington.
Grassroots organizing to demonstrate demand for clean energy and pollution-free communities.
Securing commitments from candidates at every level to commit to moving their state toward 100% clean energy by 2050.
Pushing for smart investments, like using the VW settlement money on clean, electric school buses.
Lobbying decision-makers from governors to state legislators to mayors to school boards to break down the barriers to clean energy with specific policy proposals.
In Vermont, Vermont Conservation Voters (VCV) has been working with partners to advance a clean energy agenda and achieve the goal of providing 90% of the state’s total energy needs – including heating, transportation and electricity – from renewable sources by 2050.
“Most recently,” explained VCV Executive Director Lauren Hierl, “we worked with lawmakers to include a 'climate package' in the budget passed out of the Vermont House on a vote of 122-10 last week. That package includes funding for an impartial analysis of climate policies to drive down carbon pollution, including carbon pricing, as well as ensuring Volkswagen settlement funds will be used for electric buses, trucks and charging stations. It also includes modest funding for replacing old wood stoves with newer and more efficient ones.”
“Fighting for clean energy is not new, but at this critical time this campaign represents an ambitious new approach for our family of organizations by unleashing local campaigns across the country that collectively add up to a significant shift to a clean energy economy,” said Gene Karpinski, League of Conservation Voters President.
“The demand for clean energy is going up and the price keeps going down. This campaign is about making affordable clean energy and pollution-free communities accessible to everyone,” said Hierl.
State and local campaigns also present more opportunities for far less partisan polarization on clean energy issues. For example, since 2016 clean energy legislation has passed with bipartisan support in other states with Republican governors including Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada and Massachusetts. The campaign will be engaged in 30 states with conservation voter organizations, with each state engaged in its own local, state and regional efforts.
The Conservation Voter Movement is a unique network of 30 state-based organizations and one federal organization that closely collaborate and share expertise and resources in order to effect positive change at all levels of government.