Last summer the Vermont Public Service Department took a poll on Vermonters’ views on energy. Rob Roper summarized the findings thus: “the kind of energy policy most Vermonters are looking for is affordable, reliable, and with the least possible amount of impact on our natural environment, such as forests, rivers, and wildlife. We don’t particularly care so much if it’s renewable, reduces carbon emissions, or is produced in state – albeit those attributes might be considered nice.”
“This is the exact opposite of the state energy policy our elected lawmakers are imposing upon us, which is moving more and more into high-cost, less reliable, intermittent non-baseload wind and solar power that requires acres and acres of precious natural ridgeline and pasture lands, displacing natural habitats.”
Asked, “How much more would you be willing to pay [per month] for electricity if it meant that all of Vermont’s power came from renewable or low-carbon sources?” 31% of Vermonters said “nothing”. 17% refused to answer, 24% said somewhere between $1 and $25, 16% said somewhere between $26 and $50, and just 12% said they would pay more than $50 per month, If actually presented with an annual renewable energy fee in excess of $600 on their electric bill, I bet a big chunk of that 12% would freak out, and not in a happy way.
So why do we keep electing legislators who are so far out of touch with the voters?