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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Message Control

Yours truly was working on the Ol' "Inside Track" column yesterday, so I had an excuse to miss Gov. Jim Douglas' UVM presser at which he attempted to embellish and defend his environmentally-friendly image.

Here's the official spin from the Fifth Floor:

Guv_douglas A new partnership between state government and the University of Vermont will look to develop a strategy that leverages the state’s green reputation into a leadership role in the emerging carbon credit market, while pursuing biomass research and enhancing environmental education in public schools, Governor Jim Douglas announced today.

Gov. Douglas was joined by UVM President Daniel Mark Fogel, Commission Chairman Ernie Pomerleau and cabinet secretaries at a press conference today to discuss the findings and recommendations of the Governor’s Commission on Climate Change.

Douglas applauded the efforts of the Commission and Plenary Group. “Their reports speak for themselves. Vermonters care about protecting our quality of life and that connection with our open spaces will help in fighting global warming while bringing a new green economy within our reach.”

Nice, huh?

Unfortunately for Jimbo, we live in a country with a free press that allows those who don't see things the Guv's way a chance to express themselves.

John Curran, Montpeculiar bureau chief of The Associated Press also noted in his report:

Heading_south Neither Douglas nor Agency of Natural Resources Secretary George Crombie could give specifics of the carbon-trading standard plan or set a timetable for it, saying instead the announcement signified a road map for Vermont's energy future.

The Commission on Climate Change urged Douglas to expand the state's energy efficiency programs for electricity and gas to heating oil and other fuels, but his announcement Tuesday contained no proposal for that.

Instead, he said, he planned to work with the Legislature in its upcoming session in hopes of reaching consensus on an all-fuels utility...

"The Vermont Green Standard will be synonymous with a guarantee of rigorous expectations of reducing carbon emissions and helping to promote the goal of reversing global warming. The Vermont Green Standard will tell buyers and sellers of green credits that they are making an investment in verifiable efforts to reduce carbon emissions."

But he couldn't explain how the efforts would reduce the state's carbon footprint, a key element in the mission of the Commission on Climate Change when it was established nearly two years ago.

When asked who would set the criteria for what qualifies for the "Vermont Green Standard," he said: "This is a new concept I'm presenting you today, so it's got to be developed."

Critics also got their say in the reports in the Freeps and the Rutland Herald.

Nice try, Jim.

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