The Vermont Public Utilities Commission is considering GlobalFoundries’ application to break away from Green Mountain Power and form its own utility. The proposal may or may not be taken up; there’s a question about whether the PUC has statutory authority to consider the plan. That must be resolved before the PUC can fully consider the plan itself.
But it looks as though the Scott administration has a backup idea. Its officials, who occupy eight seats on the 23-member Vermont Climate Council, are trying to slip the basic tenets of GF’s proposal into the Climate Action Plan being developed by the Council.
As a reminder, GF wants to set up its own utility and save money by buying its power on the regional wholesale market. Its proposal would exempt the bespoke utility from the Global Warming Solutions Act as well as a variety of other state laws and regulations and a gross receipts tax levied on power providers.
The busybodies at the Conservation Law Foundation, which is arguing against the GF plan, has filed a comment with the Council that describes a very permissive carve-out for “Semiconductor Manufacturing in Vermont,” a.k.a. GlobalFoundries, that administration officials are trying to insert into the Climate Plan.
According to the CLF memo, the carve-out is generous indeed to GF.Continue reading