Wind energy subsidies
To the Editor:
John McClaughry wants to "end life support for Big Wind." He is referring to tax subsidies to help the wind energy industry get off the ground. You know, the same types of tax subsidies that helped the oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear industries get off the ground.
Oil Change International recently estimated the total value of U.S. subsidies to the fossil fuel industry at $37.5 billion annually. Why are taxpayers subsidizing industries that are making billions in profits? I do not know. Perhaps Mr McClaughry can tell us.
The nuclear power industry also receives subsidies. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, after 50 years of receiving subsidies, the nuclear power industry still would not be viable without subsidies.
What disturbs me most about Mr McClaughry's column is his criticism of Vermont's elected officials for supporting policies the vast majority of Vermonters favor. He writes "It's hard to explain the enthusiasm of these three (Leahy, Sanders and Welch) for subsidy-sucking Big Wind, when so many of their constituents are opposed to it." A survey of Vermont voters in April 2012 found that 71% of Vermont voters support building wind turbines along the state's ridge lines and 72% view candidates more favorably who view advancing energy efficiency, clean energy and action on climate change as central to their work in the Legislature. Mr McClaughry also denigrates Gov Shumlin's goal of having 90% of Vermont's energy consumption from renewable sources by 2050. He calls it Gov Shumlin's "absurd 90% by 2050 mandate." The same poll mentioned above found that 86% of Vermonters support this "absurd mandate." Apparently Mr McClaughry believes 86% of Vermonters are idiots for wanting the "absurd 90% by 2050 mandate."
Why is Mr McClaughry finding fault with our elected officials for representing the will of the people? Isn't that how our Democracy is supposed to work?