Lisman's Group Accuses House Democrat of Solar Conflict
A group founded and funded by retired Wall Street banker Bruce Lisman has accused a St. Albans Democrat of violating House rules by voting for legislation that would help his employer.
In a letter (see below) to House Speaker Shap Smith, Campaign for Vermont lobbyist Shawn Shouldice took Rep. Mike McCarthy (D-St. Albans) to task Thursday for supporting legislation that would expand Vermont's net-metering program.
Net metering encourages Vermonters to produce electricity at home and work, in exchange for a break on their power bills. Shouldice said that the bill would benefit SunCommon, the Waterbury-based solar leasing company for which McCarthy works as a community organizer.
The legislation increases the amount of renewable energy utilities can buy from customers from 4 percent of the companies' peak demand to 15 percent. The bill won preliminary approval Wednesday by a 136-8 margin and final passage Thursday by voice vote.
In her letter, Shouldice said the episode demonstrates the need for ethics reform, a cause Lisman and Campaign for Vermont have been trumpeting lately.