Misleading figures can lead to complacency

Editor of the Reformer:

In a recent Reformer article ("Against the wind project," Oct. 3), a paragraph was included that stated: "According to the state, Vermont is exceeding its goals and will achieve 55 percent or more renewable energy by the end of 2017, accomplished through a combination of solar, hydro and existing wind, they note."

To guard against complacency we need to be careful when making such statements. The 55 percent could only be referring to the percent of electrical power needs met through renewables. Vermont and Vermonters of course also use a lot of energy in transportation fuels and a lot of oil and propane for heating, and we are nowhere near the 55 percent for those two sectors. It is also worth noting that a portion of the 55 percent for electrical power is not generated in the state. That is, electric utilities in our state can and do get a portion of their power needs met from generation facilities in other states.

Is the 55 percent level a good thing? Yes, it certainly shows we are doing a whole lot in the electrical power arena, including being creative in how we get some from out of state. But no one should think that we are anywhere near solving a lot of our fossil fuel dependencies. No matter how the wind project goes in Windham/Grafton, there is continued need for urgency.

Michael Bosworth, Brattleboro, Oct. 6