Manchester voters amend request for carbon dioxide offset funds

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(Host) Nine communities around the state will hold town meeting this evening before voting on Tuesday.

And some communities already got town meeting business underway over the weekend. That was the case in Manchester, where voters amended a request for money to purchase carbon dioxide offsets as a way to combat global warming.

VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb spoke with Manchester Select Board Chairman Ivan Beattie who said the town decided instead to take an approach that would provide for more local control when dealing with climate change:

(Beattie) “There was a request at our town meeting to appropriate money to purchase carbon offsets. This relates directly to carbon emissions. And we already had money in our budgets to do a study about energy efficiency. Energy efficiency and carbon offsets are two totally different things. Carbon emissions occur primarily in our situation from burning fossil fuel. That would be fuel oil at our various municipal buildings and the fuel that we burn in our municipal equipment. At town meeting we decided to amend that motion rather than send money to an outside entity to offset the amount of carbon that we were putting into the air. We decided to use that money here locally to study how exactly we are emitting carbon and how to reduce the amount of carbon we are putting into the atmosphere. So the amendment that was proposed at town meeting was to rather than send the money to there are a number of companies that you’re able to purchase these carbon offsets from rather than purchase these offsets from one of those companies and spend that year in Manchester trying to reduce our carbon emissions.”

(Mitch Wertlieb) “It gives a little more local control to the issue.”

(Beattie) “Well it does. And I think with a municipality especially. I think the carbon offsets program was designed for primarily industries and companies that may not have the opportunity to reduce the amount of carbon that they’re putting into the atmosphere. So they can try to offset that by investing in green energy elsewhere through one of these carbon offsets.”

(Host) Beattie says Manchester already has money in its budget to conduct studies for energy efficiency, but that carbon offsets are another issue that needed a separate question for voters.

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