by Rep. Charles Wilson
The Legislature must reset priorities. It must ensure Vermonters can thrive, that economic opportunity is encouraged, that Vermonters have the food, heat, shelter, and job opportunities they need, and Constitutional rights are respected and protected.
Spending money on electric charging stations when many Vermonters and families are struggling with basic needs reflects the misplaced priorities. The electrification of Vermont does not serve the people. Many are still struggling to gain ground after the Covid-19 crisis.
Hypocrisy permeates many agendas and rhetoric surrounding planned action. For example, Vermont passed Proposal 2 which amended our State Constitution to prohibit slavery and indentured servitude in all forms. Yet a high percentage of elements used in electric technologies that are supposedly green and renewable are mined with slave labor, including children. Supporting this industry goes against this statement outlined in Proposal 2.
Destroying forests and ecosystems to make room for solar panels and wind turbines with a short life cycle and made of plastics and slave labor mined elements that are not even recycled is not environmentally sound policy. Also, this energy approach is still unaffordable for many and often unreliable in Vermont.
I was assigned to the recently renamed Committee on Agriculture, Food Resiliency and Forestry. Listening to the plans related to this sector, it is obvious there is a predetermined agenda in play. Attempts to sell the plan are subtle but apparent.
Farmers should be able to make a decent living and receive the respect they deserve for providing food, land stewardship, resource management and essential skills to our communities. Steps to help farmers succeed include minimizing regulations, removing unnecessary and cumbersome roadblocks and establishing pathways for future farmers.
It is possible for farmers to use existing viable and sustainable farming practices to keep Vermont farms alive and provide local food. This will mean self-sufficiency if supply chains, markets and crops fail.
The obsession with carbon emission reductions does not make sense in Vermont. This message is relentlessly driven in many committee meetings. Responsible farming practice and land stewardship will sequester carbon without financially burdening small businesses, Vermonters and our economy in the way that the Affordable Heat Act will.
The demand and priorities of Burlington hold strong, dangerous and inappropriate influence over the whole of Vermont. Burlington’s issues and needs aren’t shared by most of the rest of Vermont. I am working diligently to ensure that the Burlington model does not apply to the rest of Vermont. It has no place here and will not serve the people or our towns.
Representative Charles Wilson serves the Caledonia-3 District. He can be reached at 802-730-6564 or firstname.lastname@example.org.