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September 23, 2011

VPIRG Backs Off Criticism of Gov. Shumlin's Energy Plan

Fairgame The Vermont Public Interest Research Group today had some harsh words for Gov. Peter Shumlin's new comprehensive energy plan, but then quickly took them back.

Earlier today, VPIRG clean energy advocate Ben Walsh fired off an email titled "Really? This is what we waited for?" The email criticized Shumlin's plan for being less aggressive in the development of renewable energy than his predecessor — Republican Gov. Jim Douglas.


"After more than six months of anticipation and hard work put forth by Vermonters all across the state, the Shumlin administration’s comprehensive energy plan was released last week. Parts of the plan are visionary but we need action, not just vision. Shockingly, the plan promotes slower clean energy adoption than we saw happen under the Douglas administration*," noted Walsh.

At the bottom of the email, Walsh adds this explanation after the asterisk:

"*Really. Since 2005, Vermont utilities have signed up for 13 percent of their electricity to come from new renewable projects by 2013. That is 1.6 percent new per year. The Shumlin plan is only calling for 1.1 percent new renewable electricity per year. :-("

I bet it was the emoticon that really peeved Team Shumlin. Whatever happened, less than four hours later Walsh's boss — James Moore — issued an apology under the email subject line, "Correction: too harsh, good plan."

Aww, must be the gov's office took VPIRG out to the proverbial woodshed, a woodshed chock full of biofuels. Or, maybe the governor threatened to boycott VPIRG's Mardi Gras float in next year's Magic Hat Mardi Gras parade (see picture). Actually, Shumlin chief of staff Bill Lofy says the gov's office did reach out to VPIRG to complain but VPIRG was already in the process of issuing a new statement.

That statement by Moore reads: "Earlier today we sent you an email about the Governor’s new energy plan. We missed the mark with the email. So I want to be very clear. We are thrilled to have a comprehensive energy plan that shows real vision for where this state can and should go to create a clean energy legacy for our kids, reduce our dependence on oil and put Vermonters to work. It has been a long time since we had a real energy plan for the state, any plan.

"There are parts of the plan that we feel are weak, like the renewable energy requirements," Moore goes on. "We hope those parts of the plan will be improved as it is refined."

Moore told Seven Days it was an internal communications snafu that led to the "too harsh" email.

With energy advocates like that, global warming might have a chance after all.

Note to VPIRG: Shaving the top off of certain Vermont ridgelines, constructing roads through pristine wilderness so that industrial turbines can be cemented on top of those ridgelines, and defacing the epic scenery that existed before humans even existed in Vermont is NOT environmentally friendly.

Typical. Liberal. Hypocrites.

VPIRG checks its cocktail invitations before taking positions. Shameful.

Boyfriend and girlfriend (don't ask which is which) have a dish-throwing fight because they've lived together too long and they're not sure they ever really liked each other. Now they have to smile and tell the neighbors everything is alright and it was just a cabinet that fell down in the kitchen.

The neighbors never really liked either of them. Frankly, they're both a**holes.


IF there was ever any doubt about VPIRG and Team Shumlin there can't be now.

VPIRG is beholden to the Dems, they aren't Vermont's PIRG, but rather the liberal PRIG.

On the other hand, Shumlin just exemplified the behaivor most knew he would. Stop all opposition. Your opinion isn't wanted unless it agrees with his. Shumlin is a cut throat. He rules as a dictator and there is no room for compromise. This was the way it was in the Senate and now in the Gov's office.

Although the Shumlin Snafu's are getting fun to watch.

Re: photo of Shumlin standing on VPIRG float at last year's Mardie Gras parade:

Someone should inform the idiots or propaganda artists at VPIRG that there's no conical cooling tower or containment vessel at VY. None. Nada. Zilch.

You absolutely can't take these people seriously if they deliberately choose to engage in this kind of Three Mile Island propaganda/scare tactic. Is the truth by itself not sufficient for them? Are the facts by themselves not sufficient for their purposes? Why not depict the VY plant as it actually appears? Why use an image of a containment vessel that does not exist at that plant? Answer: cuz the conical containment vessel is a scary image and that's what they want to convey. To hell with reality -- it doesn't scare people enough.

More evidence that VPIRG is really a partisan hack group. They forgot themselves in a moment of pique and the Governor gave them a taste of the lash.

Was this retracted or not? It is still on the VPIRG Web site.

I don't know what is more embarrassing/demoralizing: Shumlin throwing a hissy fit because someone said something true or VPIRG pulling an Obama and caving. Too bad, he was great on Maddow.

VPIRG spent thousand$$ to influence voters in Burlington to block repeal of IRV. I lost respect for them then, and think backing down on energy efficiency issues now should not surprise anyone. That said, "shocking" is still posted on their website: so not sure if right hand knows what the left hand is doing.

Schumlin is the strong alpha male that Vermont liberals need, the dominating father figure they claim to resent yet perversely desire to please.

I don't know why this activist group that has a particular political agenda that many, if not most, Vermonters do not share (anti-nuke, pro-wind, pro-IRV, etc.) gets to claim the mantle of "Vermont Public Interest Research Group." At best, their views on any number of issues do not represent the views of the majority of Vermonters. Second, their activity is not "research"; rather, it is activism and lobbying for a particular agenda. Third, their fundraising is not even done by Vermonters; it is done by naive, out of state college kids who are taught to memorize the VPRIG talking points and then are sent to knock on doors delivering those talking points, robot-style, and beg for money so that VPIRG can pay lobbyists to force their agenda down Vermonters' throats by buying off our legislators.

I suppose they have a right to do what they are doing, but they should not have the right to insinuate, through the name they have adopted, that they somehow represent "Vermont." In reality, they should call themselves the Progressive Agenda Lobbying Group.

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