Tag Archives: Julie Moore

Duval Picks Up Moore’s Envelope, Rips It To Shreds, Flings Pieces Into the Air

The storm clouds are gathering. The forces are assembling. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the Scott administration is going to war against the Vermont Climate Council and any progressive climate legislation that the Statehouse majority might send to the governor’s desk.

Last week, we saw Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore give a “back-of-the-envelope” guesstimate of the short-term costs of S.5, the Affordable Heat Act, which she herself acknowledged was probably inaccurate. Then, on Tuesday, there was an unusually aggressive riposte by Jared Duval, a member of the Climate Council. Duval pretty much ripped Moore’s testimony to little tiny bits. (Video of the hearing is here starting at the 1:40 mark; his written testimony can be downloaded here.)

Duval submitted a lengthy, detailed written statement that destroyed Moore’s testimony line by line and concluded that it was “inappropriately selective, improperly done, and deeply misleading.”

No punches pulled, then.

Continue reading
Advertisement

Top Administration Official Invites Senators to Disbelieve Her Testimony

Some people in the Scott administration strike me as experts in their field who don’t necessary buy official policy, but stick it out in hopes of influencing said policy. Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore is at the top of that list, as is Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine. Sometimes when Moore is shilling the company line she seems less than 100% behind what she’s saying.

But inviting lawmakers to discount her testimony? That’s a new one.

Moore appeared on January 26 before the Senate Natural Resources Committee. The topic was S.5, the Affordable Heat Act, previously d/b/a the Clean Heat Standard. Moore was there to deliver dire news about the short-term costs of the Act and the lack of in-depth research on its consequences.

She acknowledged that her “back-of-the-envelope math” could “easily be off by a factor of two here.” She even said it would be “pefectly reasonable” for committee members to be “offended” by her guesstimates. VTDigger reported these remarks but failed to express how unusual, if not downright weird, it is for a state official to cast such doubt on their own testimony.

Mind you, these caveats weren’t off-the-cuff. They were part of her written testimony. Here’s the passage in full.

The administration is openly opposed to S.5 and, indeed, to any strong steps against climate change. In that context, one would suspect that administration officials would, if anything, exaggerate the negative impacts of S.5. And Moore openly courted that kind of suspicion.

Continue reading

“Uncharted Territory of Destruction” Seems a Bit… I Don’t Know… Suboptimal?

Cheery little piece in The Guardian carries an informed warning that we are rapidly running out of time to avoid truly disruptive impacts of climate change:

The consequences are already being seen in increasingly extreme weather around the world, and we are in danger of provoking “tipping points” in the climate system that will mean more rapid and in some cases irreversible shifts.

This latest canary to gasp for air in the mine shaft is a report from “United in Science,” a multi-agency international effort that issues a new climate change report each year. The new entry warns that the Earth is heading into an “uncharted territory of destruction.”

The signs are already clear. We seem to get a new catastrophe every day. Wildfires from Chile to Mongolia, the destruction of Antarctica’s Doomsday Glacier, water shortages in the American Southwest, one-third of Pakistan underwater, and widespread heat waves that pose an immediate threat to human health and the web of life itself.

Meanwhile, here in Vermont, the Scott administration’s top environmental official says it doesn’t really matter if we miss our 2030 emissions reduction target as long as we get where we need to go by 2050.

Thirty-eight years from now.

Continue reading

The Veepies, Again: Too Fast, Too Furious

For those just joining us, The Veepies are my occasional awards for stupidity in the public sphere. We’re still setting a brisk pace in that regard. So, here we go…

The We Gave You a Crappy Half-Apology Because We Had To, But We Really Didn’t Mean It Award goes to the Bennington Selectboard. Last month, the town reached a settlement with former state representative Kiah Morris over the police department’s actions, or inactions, regarding threats against Morris. This came after the state Human Rights Commission issued a preliminary finding that the Bennington PD had discriminated against Morris and her husband James Lawton. As part of the deal, Bennington had to issue a formal apology. And it was kind of half-assed, blame-the-victim stuff: “It is clear that Kiah, James and their family felt unsafe and unprotected by the town of Bennington.”

See, it’s not that the town did anything wrong; it’s just that Morris and her family felt unsafe. Put the onus on the victim. But wait, there’s more!

Whatever little value there was in that “apology” was completely undercut by the town’s attorney Michael Leddy, who insisted that there are “no reasonable grounds to believe” that the town was guilty of discrimination, and by Selectboard chair Jeanne Jenkins, who told VTDigger last week doesn’t believe the police department discriminated against Morris.

All they will acknowledge is that Morris “felt unsafe.” Well, Morris and her family have since relocated to Chittenden County, so problem solved, I guess?

After the jump: Empty climate rhetoric, Medicaid money for school cops, and propping up a dying industry.

Continue reading

ANR Commish Targets the Messenger

The algae isn’t the problem. The problem is, this picture of the algae.

Vermont Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore is blaming the media for reporting on Lake Champlain’s water quality problems. Nice.

During a presentation to lawmakers on Wednesday, Moore displayed a series of articles covering outbreaks of toxic blue-green algae on the lake, and blamed those damn reports for a more than 10 percent drop in visits to certain state parks this year.

“It’s headlines like these that probably played no small part in discouraging people from heading to our parks,” she told lawmakers, according to VTDigger’s Elizabeth Gribkoff.

There’s a few problems with this, need I say. First, as you may have discerned from the “probably,” Moore has no actual evidence to back up her assertion.

Second, the drop was reported at eight of Vermont’s 13 lakeside parks. What about the other five?

Third, it’s not cool to blame the media for, you know, doing their goddamn jobs. If there’s a potentially toxic — and spectacularly ugly — algae bloom on the lake, are we supposed to ignore it for fear of inciting tourists to stay away?

Fourth, those blooms have been a regular summertime feature of Vermont life for years and years. Did this past year’s reportage suddenly hit home this year?

Were there more stories than ever before? Moore admitted she doesn’t know.

Continue reading