As Vermonters, we take pride in our reputation as environmental leaders. That includes the state’s ambitious vision for our clean energy future. After many months of work and a tremendous amount of public input, the state adopted a plan calling for 90% of our energy needs (electricity, heating and transportation) to be met with renewable resources by 2050.
Clean energy is not only good for our environment, it produces local jobs and benefits our economy as well. That’s probably why a huge majority of Vermonters support green energy production right here in the state. In fact, a scientific survey released by WCAX in May of 2012 found 70% of Vermonters support wind development on ridgelines while just 17% opposed it.
But Vermont’s clean energy future is now in jeopardy as a group of Vermont state senators are proposing a retreat from our commitment to renewable energy.
Tomorrow afternoon, Sen. Joe Benning and Sen. Bob Hartwell will unleash their plan to put a moratorium on wind energy development in the state. If you’re thinking to yourself that this kind of policy is exactly what the fossil fuel industry wants – along with its allies the Koch brothers, Karl Rove and Donald Trump – then you’re exactly right.
With storms like Irene and Sandy still fresh in our minds, and 2012 having broken all sorts of records for heat, droughts and floods, this is no time to rollback our commitment to clean energy.
I hope you’ll join me in contacting your senators and sending them that same message. We’re seeing exciting new energy projects – wind, solar, small hydro – come on line all around the state. Vermont is taking responsibility for our power needs and leaving a legacy of clean energy for future generations.
It’s time to make your voice heard and stand up for renewable wind energy in Vermont. Thanks for taking action now!
Paul Burns, VPIRG Director
PS – Taking responsibility for our energy needs means making choices about where our power comes from. VPIRG believes that it’s important to develop as much clean power as we can in state so that we’re less dependent on others for generating the energy we need. And we’ve done the research to know that wind is an important part of the solution for Vermont. While wind is not the only answer, combined with improved energy efficiency and other local renewable energy sources, it’s part of the most sustainable and affordable mix of energy sources we have available. Don’t let the Senate retreat from Vermont’s commitment to clean energy!