Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Lawmakers must take action on environmental bills

Anyone paying attention to the relentless stream of “natural” disasters around the world knows that we need to make big changes to how we make and use energy, and we need them yesterday. Right now our legislators have a chance to make some seemingly little but really important changes that will make things better for all Vermonters down the line. They can make room for more local, low-emissions energy; create more affordable community-based heat; and protect electric ratepayers from inevitable cost increases. 

And yet given the brevity of our legislative season, the complexity of the law, and the power of big energy lobbyists, even small changes are at risk of being put off for next year or never. 

People have already done the hard work of writing these bills and researching the costs and impacts, and they’re ready to go, if only our legislators will see to pass them. Some of the most important bills for our energy future are on the table: the ratepayer protection act (H.289), the new Renewable Energy Standard (with community solar net-metering!) (H.669/S.252), and the thermal energy networks bill (H.668). 

There’s a lot going on, but we can’t lose sight of the urgency of making change whenever it’s possible. So let’s support our legislators in this important work and urge them to pass these bills this season!

Carolyn Kuebler

Middlebury

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