U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today opposed a moratorium on wind power projects in Vermont that he said would send a "terrible message" to the rest of the country and set back efforts to stop global warming.
A member of the U.S. Senate environment and energy committees, Sanders urged state lawmakers to reject a three-year ban on wind power projects.
"If Vermont ceases new wind development the message will go out all across the country, spread by the well-funded coal and oil companies, that even in Vermont -- progressive Vermont -- there is not a serious commitment to combating global warming," Sanders said.
Sanders was joined at the news conference in his Senate office by Paul Burns of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Don Hooper of the National Wildlife Federation, Gabrielle Stebbins of Renewable Energy Vermont and Christopher Killian of the Conservation Law Foundation.
Sanders next month plans to introduce sweeping legislation to address the crisis of global warming by transforming the nation's energy system away from fossil fuels. A major new federal investment in wind and other sustainable sources of energy will be part of the most aggressive measure ever waged in Congress to stop an alarming, worldwide rise in temperatures.
The senator in March will host a major conference in Vermont that will focus on major changes that climate change will bring about in agriculture, the tourist economy, the condition of Lake Champlain and the impact on state budgets.
"For many decades now, the state of Vermont has been a leader in environmental protection. We are leading the nation in terms of energy efficiency and, in the last few years, have made very good progress in wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. When it comes to new ideas in terms of protecting the environment, the rest of the country has looked to Vermont for leadership -- and we should be very proud of that," Sanders said.