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Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has spoken out against a proposal to place a three-year moratorium on offshore wind power development in Vermont.

In a news conference Monday, Sanders, who is a member of the U.S. Senate's energy and environment committees, urged state lawmakers to reject the ban on wind projects.

"I am concerned that, currently, there is an effort in the [state] legislature to put a moratorium on the construction of new wind projects," Sanders said. "I strongly disagree with that effort - not only in what it will mean for our state in terms of transforming our energy system, but what it will mean nationally.

“I have no doubt but that if Vermont ceases new wind development, the message will go out all across the country - spread by the well-funded coal and oil companies - that even in Vermont, progressive Vermont, there is not a serious commitment to combating global warming - that even in Vermont, people do not want to move aggressively toward sustainable energy,” he continued. “In my view, that would be a terrible message and one that would negatively impact the good work that people all over this country are doing."

Sanders stressed that wind energy will play a critical role in addressing climate change.

“In order to combat the dangers of climate change, we need to cut greenhouse-gas emissions significantly; we need to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and such sustainable energies as wind, solar, geothermal and biomass,” Sanders said, adding that he plans to introduce legislation that addresses such a goal in the coming weeks.



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