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Voices / Letters from readers

VY is a tool for us to use, and we'll need it

As a member of and communications director for the Vermont Energy Partnership, I have been vocal in my support for the continuation for Vermont Yankee. Regarding the negative impact of Vermont Yankee closure: what Gary Sachs [“As Vermont moves to green power, VY won’t be missed,” Letters, May 8] dismisses as PR spin, I regard as prudent energy planning.

VY provides something no other single, in-state power generator supplies: a large quantity of market-cost, low-carbon electricity.

As Vermont progresses toward 90-percent renewables, we will need more electricity, not less, because the oil furnaces and gasoline cars will need to be replaced with low-carbon, electrified options (geothermal heat pumps, electric cars, etc.).

Renewables developer David Blittersdorf wrote in Green Energy Times last month that Vermont will need three times as much electricity in 2050 as we consume now. Furthermore, it is highly likely that carbon-based energy will be taxed, at the federal or state levels or both.

For these reasons, and many others, it is not in Vermont’s economic or environmental interest to say “no” to a large, in-state generator of reliable, low-carbon, market-rate power.

For reasons of technology, cost, and grassroots politics, it is highly uncertain if the in-state solar/wind/hydro Mr. Sachs envisions will provide the lion’s share of our growing electricity needs.

VY is a tool to be picked up and used, not discarded when it is needed the most.

Guy Page

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Originally published in The Commons issue #203 (Wednesday, May 15, 2013).

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