Making Tough Energy Choices
Reprinted from the Times Argus
Christina Fornaciari is a UVM student.
It is clear that Vermont is at the forefront of environmental issues. This has been exemplified by being the first state to ban hydraulic fracturing last year, to the ambitious pursuit to be 90 percent renewable energy by 2050, amongst many others.
Vermont can no long afford to be delaying tough energy choices, which is exactly what is happening with our state’s commitment (along with the rest of New England) to expand gas and electric infrastructure throughout the region without endorsing any particular energy project.
In response to last week’s editorial “Taking charge” on Jan. 28, committing to such a large-scale fossil fuel infrastructure is noncompliant with Vermont’s energy goals. Vermont has many tough energy decisions on its radar, namely the $64.4 million project for a fracked gas pipeline through Addison County to International Paper’s mill in Ticonderoga, N.Y. As a state that banned fracking specifically because it is so dirty and dangerous to local communities, it would be hypocritical and an act of regression to lock ourselves into 50 to 100 more years of dependency on fracked gas and other fossil fuels when climate change requires that we move swiftly and promptly toward renewables.
To put it frankly, we will not meet our state’s energy goals if fossil fuel projects continue to be approved, and Vermont is better than that. The climate change crisis we find ourselves in has grown severe enough that we do not have time to put climate change on the back burner, therefore demanding a most dramatic change in ethos that Vermont has a chance to pioneer.
It is time to take ownership in the endeavor to reclaim our planet in a healthy, responsible way, and folks around the country look up to Vermont to lead the way.