The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ Georgia Ag Forecast seminar at Unicoi State Park has been canceled due to potentially hazardous winter conditions in White County and north Georgia. It is the policy of the Georgia Ag Forecast seminar series to cancel events for weather reasons only when the local school systems have canceled classes. As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, White County Schools have canceled class for Friday, Jan. 22. The Georgia Ag Forecast staff will work to reschedule the seminar in the coming weeks. All of those who registered for the Jan. 22 seminar at Unicoi State Park in White County will be notified by email of the rescheduled date as soon as it’s available. If the staff is not able to reschedule the seminar or if participants cannot attend the reschedule date, refunds will be issued. As of Thursday evening, the four remaining sessions will still be held as planned: Bainbridge on Monday, Jan. 25; Tifton on Tuesday, Jan. 26; Alma on Wednesday, Jan. 27; and Macon on Friday, January 29. At Georgia Ag Forecast, economists from the university’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development (CAED) and from the college’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics deliver an economic outlook focusing on Georgia’s major commodities and the way that global markets, weather patterns and historical trends will affect those commodities. In addition to the annual economic outlook, CAED Director Kent Wolfe and fellow UGA agricultural economist Sharon P. Kane will give a briefing on the Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption, often referred to as “GATE,” and how it is reflected in county sales tax revenue. For information, visit georgiaagforecast.com.
Seminole County, Georgia, 4-H member Kellee Alday won first place in this year’s Georgia 4-H Watermelon Growing Contest. The 128-pound ‘Carolina Cross’ watermelon she grew landed Alday the win, which was far from her first, but it will be her last.Alday’s at college and will be ineligible to enter next year’s competition, but she left the world of high school 4-H as a watermelon-growing champion. She won first place and a $100 prize with a 108-pound watermelon in 2010. She won second place twice, with a 120-pound watermelon in 2011 and again with a 126-pound watermelon in 2009. She won third place four times, with a 115-pound watermelon in 2016, with a 109-pound watermelon in 2015, with a 103-pound watermelon in 2014 and with a 91-pound watermelon in 2013. In 2012, she won 12th place with a 59-pound watermelon.In this year’s contest, second place and $50 went to Long County, Georgia, 4-H member Andrew Groover for his 121.1-pound melon. Wayne County, Georgia, 4-H member Jack Ogden won the third-place honor and $25 prize for his 86-pound melon.Sponsored by the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, the contest is designed to pique students’ interest in agriculture. “We had 24 entries this year, and we are extremely grateful for the time and effort of all of our participating 4-H’ers,” Michael Rabalais, a Georgia 4-H program specialist and the contest’s coordinator.Growing gigantic, award-winning watermelons takes skill, patience and time, and young gardeners should plan ahead and persevere. “Don’t get discouraged your first time. Keep on going and try your best,” Alday said.Any watermelon variety may be grown, but University of Georgia Cooperative Extension experts recommend the ‘Carolina Cross’ variety.Kellee Alday and her brother, Sammy Alday, grew and entered watermelons into the contest after their father, Ricky Alday’s, encouragement.“I hadn’t grown watermelons since the late ‘80s, but I grew up doing it with my daddy and my granddaddy,” Ricky Alday said. “They grew them all the way back to the ‘50s.”The Alday siblings began by growing “a few hills” of watermelons. Their mother, Gina Alday, served as record-keeper.“It became something we did as a family. Sammy competed for nine years, and he won first in the watermelon contest one time and first in the pumpkin-growing contest twice. He placed in the top five in eight out of the nine years he entered,” Ricky Alday said. “He graduated and went off to college and Kellee kept competing.”Just like large-scale farmers, the young farmers fretted over the weather and associated effects on their crops.“There have been a lot of times we sat out in the garden and prayed over the melons because south Georgia weather is really unpredictable,” she said. “When we had a flood, we panicked. It’s been a crazy road, but it was totally worth it.”Her secret to growing award-winning watermelons is to save the seeds for the next season. “Sometimes we grew the ‘Carolina Cross’ variety for the contest mixed in with the ‘Crimson Sweets’ for cutting and eating,” she said. “We cut the real big ones and save the seeds out of them. The ones with mold on them, we throw to the livestock.”The cows don’t complain, but humans typically would not enjoy the taste of the award-winning melons.“The big ones are coarse inside, so the meat isn’t good to eat, like a regular eating melon,” said Ricky Alday, who admits he is sad to see the family activity come to an end.“I once grew a 183-pound ‘Carolina Cross,’ but that was years ago. I think I’ve enjoyed (entering the contest) more than the kids,” he said. “My folks always showed me how to grow something to eat. Maybe this will help them decide to have a garden one day and grow their own food.”Georgia 4-H members are now submitting their entries for the 4-H Pumpkin Growing Contest which is also sponsored by the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. To enter either contest, a 4-H’er must grow the watermelon or pumpkin, submit a photo of themselves with their melon and have it weighed by their local UGA Extension agent. The pumpkin contest deadline this year is Monday, Oct. 2. Kellee Alday’s 317-pound pumpkin has already been entered.Information about the contests, including photos of the past winners, can be found online at georgia4h.org.
Even if they’re born of the most exemplary research, innovative indoor plant propagation technologies aren’t beneficial if they are too costly to use.That is the simplest distillation of a new article published in the journal HortTechnology focused on identifying the indoor plant propagation research and education needs of specialty crop producers. The study was the result of a partnership between University of Georgia Associate Professor Alexa Lamm and several researchers in the Department of Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida.The study was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) intended to strengthen relationships between growers and researchers so that scientists are doing the right research and outreach, focusing and advancing industry needs based on grower input, said Lamm, who focuses on science communication in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES). “The study is a good example of the work I do in partnership with other faculty to strengthen the agricultural sector through communication.”While indoor farming is more widely used in other countries, economic and knowledge-based challenges must be addressed for indoor propagation facilities to be viable in the U.S. despite their potential benefits, according to the study.In collaboration with principal investigator Celina Gómez, an assistant professor of controlled environmental horticulture with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Lamm designed the data collection methodology and surveys and analyzed the data collected to inform the development of an upcoming, multimillion-dollar SCRI grant proposal for a five-year research study on indoor plant propagation.“We wanted to make sure that we address stakeholder concerns so we can pursue research that is usable,” said Lamm. “There are many different areas of research that could be focused on — from irrigation technologies to lighting and pest management to energy consumption and water-use recycling. There has been a lot of research done on indoor plant propagation of leafy greens in other countries, but it has not been economically viable in the United States, which is why it has not been widely adopted here.”Rather than focus on propagating traditional crops indoors, this study focused on growing specialty crops that may require adjustments to traditional agricultural methods.According to study data, industry participants were largely motivated to adopt indoor propagation environments to reduce crop losses, increase productivity per unit of land area, ensure faster germination or rooting, improve plant quality, and profit from anticipated economic benefits.Lamm identified research and education priorities for industry members, including economic costs and benefits like capital investment and energy costs, improved crop quality, production time, uniformity, reduced shrinkage, and strategies to improve light management indoors.Based on those factors, research efforts must determine and prioritize the most important economic considerations and production advantages to fill important gaps in knowledge about indoor plant propagation. This is not only on the part of producers, but also on those industries that will provide specialized equipment and technologies to make indoor propagation efficient, effective and economical.“We had representation from stakeholders all over the U.S. who are dabbling in or who have begun indoor propagation to determine where they need research to help further indoor propagation across important emerging specialty crop markets,” Lamm said.Pairing social scientists and science communicators who can capture the essence of the needs of the producers and translate that into terms that a bench scientist can use to design their research programs can ensure that the innovations coming from studies is adoptable and useful in the marketplace.“Bench scientists take a lot more time putting together complex research protocols resulting in emerging technologies, but if they don’t take the economic aspects of it into consideration, there will not be adoption of any of their scientific breakthroughs. They need to have economists working side by side with them as they pursue new research and innovations. They need the economic modeling of cost and the effectiveness of integrating that innovation into a viable system,” Lamm said. “This is the missing piece that social scientists can contribute that can influence agricultural advancement on a global scale.”The full study is available at journals.ashs.org/horttech/view/journals/horttech/horttech-overview.xml. For more information on the CAES Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication, visit alec.caes.uga.edu.
Governor, UVM President sign Vermont Climate Collaborative CharterMONTPELIER – Governor Jim Douglas and UVM President Daniel Mark Fogel have formally adopted the Vermont Climate Collaborative framework, which will guide Vermont’s effort to address climate change and further develop the green tech economy.At a charter signing at the Statehouse Wednesday, Governor Douglas called the Collaborative a signature partnership that brings together the state’s higher education institutions, businesses, legislators and nonprofit organizations to allow the state to forge ahead with confidence in protecting and enhancing Vermont’s quality of life.”This charter spells out a foundation and framework for action,” the Governor said. “The Collaborative’s mission is simple: to see that Vermont stays green, leads the nation in environmental policies and creates job opportunities for a thriving green economy.”Douglas created his Commission on Climate Change in 2005, asking its members to enter into a wide-ranging discussion on initiatives that will safeguard Vermont’s way of life, where economic prosperity goes hand in hand with environmental stewardship.Hundreds of Vermonters offered their assistance and expertise to the Commission. In the end, the Commission’s final report focused on six main themes, including this collaborative partnership.Creation of the Vermont Climate Collaborative would be essential to meeting the five other goals, and to implementing policy recommendations contained in the Plenary Group Report, the Commission concluded.”Vermont, as the greenest state in the nation, is again leading the way by developing a far-reaching blueprint that creates and maintains a climate-friendly green infrastructure where man and nature co-exist and thrive together – and because of each other. And that’s what it’s really all about in Vermont,” Douglas said.Now that the Collaborative charter is signed, its members will begin to hold regular public meetings with the first order of business to be writing bylaws and defining the criteria to measure success.UVM President Fogel said Vermont has a robust foundation of environmental research and scientific capabilities that will be meaningful to the Collaborative’s work.”Addressing climate change will not be easy,” said Fogel. “But the Collaborative will become the ‘clearinghouse’ that will help set priorities for action and measure results.”The Collaborative will serve as a coordinating hub to provide connections to appropriate resources and individuals to foster climate change research and activities, Fogel said.”Numerous research efforts are already underway in Vermont to help us understand the impacts of policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Fogel said. “The Vermont Climate Collaborative gives us the opportunity to harness our collective ongoing effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also strengthening the green economy in Vermont. The Collaborative framework will enhance the speed at which Vermont is able to move forward with green initiatives.”Fogel pointed to climate change research already taking place at Vermont’s higher education institutions, including the work of Lisa Aultman-Hall and Richard Watts at UVM’s Transportation Research Center, the Carbon Reduction Initiative at Middlebury College, and the work of UVM’s Jennifer Jenkins and William Keeton on biomass, forest dynamics, and carbon storage.The Collaborative members include: UVM Provost John Hughes and ANR Secretary George Crombie will oversee the Collaborative; Dean Domenico Grasso of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences; Dean Lawrence Forcier at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources; Dean Thomas Vogelmann at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Frances Carr, Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies; Chancellor Robert Clarke at the Vermont State Colleges; Paul Fonteyn, President of Green Mountain College; William Wooten, President of Sterling College; Commerce Secretary Kevin Dorn; Transportation Secretary David Dill; Agriculture Secretary Roger Allbee; Public Service Commissioner David O’Brien; Senate President Peter Shumlin; Rep. Margaret Cheney of Norwich; Gregg Marston of the Vermont Business Roundtable; Mark Snelling from the Governor’s Council of Environmental Advisors and Scott Johnstone, Executive Director of Vermont Energy Investment Corp.
The Bolton Valley wind turbine will be erected next week, beginning Monday, when the structure is taken up the mountain in sections. This is the first wind turbine to be erected at a Vermont ski area and only the second at a ski area anywhere in the entire country. Equipment will be staged at Bolton Valley over the weekend, with the first sections of the turbine headed up the mountain Monday morning about 7am.The tower parts will arrive at Bolton Valley on two trucks and taken up the mountain, in stages, on an all terrain trailer pulled by a D8 bull dozer for the final approach to the peak. Once at the peak a massive crane will remove the first section of the tower from the trailer for placement on its foundation.Tuesday the second and third sections of the tower will be installed. The blades will be pitched on a pitching stand on the ground prior to being put in place Wednesday.For additional information or to make arrangements for getting to the peak to photograph or video the installation, contact Josh Arneson at Bolton Valley.Bolton Valley Wind Tower Construction ScheduleMonday, October 5The wind tower parts will arrive at Bolton Valley packed on two trucks. They will be transported up the access road and will need to be moved to an all terrain trailer pulled by a D8 bull dozer to make the final approach up the mountain to the peak. The process of switching trucks and beginning the final leg up the mountain will begin at 7:00am.Once at the peak the crane will remove the nested tower from the trailer and begin to un-nest all the wind turbine tower sections and stage them for assemblyLadder assembly will begin at the peakPlace the first section of the towerGrout the connection where the tower meets the foundationTuesday, October 6Place the second section of the towerPlace the third section of the towerPitch the blades which will be set up on a pitching stand on the groundWednesday, October 7Place the nacelle on top of the third tower sectionFinal piece will be lifting the blade assembly (rotor) into place. This will take place in the afternoon.
Seven more Vermont counties have been awarded economic stimulus funding for energy efficiency and conservation projects through a block grant program created in legislation authored by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). County-specific block grants were awarded to Windham County for $130,800, Orange County for $115,800, Windsor County for $193,300, Washington County for $254,600, Chittenden County for $195,400, Rutland County for $189,700, and Addison County for $153,700. Block grants were awarded in September to Caledonia, Franklin, and Orleans Counties. The State of Vermont and its cities and towns also were awarded $10.3 million in March under the same program.Sanders, chairman of the Senate environment committee’s Green Jobs and New Economy Subcommittee, authored legislation that established the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program. The grants may be used to update building codes to require construction of energy-efficient homes and businesses, retrofit old buildings with newer technology, utilize alternative energy, and create incentives for residents to car pool or ride buses. “The block grant program recognizes the importance of local efforts to create good-paying jobs in developing sustainable energy and promoting energy efficiency,” Sanders said. “What I particularly like about this approach is that it relies on local initiatives and grassroots participation.” Sanders, along with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.), wrote a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu asking him to reverse a regulatory decision that initially excluded counties in New England states. In response, the department established a process for counties and “county equivalent” bodies, such as regional planning commissions in Vermont, to seek these funds. Vermont counties, through regional planning commissions, appealed to the Department of Energy for block grant funding. The funding formula excludes the populations of cities and large towns which were eligible for their own grants. Source: Senator Sanders’ office. WASHINGTON, October 8, 2009 –
Approximately $20 million in State of Vermont Citizens Bonds will be offered for sale on February 25. The opportunity to purchase the general obligation bonds will be made available first to Vermont residents and businesses. The last Vermont Citizens Bonds offering in March 2009 sold out in less than three hours.Bonds may be purchased in $1,000 increments and must be bought through a registered broker/dealer. The bonds maturities will range from one to 10 years. The State Treasurer s Office does not sell the bonds directly and does not endorse any particular broker/dealer. Any bonds remaining after Vermonters have had the opportunity to invest will then be made available to retail and institutional investors from outside of the state. Based on the strong response to our March 2009 bond offering, I would urge anyone interested in purchasing these bonds to contact a registered broker/dealer right away, said State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding. Interest earnings from the bonds are exempt from state and federal taxes. As a new bond issue, these bonds are sold without commission or trading mark-up.The sale of bonds to investors is the process by which states borrow money to make critical investments in public infrastructure. The money raised by a bond sale funds the construction and maintenance of a wide range of State buildings and transportation projects. Moody s Investor Service has rated Vermont bonds as triple-A, the highest rating available to government issuers. Vermont bonds are also rated AA+ by Standard & Poor s Ratings Service and by Fitch Ratings. The higher the bond rating, the more creditworthy the rating agency evaluates a bond issuer to be.In addition to the Vermont Citizens Bonds, on February 25 the State Treasurer s Office also plans to make available up to $50 million in negotiated general obligation refunding bonds. The amount of refunding bonds, if any, will depend upon the level of interest rates at the time of the sale. Lower interest rates will mean that more bonds can be refinanced for savings. The process of issuing refunding bonds is similar in concept to a homeowner refinancing a home to take advantage of lower interest rates, explained Spaulding. Sales of these bonds enable the State to retire debt with higher interest rates and replace it with debt obligations that have lower interest charges.Investors interested in the Vermont Citizen s Bonds should contact their registered broker/dealer. If an investor does not have a broker/dealer, he or she may consult the Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration s web site to search a data base of registered broker/dealers with offices in the state. For a link to the BISHCA database go to www.BuyBonds.Vermont.gov(link is external) . The preliminary Official Statement for this offering also will be available at this link on the State Treasurer s web site around February 18. The offering is named: State of Vermont General Obligation Bonds, 2010 Series B (Citizens Bonds) and 2010 Series C (Refunding Bonds).Under no circumstances should this announcement of bond issuance be considered an offer to sell or a solicitation to offer to buy, nor shall there be any sales of the bonds in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, or sales would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. The bonds will be offered for sale by means of an Official Statement.Source: Office of the State Treasurer. 2.4.2010.
Community and Economic Development Office Director Larry Kupferman noted, This project will help revitalize the north end of the waterfront, and is an extension of almost 30 years effort begun by then Mayor Bernie Sanders to convert the waterfront from railyards and oil tank farms into the economic, cultural and recreation asset it is today. Kupferman added, CEDO and DPW have planning this work for years, independent of the Moran project, but the reality is we can t redevelop Moran without first rebuilding Lake Street, improving the bike path, and creating new public parking. This is a significant step forward in terms of financing Moran. Burlington s TIGER grant application was supported by Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders and Representative Welch, in a joint letter sent to DOT Secretary Ray LaHood. More information on the TIGER Discretionary Grant Program can be found here:http://www.dot.gov/recovery/ost/(link is external) The TIGER funds were among the most sought after competitive Recovery Act monies. DOT received nearly 1,400 applications from all 50 states, vying for a share of the funds for innovative transportation projects that would have significant economic and environmental impact. Oversubscribed by a ratio of 38:1, there was $57 billion in requests for the $1.5 billion available. Only 3% of projects were funded. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced today that Burlington has received a major, and highly sought after Recovery Act ( Stimulus Bill ) grant. The $3.15 million award will be used for the Waterfront North project, which involves rebuilding the end of Lake Street, realigning and upgrading portions of the bike path, and constructing the parking necessary for the redevelopment of the Moran plant. The so-called TIGER grant was announced by DOT Secretary Ray LaHood. More information on the Waterfront North project can be found, here: http://www.cedoburlington.org/waterfront/waterfront_access_north_project(link is external)… Mayor Bob Kiss also emphasized the importance of the award to the Moran Project and continued waterfront development. This is a major boost for the Moran project, as well as for the City s efforts to continue redeveloping the waterfront. This project improves public access to the waterfront, enhances public amenities for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike, and promotes needed economic development and vitality on the North end of the waterfront. This award follows on the heels of Moran being chosen as just one of seven projects in the entire country to be chosen for a Brownfields Economic Development Initiative grant, and one of just sixteen selected for an EPA Brownfields Sustainability award. I m very pleased that the DOT has chosen Waterfront North for funding through this extraordinarily competitive grant program. It s an investment in Burlington which will have a ripple effect economically and in the community for years to come. With the TIGER grant announcement, funding for the Waterfront North project is complete, since the TIGER program does not require any local match. The planning stages of the project are complete, and were paid for through funds previously secured by Senator Patrick Leahy to improve public access to the downtown waterfront. A major thrust of those efforts, including the reconstruction of lower College Street, reconfiguration of the Pease parking lot, and construction of a new information building with public bathrooms, is nearing completion. The $1.5 billion TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant program was created by Congress as part of the 2009 Recovery Act, to finance strategic investments in infrastructure that will result in immediate and long term job creation. The official award announcement is here:http://grants.ost.dot.gov/public/ViewMessage.cfm?MsgID=jyw7xgn3te(link is external)Source: City of Burlington. 2.17.2010
Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) Secretary David Dill and New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee this week marked the one year anniversary of the Lake Champlain Bridge closure on October 16 of last year, noting the significant progress made to provide travelers, especially those located in the vicinity of the bridge and dependent on transportation across the lake in their daily lives, with a link across Lake Champlain between Crown Point, NY, and Addison, VT. Today, the temporary ferry service is still in place providing round-the-clock transportation across the lake at no cost to passengers, and the underwater structures for the new bridge are nearly completed. Immediately following the bridge’s closure, New York and Vermont reached out to the surrounding communities through a series of public meetings to gather feedback and solicit input from residents and business owners on both sides of the lake. The states quickly began implementing the communities’ clear vision for restoring the corridor with a temporary ferry in the vicinity of the bridge and a brand new Lake Champlain Bridge at the same location. Community participation was crucial to choosing the site for the temporary ferry and for picking the design of the replacement bridge.VTrans Secretary Dill said “Opening the temporary ferry as quickly as possible was key to restoring the lives of both New Yorkers and Vermonters back to as close to normal as possible given the circumstances, and I am heartened at to hear from both residents and business owners that family life and economic vitality on both sides of the lake has rebounded significantly since the first ferry set sail. But as welcome as the ferry has been, we also realize that nothing short of opening the new bridge will completely restore our communities. To that end, everyone can rest assured that bridge construction will continue nonstop through the winter so that we can reestablish this vital economic, social and public-safety link as quickly as possible.”NYSDOT Acting Commissioner Gee said, “The New York State Department of Transportation, working with the Vermont Agency of Transportation, took the necessary steps to assure the safety of the traveling public when we closed the Lake Champlain Bridge. This bridge was an important piece of transportation infrastructure that connected people with employment, education and medical care. Responding to the need for this transportation link, NYSDOT and Vermont moved immediately to restore the connection with temporary ferry service while the permanent replacement bridge was being designed. I thank all of our partners for their hard work and dedication on this project, and I especially thank the communities on both sides of Lake Champlain for their input and patience as we build a new, state-of-the-art bridge to replace the former historic structure in this location.”Cracking in the bridge’s support piers prompted the closure and, if left untreated, could have led to structural failure and possible collapse, putting motorists and pedestrians in serious danger. By immediately closing the bridge, New York and Vermont were able to ensure the safety of the traveling public.The original Lake Champlain Bridge was demolished on December 28, 2009. While planning the complex demolition, the states also worked on building infrastructure to accommodate a temporary ferry. The ferry, carrying motorists across Lake Champlain every 15 minutes, opened in January of 2010. In the meantime, the two states worked on designing a replacement bridge to be located in the footprint of the old bridge. Several public meetings were held in New York and Vermont and the public was invited to vote in person and on-line on their preferred bridge design. The publicly preferred design – a Modified Network Tied Arch Bridge built of steel with an arch along the center span – was ultimately chosen to replace the Lake Champlain Bridge.Construction on the new bridge began in June, a short eight months after closing the bridge to traffic. Work has progressed on-schedule, with construction of bridge abutments and piers under way. Fabrication of the steel bridge members is progressing off-site. The project is on track to be completed next September, as scheduled. Source: VTrans. 10.16.2010. Photo by Ed Barna, Vermont Business Magazine.###
Vermont Law School,Vermont Law School’s Institute for Energy and the Environment (IEE) is playing a significant role in updating Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan. A draft of the plan is open for public comment until October 10. The IEE was commissioned by the Vermont Department of Public Service (DPS) to craft a background to the plan, which addresses Vermont’s energy future for electricity, thermal energy, transportation and land use. The plan, which was last updated in 1998, is being developed by the DPS in collaboration with other state agencies, the public and stakeholders such as VLS. ‘Our goal was to support the plan and create a map of the regulatory and legal landscape of Vermont’s energy policy,’ said Professor Michael Dworkin, director of the IEE. ‘The plan is to be used by decision makers and a lay audience who are looking for the forest, not the trees.’ The plan’s background crafted by the IEE evaluates the legal and decision-making aspects of Vermont’s energy policy; identifies inconsistencies, tensions and other problems with the Legislature’s energy goals and current laws; and identifies ways to resolve those problems. The plan’s primary purposes are to inform Vermonters about the challenges of maintaining a safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy supply; to examine efforts to address these energy challenges; and to make recommendations to achieve Vermont’s energy goals.The draft plan is available at: www.vtenergyplan.vermont.gov(link is external)