Conservation, Efficiency and Clean, Renewable Energy
A Critical Question
How Vermont will meet its future energy demands will be one of the most critical questions facing Vermonters in the coming years. I am opposed to the continued operation of Vermont Yankee after 2012. I think when this plant is scheduled to shut down, it should -- for financial and moral reasons. Financially, Entergy has given no guarantees that they will pay the costs of either decommissioning the plant or storing the nuclear waste materials, and I have no confidence we won't get stuck with those bills. Morally, I simply do not think it is right to saddle our grandchildren, their grandchildren and generations of Vermonters to come with the costs of decommissioning and storing our nuclear waste. We don't have a plan for it, we don't have a solution for it, and we must stop producing more.
A Better Way Forward: Improved Efficiency and Clean Renewable Sources
It would be irresponsible to call for the closing of Vermont Yankee without acknowledging the void it will leave behind. Yankee supplies approximately 1/3 of the state's power. We can fill that gap through a combination of conservation, improved efficiency and new, renewable sources of power. First, we need to reduce our energy demand by promoting efficiency in all aspects of our lives. We need stronger incentives for the construction of more efficient homes and businesses. As a state, we should be investing in smart grid and smart metering technology, so that we can all be better informed and wiser about our energy use.
At the same time we focus on our efficiency, as Governor I will be a strong supporter of programs to encourage the development and use of renewable energy sources. I support both wind and solar power development, as well as biomass. Local communities who choose to host these sources of power should benefit first. Solar and wind power are safe, clean, and increasingly reliable sources of power, and I believe Vermont should lead the rest of the nation in the percentage of its power supply coming from these renewable sources.