Letter to the editor: Climate council must listen to all

I appreciated your recent article about Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale (“Environmental Justice Sought for Vermont,” Oct. 21). Hers is a crucial perspective on how Vermont can address the climate crisis in a way that’s both effective and fair for all Vermonters.

The Vermont Climate Council is currently drafting an Action Plan to guide our state in its transition to renewable energy — a daunting task that will impact everyone’s lives for many years to come. I applaud the council’s hard work, and I think that we, Vermonters, need to make our voices heard in the process as much as possible.

I’m concerned because, unfortunately, it seems like the voices being heard the loudest by the Council are those speaking on behalf of the big utility companies — and their needs are very different from ours. If we’re truly serious about meeting the demands of the climate crisis, we need to prioritize practical solutions that benefit everyone (like resources for community solar, weatherization, regenerative agriculture and workable public transportation) rather than those that primarily benefit utilities companies (like “renewable” natural gas).

As a parent of a young child, I’m painfully aware of the urgency of the climate crisis: We’re well and truly out of time to make serious changes. But how we make these changes, and what our decisions show about our values, are important, too. I hope that Vermont’s plan for transitioning to renewable energy reflects a commitment to justice, and respects the needs of all the communities that make up our state.

Roger White


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