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Better energy plan

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 measures.

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... [truncated due to possible copyright]  

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 measures.

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 its planning.

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 -- in gridlock.

That would be a shame.


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JUN 30 2005
https://www.windaction.org/posts/278-better-energy-plan
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