July 14th, 2011
Governor Peter Shumlin/Vermont Department of Public Service,
We, the undersigned leaders of the Vermont Sierra Club, are writing to you today on behalf of our 3000 Vermont members. We are fortunate to have many fellow residents that share our high regard for the environment and we are grateful that “green” construction projects are on the rise in our state. Yet when these projects are undertaken without the use of Vermont labor (as is the case with the Sheffield wind farm), or when the generated jobs do not pay fair wages and benefits, our economy and our resident working families suffer. It is not right for the Public Service Board to approve projects that promise Vermont jobs, but do not deliver on that promise.
Looking forward, we strongly assert that in-state green construction projects, including but not limited to wind farms, hydro power, solar power, and biomass projects must be produced with Vermont labor and provide all workers with livable wages, health care and all other necessary benefits. These criteria should be part of what the Public Service Board utilizes before approving any such project. Let it be known that we unequivocally support the Vermont Building and Construction Trades Council and organized labor in general on this important issue.
Together, let us build a green energy portfolio that not only secures the future of Vermont’s environment, but also provides good jobs and good living standards for working Vermont families in the process. We invite you to agree.
Zak Griefen, Chairman
David Ellenbogan, Vice Chairman
Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club
149 State Street, Montpelier VT 05602