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Vermont Gas proposed rate decrease would save customers $270 a year

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 1:57pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Gas announced today it has asked the Public Utility Commission (Commission) to approve a 3.8 percent rate reduction beginning in November of this year. This decrease represents the net of a 14.8 percent decline in the natural gas charge, a 4 percent increase in the daily access and distribution charges, and a request to return $8.1 million of the System Expansion and Reliability Fund (“SERF”) back to customers through lower rates.

ISO: Electric supply good for now, future uncertain

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:33pm -- tim

By Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine New England has reduced its consumption of electricity dramatically since 2006 as well as its production of dangerous gases, according to ISO New England. The region also relies much more heavily on natural gas for generation than it did then. Thousands of megawatts of generation will go off-line in the coming years. New wind power will have a profound effect on the grid, while energy efficiency and storage will become official data points in the wholesale market. New England as a region has the highest electric rates in the nation.

Job loss shows effects of solar energy regulatory actions on Vermont

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 10:37am -- tim

Renewable Energy Vermont The new National Solar Jobs Census show a loss of 232 full-time jobs in the state’s workforce after a 2017 marked by a volatile regulatory environment. “More than 1,500 families are supported by a full-time Vermont solar job. Local solar workers help Vermonters cut their energy bills, do their part on climate, and help their neighbors access renewable energy,” said Olivia Campbell Andersen, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Vermont. “These local, small businesses are helping build stronger communities now.

TV star Rick Steves travels to Montpelier today to promote pot law

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 9:59am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Bestselling guidebook author and public TV travel host Rick Steves, an ardent proponent of marijuana legalization, will complete an East Coast advocacy tour in Vermont this week, with visits to Montpelier and Burlington. Steves will visit Montpelier on Thursday to advocate for legislation to regulate marijuana for adults. Steves will testify in the Senate Judiciary Committee (Room 1) at 11:30 a.m. Steves will then join Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman and members of the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana for a news conference on Thursday afternoon to discuss why Vermont lawmakers should support regulating and taxing marijuana. The event is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. ET in the Cedar Creek Room of the Vermont State House.

Sanders evokes dad in speech on Dreamers and immigration reform

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 9:41am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) delivered a speech on immigration on the Senate floor Wednesday. See below for excerpts and full remarks. Sanders, who ran for president in 2016, talked about his father coming to America as a teenager with nothing. "The whole debate that we are now undertaking over immigration and the Dreamers has become somewhat personal for me, because it has reminded me in a very strong way that I and my brother are first-generation Americans. We are the sons of an immigrant who came to this country at the age of 17 without a nickel in his pocket, a young man who was a high school dropout who did not know one word of English and had no particular trade."

Leahy on the Senate’s Immigration debate, and the Dreamers

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 9:40am -- tim

Senator Patrick Leahy As the Senate debates the fate of our Nation’s Dreamers this week, an uncontestable truth underpins our discussion:  We are a Nation of immigrants.  Unless you are Native American, you come from a line of people who come from somewhere else.  More than in any country on Earth, this simple fact is a defining characteristic of our national identity.  Throughout our history immigrant communities have greatly enriched our Nation; their individual stories have become the American story.  Out of many, we have become one.

UVM research shows promise in improving crops with use of wild relatives

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 5:18am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Perhaps you missed the news that the price of hummus has spiked in Great Britain. The cause, as the New York Times reported on February 8: drought in India, resulting in a poor harvest of chickpeas. Far beyond making dips for pita bread, chickpeas are a legume of life-and-death importance—especially in India, Pakistan, and Ethiopia where 1 in 5 of the world’s people depend on them as their primary source of protein.

Community Bank NA reaches $17,500 WARMTH Goal

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 3:43am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Community Bank NA recently presented Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity with a $17,500 donation as part of a challenge grant pledged in December. The bank partnered with CVOEO to raise money for the organization’s WARMTH program by matching WARMTH donations dollar for dollar during December, up to a total of $17,500.

Phil Scott named state co-chair of Northern Border Regional Commission

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 7:08pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott and Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) Federal Co-Chair Mark Scarano were in Newport Wednesday to announce that Scott will serve as the Commission’s first state co-chair. Created in 2008, NBRC is a federal-state partnership with a mission to help alleviate economic distress and encourage private-sector job creation throughout the northern counties of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.

Student entrepreneurs compete for cash at LaunchVT Collegiate

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 4:45pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine LaunchVT will hold its third annual LaunchVT Collegiate final pitch competition this Thursday at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont. Teams of student entrepreneurs from six Vermont schools will battle it out for thousands of dollars in cash prizes and a spot in the 2018 LaunchVT cohort.  The LaunchVT Collegiate final pitch competition will be held on Thursday, February 15th beginning at 4pm in the Livack Ballroom at the UVM Davis Center.

Vermont hospitals hold system-wide growth to 2.8 percent

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 4:33pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) today released financial performance information for the state’s not-for-profit hospitals as part of their annual budget review process. From 2016 to 2017, Vermont’s hospitals contained growth in net patient revenue to just 2.8 percent, significantly lower than annual increases of nearly 9 percent a decade ago. Net patient revenue targets are set by the GMCB each year and account for revenue hospitals collect from delivery of patient care before accounting for any expenses.

Vermont nets $60 million in job-creating federal tax credits

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 4:01pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) Wednesday announced that Vermont Rural Ventures will receive $60 million in federal tax credits to spur economic development projects throughout the state. Congress established the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program in 2000 to spur private investment in economic development projects in communities with high poverty and high unemployment.

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