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Letter to the editor: Persons of faith back climate bill

Addison County Interfaith Climate Action (ICAN) members gather across religious traditions out of mutual concern for the well being of the earth and all its peoples. We are writing in support of Bill S.51, the Consolidated Clean Energy Planning and Economic Opportunity Act introduced in the Vermont Senate by Sen. Chris Bray.
This act “proposes to establish a statutory goal that, by 2050, 90 percent of Vermont’s total energy consumption be from renewable energy. It also proposes to establish additional supporting goals and to require State plans that affect energy to recommend measures to achieve these goals.”
Along with promoting steps to increase our use of renewable energy to 90 percent by 2050, S.51 also includes steps for increasing energy efficiency both in buildings and in the transportation sector. The less energy we use to heat and cool our buildings and to drive our vehicles, the fewer new renewable energy installations we will have to build.
Along with encouraging energy conservation, this bill would also promote economic opportunity by providing new jobs in the renewable and energy efficiency sectors. More jobs would help provide more tax revenue to build out renewable energy options
This is a far-reaching bill that would take the already existing energy goals laid out in Vermont’s Energy Plan and set them into law. As we know, a goal without clearly defined steps for implementation, defined by law, is easily ignored. This bill provides practical, phased in steps toward that objective.
Given the complexity of the challenge of climate change — including moral, spiritual and economic — it is extremely important to set these forward-looking energy goals into law as soon as possible.
Daniel Cooperrider
William Fifield
Bobbie Carnwath
David Andrews
Betsy Hardy
Louise Cadwell
Spencer Putnam
Heidi Willis
Fran Putnam
Addison County

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