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Becca Dill

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After growing up on the Gulf Coast, I have packed up my husband, dog, and three cats to embark on our new adventure. I am trading in homestyle Cajun cooking for the world-renowned maple creemee. We are moving from Louisiana to the great state of Vermont.

While visiting Vermont throughout the years, I fell in love with the landscape and close-knit communities. During our time in the state, I discovered that Vermont’s attitudes toward social justice and environmental stewardship match my personal values. I am excited to call Vermont home.

In Louisiana, I worked on social and environmental justice issues. They promote Louisiana as the “Sportsman’s Paradise,” but “Oilman’s Paradise” might be a more apt description. Ordinary Louisianians pay the price as powerful players destroy the habitat that made Louisiana a real paradise. Taking advantage of lax environmental standards, energy companies have cited polluting refineries and gas production facilities in low-income, predominantly minority communities. Since people depend on energy company paychecks, they are afraid to raise health and environmental concerns.

While we, in the environmental community, spoke out on the issues of habitat degradation, greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental racism, our concerns fell on deaf ears. Many of Louisiana’s most influential elected officials have become too accustomed to the energy industry’s largesse.

Vermont has a reputation for being one of the cleanest and greenest states in the Union. Indeed, public corruption, regarded as a sport by some in the Bayou State, seems scarce in Vermont. And my concerns about biodiversity, climate change, and environmental justice are prominent in work being done at the state, regional, and municipal levels.

Recent legislation in Vermont has placed climate goals into statute, provided opportunities for regional and municipal planners to influence energy siting, and established environmental justice as a statewide priority. Public participation and access to natural resources are essential aspects of the new environmental justice bill.

I am excited in my new role as director of Energize Vermont to continue this work by helping to raise the voices of Vermont communities and advocating to protect our natural resources from the impacts of inappropriate energy development. In this effort, I look forward to working with like-minded people to promote: Responsibly sited, community-supported, Vermont-scale energy solutions that can provide ample, affordable, and reliable power; conservation measures that reduce energy consumption; effective climate action that emphasizes nature-based solutions, protection of biodiversity, and social and environmental justice for all of Vermont’s communities and the protection of our ridgelines and headwater streams from utility-scale industrial wind projects

I can’t wait to learn how to drive in the snow, tap a maple tree, and go backcountry skiing with my dog, Zelda. I can’t wait to get to know you and what you love about Vermont.

Becca Dill is Director of Energize Vermont, a statewide education and advocacy organization that promotes sensible climate and energy solutions for Vermont. You can reach her at Becca@EnergizeVermont.org.