February 20, 2019

Letters to the Editor

An attainable and desirable energy future

I read with interest Willem Post’s Dec. 14 Letter to the Editor “Vermont’s unattainable energy goals,” and I am a little confused about where he stands and what he proposes.

He does not deny that climate change is real, but he seems to be against any proposal to combat it.

He is against a carbon tax, which every speaker at the governor’s climate forum in St. Albans that I attended spoke in favor of. We can no longer allow companies to pollute the atmosphere without paying for the cleanup.

We hold accountable companies that have used our rivers as convenient sources for dumping toxins, and air pollution is no different. The carbon tax is a way to level the playing field for all energy sources, and make polluters pay the whole cost of their products. Renewable energy is getting less costly every day.

Already, nuclear and coal cannot compete with wind and solar, and it is a matter of time before oil and gas will not be competitive either, but time is something we don’t have a lot of. We must take an “all things on the table” approach in the switch to renewables: tax the polluters; drive electric vehicles; generate energy from landfills, biomass, hydro, wind and solar; weatherize our ancient and beloved buildings; recreate our transportation system with ride-sharing, public transportation and walking; and transform our agriculture to sequester more carbon and create less polluting run-off.

There is always more. This is the last generation that can fix the problem we have been kicking down the road since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

We have to solve climate change now in our homes and businesses, our neighborhoods and our state and do the hard things other generations have put off. This is the issue of our time, and we must succeed for our children and grandchildren. Brian F. Forrest Williston

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