State agencies to buy energy efficient vehicles

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(Host) Vermont state government is taking steps to reduce the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. On Thursday, Governor Howard Dean signed an executive order that directs state agencies to buy energy efficient vehicles and equipment.

VPR’s John Dillon reports.

(Dillon) Governor Dean will travel to Quebec next week for a meeting of New England governors and eastern Canadian premiers. The political leaders have agreed to a climate change action plan that aims to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from 1990 levels by 25% in ten years.

Dean says taxpayers may end up spending a little more for cleaner, more efficient state vehicles:

(Dean) “There will be times where we will purchase a vehicle that has much better fuel economy than one that’s cheaper. But I would argue strongly that in the long run that saves taxpayers money because in the end there’s fewer costs associated with fuel. We’re asking the rest of the country to clean up its act in terms of air pollution. We ought to be able to do as much as we can ourselves.”

(Dillon) The governor said there is little doubt that the planet is getting warmer. He says the debate is over whether the climate change is part of a natural cycle. He says the evidence indicates that people are to blame.

(Dean) “We’ve released hundreds of millions of years of carbon dioxide over a period of perhaps a 100, 150 years. So if you look at the history of what we’re doing to the planet and our behavior and the graphs of temperature and content of the atmosphere, I think there’s a compelling case for global warming.”

(Dillon) Dean says the state’s climate change plan should not have any impact on industry in Vermont. He says IBM, the state’s largest private employers, is already a leader in reducing greenhouse gases.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m John Dillon in Montpelier.

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