in the State House of Representatives
on February 20, 2020, by a vote of
.Purpose: The Donahue Amendment to the Global Warming Solutions Act would ensure legislative review and approval of any plans/rules proposed by the newly formed Climate Council and the Agency of Natural Resources before such plans/rules could be put into effect.
Analysis: The underlying bill, the Global Warming Solutions Act, would give broad power to an unelected body (The 22 member Climate Council) and the Agency of Natural Resources to create plans and implement rules governing the citizens of Vermont necessary to meet strict, mandatory greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. As of now, nobody knows what the plan or those rules might be or how much they might cost.
The Donahue Amendment would ensure that the Legislature has the opportunity to debate and vote on the Vermont Climate Action Plan that will be drafted by the Climate Council before it could be brought to the Agency of Natural Resources for implementation.
Those voting YES believe that in a democracy it is the Legislature’s responsibility to serve as the final judge for any Plan that will so materially affect the people of Vermont. Without this amendment, the people of Vermont, through their elected representatives, will be unjustly cut out of process.
Those voting NO believe that requiring the Legislature vote on complicated and potentially unpopular rules and recommendations will slow down action on climate change.
As Recorded in the House Journal, Thursday, February 20, 2020: “…shall the report of the committee on Energy and Technology, as amended, be amended as offered by Rep. Donahue of Northfield? Rep. Savage of Swanton demanded the Yeas and Nays, which demand was sustained by the Constitutional number. The Clerk proceeded to call the roll and the question, Shall the report of the committee on Energy and Technology, as amended, be amended as offered by Rep. Donahue of Northfield? was decided in the negative. Yeas, 44. Nays, 99… (Read the Journal, p. 317 – p. 338)