The 5th annual Renewable Energy Vermont conference. The goal, look for ways to make Vermonters less dependent on oil.
It drew legislators, homeowners, business owners, all people interested in reducing the state’s reliance on fossil fuels.
“It grows every years, we started in 2001 with 100 people. Now we’re at 400 people, so there’s definitely an interest in renewable energy, said Andrew Perchlik of Renewable Energy Vermont.
It’s a chance to network and share innovative ideas that could save people money, like bio-diesel and wood pellets. But it was also a chance to see how the leading gubernatorial candidates stand on energy issues.
“Jim Douglas has a record of non performance in energy, said Democratic nominee Scudder Parker. The incumbent Republican quickly defended himself. “We have a lot to be proud of and optimistic about.”
Wind Turbines drew a big contrast. Parker supports large scale wind projects. “The other thing we need is a governor who isn’t opposed to large scale wind development. The state of Vermont is losing tax revenue, it’s losing the opportunity of having a part of its portfolio from wind energy.”
Douglas does not support large wind projects. “This is a very controversial topic, lets face it, I think its very important as we move forward we respect everyone’s point of view and have a civil discussion about the role of wind in our energy future.”
All the questions were written down by audience members, one asked how each would encourage Vermont homeowners to reduce their own energy use. Parker says investing in renewable energy is key. “The money that people used to put into upgrading to an SUV, put it somewhere else.”
Douglas focused on conservation. “As some of you may know, Dorothy and I are pretty thrifty and conservationists, we don’t’ have a dishwasher, we hang our clothes out to dry, we heat our home with wood.”
Kristin Carlson – Channel 3 News.
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