Vermont papers over dirty energy use


Vermont's electric utilities claim that their power comes from 100% "carbon-free" sources. This claim bears closer inspection. Since the closing of Vermont's only nuclear plant in 2014, it is true that virtually 100% of the electricity generated in Vermont comes from so-called renewable sources. This includes the burning of wood waste, which, while renewable, is obviously not emissions-free.

Vermont has zero coal, oil, or gas-fired electric generating stations. However, more than half of the electricity used in Vermont comes from out of state, including a significant portion from the 81 oil- and natural-gas-fueled plants in the other five New England states. A significant portion also comes from nuclear plants in other states.

But, the largest portion of out-of-state power used in Vermont comes from Hydro-Québec, a network of dams that flooded 3.8 million acres of forest in northern Québec beginning in the 1970s.

Vermont is the only state in New England that allows so-called "large hydro" to be included in its "renewable" energy portfolio. This is critical because Vermont has a Renewable Energy Standard (RES) adopted in 2015 which calls for electricity used in-state to be 75% from "renewable' sources by 2032.

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'The way to insure peace is to stop the oppression, not blast a population to death'

Dear Rep. Balint: I am writing to you in response to recent remarks on VtDigger. First, I want you to know that I, too, am horrified and saddened by the violence committed by both Hamas and Israel. I hope that you will take a moment to read why I...

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Nar-Anon Family Group can help families find peace of mind

In his youth, in 1979, a young man decided, along with a schoolmate, to try marijuana. In our state, it was illegal to possess pot, which only added to the mystique of the drug. The young man and his friend continued to smoke throughout middle school and into high...

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May we create a space for sanity and peace

On the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 2, in Westminster West, I participated in a service committing to the ground the body utilized by the beautiful and loving soul of Eshagh Shaoul. Our brother Eshagh was a faithful, observant, Iranian Jew. If you ever fellowshipped with him and his wife, Rosalyn, at their home in Putney, you would have transcended who you are as they escorted you though the "Temple of Love," a sacred ground adjacent to their home whereupon all...

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Urging Balint to support ceasefire resolution

Rep. Balint, how will we hold onto our humanity? Even Sen. Durbin of Illinois recognizes that a ceasefire is what President Biden must demand. Will any of us be able to look ourselves in the mirror, knowing that "evil will prevail if good people say nothing"? Failing to call for a comprehensive ceasefire - not a meaningless "humanitarian pause" - will guarantee the continuation of the killing of innocents. How can we answer our children's questions about why we refused...

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Where does America go from here?

The Republican Party has lost its mind. Out of desperation, its House members have elected a speaker who, if his party's candidate is not elected, believes that the democratic election process is corrupt. If his candidate is elected, no problem. Where does America go from here? This Voices Letters from readers was submitted to The Commons.

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Medicare Advantage: God's gift to insurance companies, not patients

At the same time that more seniors are choosing Medicare Advantage (MA) over traditional Medicare, the very real drawbacks to MA are becoming ever clearer. Opting for Medicare Advantage (MA) instead of traditional Medicare places decisions about your health in the hands of a big insurance company intent on making a profit: 75% of MA business is in the hands of six huge insurers. The blizzard of commercials that these insurers fund with their profits tout the MA program as...

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On abortion, the numbers don’t lie

It is clear that the Dobbs decision by the Supreme Court caught the Republicans completely off guard, even though they have been working to take away the rights of women since before they killed the Equal Rights Amendment. The Right must have thought that stealing the basic rights to bodily autonomy and to determining the size of one's own family would be upsetting at first, but then we would all get over it. The pundits always say that Americans have...

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