This questionnaire sent by the League of Women Voters of Vermont was pretty brief, but the questions were very pointed, and are also available on their site.
Acknowledging the expense of the Irene recovery and the backlog of bridge and road repairs, are you willing to invest state resources into ensuring livable downtowns and villages, including associated transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities?
Yes. Developing the community (and community centers like downtowns) is imperative, and leads to other benefits beyond accessibility and livability. Providing for sustainable local agriculture and businesses that serve Vermonters is a primary goal of mine, alongside GMO labeling and improving government transparency and accountability. These goals are easier to achieve with downtowns and villages.
What steps can be taken to secure Vermont’s energy future?
In short: distributed energy production, local food production, and efficiency improvements.
Distributed energy production, in the form of micro wind, solar, and hydro mean that, in addition to being resilient to outages, the profits and cost savings of such installations stay in the community, rather than going to some non-Vermont corporation.
Local food production is intimately tied to Vermont’s energy future, since sustainable and locally-produced food requires less energy from farm to plate, not to mention its positive effect on the local economy. Interruptions to and price spikes in our energy supply can be handled better with tight-knit local economies like this.
Efficiency improvements in our homes, cars, and businesses, all yield dividends over the long term for savings far beyond the initial investment, especially when considering the likely increases in energy costs over the next 10-15 years.