Renewable energy makes sense -- but only for a privileged few
To the Editor:
Two years ago, Vermonters were paying the lowest electrical rates in New England. These rates were driven by relatively low cost energy providers, Vermont Yankee and Hydro Quebec. Since that time a few activists, a renewable energy manufacturer donating to the right politicians, VSIRG (S is for special- the P no longer exists) and a few wealthy trustavarians have convinced the legislature that Vermont, with .000089% of the world's population, can conquer climate change.
Follow this logic: The Vermont Legislature grants tax incentives (another term for giving out-of-state developers VT taxpayer money) to wind developers so they can afford to build wind turbines and then the Legislature guarantees those same developers a return of 18 cents per kWh on output from the power companies, who in turn collect from ratepayers (you and I). Their guaranteed 18 cents replaces the 4.5 cents they were paying VT Yankee. So far, the developers are happy because they are guaranteed a return on investment and they get to sit at the table with VSIRG lobbyists to continue their agenda, the utilities are happy, they get to pass any increased cost along to us, the ratepayers, and since their rates get approved by the PSB and almost guaranteed to cover their renewable costs so not to lose money so they can continue to donate to those politicians campaigns who share their renewable energy policies. Environmentalists are happy because they believe Vermont is doing their fair share in saving the world's energy problems. On top of all this, the developers get to circumvent the ACT 250 process because they are doing this for everyone's good! Has anyone tried to build a 5-mile road across a few mountain tops going through ACT 250? Good luck!!
In two short years, Shumlin has taken Vermont from the lowest electrical costs in NE to the highest (tied with CT) and he isn't done yet. Our rates will be escalating annually as our renewable energy portfolio becomes a greater portion of our total energy, as mandated by our legislature.
Over and above the rising electrical rates is the 4.5 cents/kWh the legislature mandates that we all pay to (In)Efficiency Vermont. Their purpose is to help save us energy. If they have saved us so much energy why do our rates continue to spiral upwards??