Montpelier, VT — In a dismaying attempt to obstruct Vermont’s environmental and economic progress, today Governor Scott vetoed compromise legislation aimed at modernizing the Renewable Energy Standard and setting the state on a path to delivering 100% renewable electricity by 2035.

By vetoing H.289, which was supported by nearly all of the state’s electric utilities, along with a host of environmental organizations, business groups and others, Governor Scott is again jeopardizing our state’s progress in clean energy and needed climate action as well as threatening to curtail a needed clean energy jobs sector. To override the governor’s veto, the Legislature must vote with a 2/3rds majority at the veto session in mid-June.

This landmark legislation would be the first major update to the Renewable Energy Standard in nearly a decade and would represent the most significant action Vermont has ever taken to cut carbon pollution in the electric sector. This bill, if enacted, would have Vermont be the second state in the nation to achieve 100% renewable electricity, setting a precedent for clean energy progress and economic innovation. By increasing the requirements for utilities to support new renewable energy projects in the region and the state, H.289 would significantly cut carbon pollution — equivalent to removing up to 250,000 cars from our roads permanently by 2035.

“This bill was the result of a months-long stakeholder process that brought together for the first time environmental groups, business interests and utilities to craft a common sense compromise to get Vermont away from fossil fuels and onto 100% renewable energy. By vetoing this bi-partisan bill, Governor Scott has once again said to Vermonters he is not interested in tackling the climate crisis we are facing,” said Peter Sterling, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Vermont.

“Governor Scott has chosen to side with fossil fuel interests over the health and well-being of Vermonters,” said Lauren Hierl, Executive Director of Vermont Conservation Voters. “Vermont has the chance to lead the nation in renewable energy innovation and climate action, and we hope the legislature overturns this misguided veto.”

“The benefits of H.289 are clear: Reduced carbon emissions, increased energy independence, and a boost to the state’s clean energy economy,” said Johanna Miller, Climate and Energy Program Director at Vermont Natural Resources Council. “Instead, the governor’s action leaves Vermont vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, dependent on outdated, polluting energy sources and curbs much-needed clean energy job growth.”

“Vermonters have made clear over and over again that addressing the climate crisis must be a priority, and that the status quo is simply unacceptable,” said Ben Edgerly Walsh, Climate and Energy Program Director for VPIRG. “Unfortunately, Governor Scott once again decided to ignore the urgency of this crisis and the priorities of his constituents with this disappointing veto of H.289.”

“Vermonters remember too well last summer’s devastating flood and smoky skies from Canadian fires. Instead of taking action, Governor Scott has chosen to veto our safety, health, and future,” said Vanessa Rule, Co-Director and Lead Organizer of 350VT.  This veto does not reflect the will of the people who want to see their communities protected from the ravages of climate change now and in the future and who want access to affordable and non-polluting energy.”

Supporters of H.289 will be calling on legislators to vote to override this short-sighted veto. H.289 passed the Vermont House 99-39 and passed the Senate 18-8. With two-thirds votes needed in each chamber to override the veto, the bill has a path to enactment.

It is imperative that the Legislature override this veto and ensure that Vermont takes necessary action to reduce our state’s dependence on imported, polluting fossil fuels. For the sake of our environment, our economy, and future generations, we call on lawmakers to act to override the governor’s veto of H.289 and uphold needed clean energy progress for Vermont.

Some of the utilities and organizations supporting H289 include:

Green Mountain Power

Vermont Electric Coop

Burlington Electric Department

Vermont Public Power Supply Authority

Global Foundries

Stowe Electric

Conservation Law Foundation


Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club


Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

Vermont Natural Resources Council

Vermont Conservation Voters


Peter Sterling, REV,

Lauren Hierl, VCV,

Johanna Miller, VNRC,

Ben Edgerly Walsh, VPIRG,

Vanessa Rule, 350VT,