09/26/2011 02:30 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Peter Shumlin, Vermont Governor, Takes On Climate Change

Following the extreme weather events slamming Vermont over the past few weeks, the state is saying it's time for change. And that call for action is coming from the top.

Speaking to a large crowd in front of the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier for 350.org's Moving Planet day of action on September 24, Governor Peter Shumlin said it was time to get up and do something to "make this planet livable for future generations."

Citing a warm and humid fall and the destruction wrought by Irene, Shumlin declared, "This is not the Vermont we knew." He called on his fellow Vermonters to lead the country in adapting to renewable energy.

"We will not join the others in the denial, in the pretend, in the 'let business happen as usual,' because our kids and our grandkids mean more to us than our own greed. And we're going to get off oil and move forward as quickly as we know how," Shumlin proclaimed.

Shumlin also expressed solidarity with Bill McKibben and over 1,200 others arrested last month in Washington, D.C. for protesting the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

He said to loud cheers, "When our brothers and sisters from this great state, whether its Bill McKibben or all the people next to him, stand in Washington and are willing to sit behind bars for our future, we stand with them."

Governor Shumlin is also encouraging his state to lead the way in healthcare reform. Last month, he wrote, "I have launched an ambitious effort, with support from the Vermont legislature, to implement a single payer system in Vermont." He is optimistic that his plan could curb healthcare spending growth in Vermont by two percent and save the state nearly a billion dollars over five years.


Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin at 350.org's "Moving Planet" event from Ben B on Vimeo.