Local tapped for Vermont Climate Action Commission

UPDATED: MONTPELIER — Middlebury businessman Bill Laberge, of Laberge Insurance, and Bridport farmer Marie Audet, of Blue Spruce Farm, are two Addison County residents named to the newly formed Vermont Climate Action Commission.
The commission was formed by an executive order from Gov. Phil Scott this past Thursday, July 20.
Among the commission’s responsibilities will be the task of unifying Vermont’s ambitious climate and economic goals.
“We are already seeing tremendous growth in renewable energy jobs,” said Gov. Scott in a press conference announcing the formation and members of the commission. “Since 2013, employment in this sector has grown 30 percent. That is something to build on. But all sectors of Vermont’s economy will need to change to take advantage of this tremendous economic opportunity.”
The commission is charged with developing an action plan by July 2018. In a press release, the governor indicated that the commission’s recommendations must grow the state economy, put Vermonters on a path to affordability, and not leave anyone behind.
The Climate Action Commission will hold its first meeting in the middle of August and will be chaired by Peter Walke, deputy secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, and co-chaired by Paul Costello of the Vermont Council on Rural Development. The other members of the commission and the sectors they represent are:
•  Michael Schirling, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
•  Michele Boomhower, designee of the Secretary of the Agency of Transportation.
•  June Tierney, Commissioner of the Department of Public Service.
•  Linda McGinnis, clean energy.
•  Joe Fusco, commercial hauling or trucking.
•  Bob Stevens, construction or development.
•  Kristin Carlson, energy utilities.
•  Mary Sprayregen, energy efficiency.
•  Johanna Miller, statewide environmental organization.
•  Peter Bourne, fuels.
•  St. Albans Mayor Liz Gamache, local government.
•  Adam Knudsen, manufacturing.
•  Bethany Fleishman, transportation demand management.
•  Tom Donahue, Vermont Community Action Partnership.
• Bill Laberge, of Grassroots Solar, Inc. in Dorset.
Audet represents the agriculture sector and Laberge represents small businesses.
Before the commission’s first meeting, the governor still must appoint a member from the research and development sector, a member representing the forestry or forest products sector, and a student currently enrolled at a Vermont academic institution. Interested students should contact Peter Walke at [email protected] for more information.
Editor’s note: This story was corrected after it was originally posted. Originally it identified one of the commissioners as Bill Laberge of Middlebury, but the commissioner was actually Bill Laberge of Grassroots Solar Inc. in Dorset. Wrong Bill Laberge — we apologize for the error.

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