Mr. Retrofit? | Freyne Land
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Monday, June 18, 2007

Mr. Retrofit?

Posted By on Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 4:11 PM

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Forget Karl Marx's class analysis of society. Forget the greedy pharmaceutical companies. Nothing gets U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders' juices flowing these days like solar power and green energy!

You see, our favorite socialist has a seat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Energy Bill will be up for floor debate at the end of this week. Last week, the Sanders Amendment adding about $100 million for "sustainable energy" grants and rebates was added to the bill.

Ol' Bernardo held a Monday presser that felt like a campaign presser, even though he won't be on the ballot again until 2012. Held it out at a house on Burlington's North Avenue that's getting retrofitted and re-insulated by some young fellas in training.

Said Bernie:

California right now is doing an extraordinarily good job. In California right now, if you were to install photovoltaic solar units , the state will provide you with a $10,000 rebate in order to do that. Their goal is to have a million rooftops with photovoltaics in the next 10 years. I think the federal government should be moving in a similar direction.

I’ve recently talked to somebody right here in Vermont who is going to be manufacturing small scale wind turbines for use in rural areas. He thinks he can produce and sell those products for $12-14,000. If we have a rebate, or tax-credits there, you can end up with a situation where people will be producing half of the electricity they need through small wind turbines and, in fact, saving money on their electric bills.  This is a win-win situation.

And, if we’re producing these wind turbines in the United States, which I want to see, we’re creating jobs in the production end as well.

And, yes, in response to our question, Sen. Sanders said he does support Democratic efforts under Montpeculiar's Golden Dome to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of  H. 520, the global warming/climate change bill when they return for a special one-day sesssion on July 11.

Incidentally, this green power stuff looks like it's becoming Bernie's new religion.

He's hosting a "Town Meeting on Global Warming" at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday morning July 8 at Montpelier High School. Noted Environmental Writer Bill McKibben will provide a sermon. And a free brunch will be served at 10.

Sunday morning, eh?

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About The Author

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne, 1949-2009, wrote the weekly political column "Inside Track," which originated in the Vanguard Press in the mid 1980s; he brought it to Seven Days in 1995. He retired it shortly before his death in January, 2009. We all miss him.

More by Peter Freyne


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