Climate Change and Vermont's Energy Future

Posted Fall 2020

Climate change and Vermont’s energy future are some of my paramount concerns. Availability of renewable energy is important to our quality of life and has far-reaching implications for the economy of our state. We need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Global climate change will have disastrous effects on our economy (e.g., ski industry, farming, and maple sugaring).

I am a longstanding member of the legislative Climate Solutions Caucus. Vermont needs a comprehensive plan to address climate change. Since there currently is no single energy panacea, this plan must be multi-faceted. We need to:

  • create incentives for energy conservation and efficiency

  • reduce Vermont's total greenhouse gas emissions

  • yield more of our electric power from renewable sources including wind, solar, hydro, and biomass

  • support the deployment of small renewable energy projects

  • create an infrastructure and incentives to support electric vehicles

  • help farmers diversify by producing electricity from farm waste

Our current patterns of energy use are not sustainable. Perpetuating policies that call for continued reliance on fossil fuels to meet our energy needs only serves to enrich oil, coal, and natural gas companies.

There is a lot of work to do in addressing Vermont’s energy future – a future of greater energy independence where we produce more of our energy here at home. It is imperative that we explore all of the possibilities available, have well-researched discussions, and make wise decisions about our energy future. We must not overlook the importance of efficiency and conservation. Exploring the possibilities for renewable energy is critical. Vermont has the opportunity to become a leader in renewable technology and to create well-paying jobs in the process.