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Coming from the wrong direction
1 November 2003
I just read your web site article abstract about Vermont wind power and thought I might weigh in. It's hard to be for the environment and against a wind project at the same time. But consider this: A largely unaltered bit of ridge in my town (Lowell) is going to get a three lane road (and a lot of scalped mountaintops), someone is going to get a federal subsidy (in the form of a tax credit of 1.5 cents per kWh), and the rest of New England gets some more electricity to squander on hair dryers and electric pasta machines. Alternative energy means nothing if it is not coupled with meaningful incentives to use it wisely. Energy policy in the United States is coming from the wrong direction when it encourages people to use ever more energy. In the case of wind power in Vermont, its as though we decided at town meeting that we had a vast untapped resource (our wind commons), and we voted to pay the richest man in town to use it.
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