Vermont and coal

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There are no coal-fired power plants or coal mines in Vermont. Vermont is one of only two states with no coal-fired generating capacity; the other is Rhode Island.[1][2]

In 2005, Vermont emitted 10.4 tons of CO2 per person - about half the U.S. average, and the lowest level of carbon emissions per capita of any state in the country.[3] In 2005, 51.5% of Vermont's generating capacity came from the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, while 27.4% came from hydroelectric dams.[1]

Citizen activism

March 10th, 2009: "Freeze on Coal" at Middlebury College, VT

Following the lead established by students at Santa Clara University, who convinced the school's president to divest the university from Massey Energy stock, more schools are instigating similar campaigns. Senior Nate Blumenshine at Middlebury College planned a "Freeze on Coal" to launch a campaign to convince the administration to divest from coal. On March 10th, 40 students froze in place while getting lunch in the busiest cafeteria on campus. The activists held a pieces of charcoal in their hands. The "freeze" lasted for two minutes, after which the students continued with their meal, explaining to onlookers what had just happened.[4]


Vermont has no coal reserves, and thus no history of coal mining.

The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plants, built in 1972, is responsible for 51.5% of the state's electric generating capacity. The plant's license expires in 2012; however, due to a carbon cap that has been proposed by the state's governor - and facing the alternative of building new coal-fired power plants - state regulators are now considering extending Vermont Yankee's license.[5]

Legislative issues

Proposed coal plants

There are no proposals - either active or cancelled - to build coal-fired power plants in Vermont.

Coal lobbying groups

Coal power companies

Existing coal plants

There are no existing coal-fired power plants in Vermont.[1]

Major coal mines

There are no coal mines in Vermont.[2]

Citizen groups



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005, Energy Information Administration, accessed April 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Coal Production and Number of Mines by State and Mine Type, Energy Information Administration, accessed June 2008.
  3. Vermont Energy Consumption Information, eRedux website, accessed June 2008.
  4. Jeff Biggers, "Takes a Village to Stop Razing Appalachia: Power Past Coal Fights Back," Power Past Coal, March 12, 2009.
  5. Aging Nuclear Power Plants May Affect Emissions Pact, New York Times, Sept. 14, 2005.

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