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Shumlin Pushing Regional Adoption Of Electric Vehicles

Governor Peter Shumlin is on his way back to Vermont after a weekend of policy discussion with his counterparts in New England and eastern Canada.

The annual meeting of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, hosted this year in Quebec, allows the region’s leaders to coordinate their approaches to various regional issues. This year, the organization churned out six resolutions (PDF), mostly hinging on energy and transportation infrastructure.

The group showed a special interest in electric and alternatively-fueled vehicles. As a non-governing body, most of their resolutions are symbolic. Most of their efforts are focused on tracking and coordinating policy in each of their states and provinces.

Gov. Shumlin proposed one of the group’s six resolutions at this year’s meeting. It calls on the states and provinces to inventory all of their existing initiatives involving electric and natural gas powered vehicles and propose initiatives that would make it easier for such vehicles to travel across the region.

The governor said there was interest among his peers in the new, 138-mile corridor of electric vehicle charging stations between Burlington and Montreal, announced last year. His resolution included a mandate to investigate other corridors with good potential for electric vehicle charging stations.

Clean energy was another focus at the meeting, where Gov. Paul LePage of Maine committed to building out high-capacity transmission lines to the Canadian border in Maine, where they will pick up power from a new hydroelectric project in Newfoundland. Bob Kinzel reports the supply to southern New England could have implications for Vermont as Hydro-Quebec works to maintain a competitive edge in the region.