Wind: 7 mph
To The Editor:
I strongly disagree with your May 31 editorial "Wasted Energy." Governor Douglas is right to veto this legislation.
While the legislation does have some very good features, the energy tax against Vermont Yankee more than outweighs these. I would fault the Legislature, not the governor, for the failure to enact these good features, as Jim Douglas said early on he would veto any legislation with this tax. It looks to me like they deliberately set him up for this, so they could score political points claiming he was against energy conservation.
I believe this is a punitive tax increase on an employer who provides cheap energy for the state's economy. This is not the message to send to businesses that either are in the state, or that might be contemplating moving here. But it looks good politically -- take the profit away from those nasty out-of-staters. Trouble is, the tax will eventually be borne by the Vermont citizens anyway through the inevitable increases in electricity rates caused by the tax.
If the Legislature really needed this money and couldn't raise it through economies elsewhere in the state's budget, they should have enacted a corresponding tax on gasoline at the pump or on heating oil. Both of these measures would have the same energy conservation goals you claim the Vermont Yankee tax would have had. But, of course, the public would then have seen this energy-cost increase to them more clearly, and known exactly who caused it.
I hope the veto stands. Our Legislators do us no service persevering with this bad tax by trying to override the veto. Those who might agree with me should so inform Carol Hosford and our state senators.