What Vermont is lacking, however, is leadership on the controversial matter of wind turbines on mountain tops. The state's ridgelines are the wrong place to put 330-foot-tall wind towers.
Common sense dictates that energy planning focus on conservation and
cleaner sources of power. For that reason alone, the Senate energy bill
ought to prevail in Congress as both chambers hammer out a compromise plan.
Vermont U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Jim Jeffords support the Senate
version, which was approved Tuesday by a solid bipartisan majority.
The bill includes funding for programs to reduce overall energy
consumption, as well as incentives to boost renewable and clean power
sources. For example, the measure includes a tax incentive for consumers
who purchase fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. These are forward-thinking
The Senate plan has its critics who argue it doesn’t go far enough. But
the House-passed bill did not include many of these important provisions
and should not be the final blueprint.
The timing of this debate is important. The price of regular unleaded
gas in Vermont has topped $2 a gallon. Therefore, holding down
consumption is vital. In addition, national security issues make it
clear that America’s reliance on foreign oil ought to be reduced.
Finally, promoting new, innovative energy sources creates jobs.
Vermont is ahead of the game on this front, with the Legislature passing
a renewable energy incentives bill this year. What Vermont is lacking,
however, is leadership on the controversial matter of wind turbines on
mountain tops. The state’s ridgelines are the wrong place to put
330-foot-tall wind towers. Gov. Jim Douglas and legislators must take
control of this issue and find solutions as the state moves forward with
Talks between the U.S. House and Senate on a final energy bill are
expected to be contentious, and might end – as they have in the past —
That would be a shame.
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