10-5-15 – Vermonters Deserve Answers on Energy Policy

Posted by Rob RoperIMG_2798

This week marks the beginning of a series of hearings by the Vermont Department of Public Service on the state’s Comprehensive Energy Plan, the goal of which is to have Vermont generate 90% of our energy needs, including those for transportation and home heating, from renewable sources.

Many in the legislature and in the pro renewable energy activist community have been trumpeting the notion that this is the policy Vermonters want. However, a string of recent headlines including, Vermont town votes 274-9 against giant wind turbines (Irasburg), Bennington Select Board Votes to Oppose Two Solar Projects, New Haven selectboard says ‘no’ to solar, Big Windsor Solar Project Stalled, Concerns Grow Over Wind Turbine Project (Swanton), Vermont wind farm blows down home values (Georgia)… would indicate that the politicians are seriously out of touch with the people they ostensibly represent.

Now that Vermonters are beginning to understand what these policies actually mean in terms of impact on communities and the environment, citizens are speaking up and standing up to politicians, and asking questions that, quite frankly, have been neither asked nor answered over several years of policy implementation.

Please attend these hearings and demand answers to the following questions (and follow up questions):

  • If Vermont carried out this policy to the fullest extent of the outlined goals, what impact would this Comprehensive Energy Plan have on global climate trends?
    • If the goal is to set an example for others, how many other states or countries would have to follow Vermont’s lead to make an impact on global climate trends and over what time period?
    • If we are trying to influence others to follow in our footsteps, why do we allow for the selling of Carbon Credits, a policy that simply enables other states to continue polluting?
    • Proponents often make the claim that we need to do this in order to save our ski industry and maple sugar industry. Is there any scenario linked to this policy that would impact climate trends enough over the course of this century that would have enough impact to “save” these industries from climate change?
  • If Vermont carried out this policy to the fullest extent of the outlined goals, what impact would this Comprehensive Energy Plan have the Vermont landscape (acres of solar panels, miles of ridge lines developed, etc.), animal habitats, bird and bat populations, water quality, property values etc.
  • There is some confusion about the objectives of this policy regarding the importing of out-of-state electricity, such as from Hydro-Quebec, vs. developing our own power in-state. Is the goal of the CEP to develop in-state renewables or to import more from out-of-state sources?
  • What additional costs will Vermonters have to bear in terms of taxes, fees and/or higher energy bills in order to subsidize this policy?

Dates and locations for the October hearings are:

  • 7: Lyndonville (Lyndon State College, Moore Community Room)
  • 13: Essex Junction (Essex High School, cafeteria)
  • 21: Montpelier (Vermont College of Fine Arts, Noble Hall)
  • 26: Westminster (Bellows Falls Union High School, auditorium)
  • 29: Rutland (Rutland Regional Hospital, Community Health Education Center)

The hearings will run from 6-8 pm and light refreshments will be served. Comments are welcome in writing via the comment form at the CEP project website, http://energyplan.vt.gov until November 9, 2015.

Politicians and climate activists have not been straight with Vermonters about what the Comprehensive Energy Plan really means for our state and communities. It’s time for them to come clean.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mary Gerdt October 5, 2015 at 3:29 pm

In my experience, watching neighbors fight, lawyer up against Monkton. The Selectmen, the PSB and unnamed co-conspirators decided to put a fracking pipeline from Alberta, Canada to Ticonderoga, NY. The chosen route is through my neighbor’s garden. This is a fossil fuel. The PSB has not sided with landowners. So what good is writing letters, going to hearings? The system is landowner adverse. The system is fixed.


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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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