Editorial, Letters to the Editor

Climate Change Requires Prioritizing Renewable Energy

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Climate Change Requires Prioritizing Renewable Energy

To the editor:

Older people have benefited from the fossil-fuel-driven world of past decades. That world needs to change as quickly as possible and be driven by renewable energy.

Third Act Vermont, an organization for older persons concerned about climate change, has endorsed  H.289, a bill currently in the legislature that would significantly increase the percentage of Vermont electricity that comes from renewable sources. 

Climate change is the most pressing issue facing humankind. Left unchecked, it will lead to catastrophe for our children and grandchildren. It will not only raise temperatures around the globe and cause the ocean level to rise, but it will also impact every aspect of human life. It will threaten our food sources, destroy our coastlines and infrastructure, cause much more frequent powerful storms and flooding, increase disease and result in massive human migrations. We must do everything we can to stop the warming of the planet by reducing our use of fossil fuels as quickly as possible. 

H.289 requires Vermont utilities to purchase 100% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2032. Currently the requirement is 75%. This change is the equivalent of taking 160,000 cars off the road. It represents a very real reduction in carbon emissions. It also requires the utilities to obtain twice as much electricity from in-state renewable sources. 

The bill is the product of a long negotiation between climate advocates and utilities, and while some compromises were made, it represents a huge step forward in our fight against climate change. One compromise involved the elimination of “community solar” with a requirement for a study to look for a “replacement” for community solar. Third Act Vermont will continue to monitor this process in hopes for a workable community solar program. 

Third Act Vermont urges the full House of Representatives to pass the bill with a strong majority, followed by the Senate, and we urge Gov. Scott to sign it into law. 

Older people have benefited from the fossil-fuel-driven world of past decades. That world needs to change as quickly as possible and be driven by renewable energy. H.289 is a very strong step in the right direction

Patrick Flood

Woodbury

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