Alan Panebaker

Alan Panebaker

Alan Panebaker is a staff writer for He covers health care and energy issues. He graduated from the University of Montana School of Journalism in 2005 and cut his teeth reporting for the Ashland Daily Tidings and Mail Tribune newspapers in Southern Oregon where he covered education and the environment. A dedicated whitewater kayaker and backcountry skier, he later wrote a weekly outdoors column for the Anchorage Press in Anchorage, Alaska, and continues to publish freelance work for Canoe & Kayak magazine. Alan took a three-year hiatus from journalism to attend Vermont Law School. After passing the bar, he decided to return to his journalism roots and start chasing stories again. He lives in Montpelier.Postscript: Alan died in a kayaking accident on Sept. 19, 2012, shortly after he took a job with American Whitewater. We here at VTDigger mourn his passing.

Email: [email protected]

    Internal VPIRG drama unfolds in the media

    Rumors began to swirl early this week that Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, had fired the advocacy organization’s health care lobbyist immediately after she informed him she was running for lieutenant governor. When Cassandra Gekas first filed a petition to challenge incumbent Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, the word was […]

    Vermont health reform supporters cheer Supreme Court decision

    The decision means Vermont will likely be able to benefit from hundreds of millions of dollars in federal tax credits and subsidies under the federal scheme.

    Gaz Metro seals the deal: GMP and CVPS merge

    According to its statement, with the Vermont utilities, Gaz Metro’s assets are now valued at close to $5 billion.

    Federal court upholds EPA standards

    A federal court has upheld standards by the Environmental Protection Agency that would allow the federal government to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Vermont, along with 16 other states and the City of New York intervened on behalf of the federal agency defending those standards. In a statement, Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell said the decision […]

    Nurses, Fletcher Allen reach agreement

    The state’s largest hospital has reached a tentative agreement with a nurses union that will most likely avert a strike in July. According to Margaret Russell, a staffer with the Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, members of the nurses union met with hospital administrators Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning. A sticking point […]

    AARP asks for second look at utility merger

    The AARP Vermont filed a motion Tuesday afternoon asking the Vermont Public Service Board to revisit its 172-page order approving a merger between the state’s two largest utilities. In its motion, AARP asked the utility regulators to reopen the record in the case and order the utilities to pay $21 million in cash or a […]

    Appeals court hands NRC a victory in Yankee license case

    The state and the New England Coalition had argued that the federal permit issued in 2011 was invalid because Entergy failed to obtain certification that operation would not affect water quality.

    New advocacy group Vermont Leads aims to counter anti-single-payer spin

    The money the group will spend on advertising, around $100,000 or so, Sterling said, will come from SEIU.

    Campaign finance decisions could mean start of super PACs in Vermont

    With the legal landscape appearing to open the door for super PACs in Vermont, some advocates are already considering taking the first step.

    With federal loan, group launches health insurance co-op

    The “Vermont Health CO-OP” plans to sell insurance to individuals and small groups on the state’s health benefits exchange that is set to start up in 2014. Co-op members will own and govern the company.

    Cigna must refund $2.3 million to Vermont customers

    According to numbers released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 4,636 Vermonters will receive a rebate — averaging out to $807 per family.

    Former House majority leader to take job with GMP

    Lucy Leriche will work as an outreach coordinator for the Kingdom Community Wind project in Lowell, said Robert Dostis, Green Mountain Power’s leader of External Affairs & Customer Relations.

    Professional Fire Fighters union, often a bellwether, endorses candidates

    The Professional Fire Fighters of Vermont released a list of candidates it will endorse in the November election Tuesday, with a few surprises. The union, which generally leans toward Democrats, endorsed two Republicans — Vince Illuzzi for auditor and incumbent Phil Scott for lieutenant governor. It also gave a nod to TJ Donovan in the […]

    New England group asks nuclear regulators to hold off on final decisions

    A Vermont anti-nuclear group joined with dozens of other organizations this week asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to halt final decisions on licenses until it evaluates the environmental impacts of storing nuclear waste. The Brattleboro-based New England Coalition signed on to a petition filed Monday that asks the federal agency to suspend final licensing decisions […]