VCRD chose the subject of the 2006 Summit process based on deep and widespread concerns in Vermont today about global climate change, our dependence on oil, “peak oil,” and perceptions of the growing challenge of national energy policies. Paralleling global and national security concerns are the questions on the future of Vermont’s energy supply, re-licensing the Vernon Nuclear plant, future Hydro-Quebec contracts, the high cost of gasoline, and the price of heating oil.
VCRD organized the 2006 Summit conference not to answer all these challenges but to consider together ways to move the mark on in-state generation, fuel development, and efficiency — to expand energy as an economic sector providing major opportunities in rural Vermont. What combination of conservation, efficiency, in-state electric generation, and fuel development will effectively provide the greatest leverage to support the prosperity, sustainability, and viability of Vermont communities—and, especially as we look at our natural resource capacity for energy, the fate of the state’s most rural communities?
The 2006 VCRD Rural Summit, “Local Power: Energy& Economic Development in Rural Vermont” was developed with the goals of:
- Defining opportunities for advancing in-state energy development
- Building starting points for the deliberations of the newly-formed Vermont Rural Energy Council (VREC)
- Bringing together entrepreneurs and developers of the energy sector with policy leaders and supporters
- Considering policies and investments needed to expand the sector
- Setting recommendations for VREC, the VT Legislature, and Gubernatorial consideration