Letter: Toward a Sustainable Future
To the Editor:
I applaud Vermont’s energy plan for setting a goal of having 90 percent of the state’s energy supplied by renewables by 2050. I commend Renewable Energy Vermont for setting a goal of 20 percent renewables by 2020. I see the climate writing on the environment around this fragile globe of ours, and I want to do my part to help our communities live more sustainably.
I recognize that the fossil fuel industry is huge and lucrative, that we are very much addicted to its products, that it has ample lobbying money to influence, and that it has received subsidies, both obvious and less so, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. So I very much appreciate the attempt to level the playing field for renewables by offering federal tax rebates for investors. Thanks to that and good state legislation, we continue to bring good, green jobs to Vermont, powering more of our energy from renewables.
But we have a long way to go. The 4 percent cap for net metering needs to be removed, and the naysayers need to recognize that distributed renewable generation is saving money for all taxpayers, through the cancellation, for example, of a $250 million distribution project by VELCO. GMP, for example, recognizes how solar energy lowers peak demand and, even without legislation, has offered incentives to customers who have invested in solar systems beyond the basic net metering. This does not shift the cost burden to those without; it recognizes cost savings.
I urge us not to be afraid of what might seem new (in fact, it is tried and true) and to welcome this nonpolluting, job-creating source of energy into our state and our communities at a rate sufficient to meet our good goals. And I applaud those towns and communities that are bravely seeking ways to embrace sustainability — keeping local dollars in state, making us all more resilient and thoughtful keepers of this beautiful place where we live.
Dorothy M. Wolfe