This Commentary is by William Graham of Stowe Vermont.
Genius can be defined in many ways.
A genius is someone who sees connections when others do not.
Similarly, leadership can manifest itself in many forms. For me, being a leader is skillfully articulating and then courageously acting on opportunities that benefit the most people in an organization, a state or country.
The question we as Vermonters all need to ask is whether Gov. Phil Scott is merely a politician or a leader.
Scott has an opportunity to answer that question based on whether or not he supports a carbon tax in Vermont. Does he want Vermonters to spend increasing amounts on fossil fuels (over $2 billion annually) that benefit outside special interests? Or does he want some of that money returning to Vermonters through revenue generated via a carbon tax? Every Vermonter should understand this: A carbon tax has been successfully implemented in dozens of provinces, states and countries around the globe. Such taxes would raise revenue for the state and would reduce taxes for many Vermonters who could use a tax break.
Supporting a carbon tax is a tangible action that Scott can take to show he is indeed a leader in a broader effort to ensure that Vermont is creating a clean energy economy.
The price of falling behind the clean energy curve is higher energy costs and fewer good jobs. The tangible reward is showing that our small state can make a big statement regarding clean energy policy, which will create jobs and keep workers (our family and neighbors) in the state. Policies can be implemented and technologies leveraged to make Vermont a leader in clean energy.