- Associated Press - Thursday, July 21, 2016

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin says he wants to give preference in state contracting to companies that are fighting climate change.

The Democratic governor has signed an executive order to steer hundreds of millions of dollars a year in contracts to companies that keep the environment at the top of their agenda.

Favored business practices will include: use of heating and electric efficiency and conservation measures; use of renewable energy sources for business operations; efforts to reduce and track carbon emissions; offering employees an option for a fossil fuel divested retirement account; and others.

The executive order signed Tuesday does not supersede other contracting considerations such as cost or rewarding businesses based in Vermont.

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