The op-ed column, "Transforming transportation," submitted by the state director of the Nature Conservancy of Vermont and published in last Wednesday's Rutland Herald, presents plenty of information for consideration regarding the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI). To further the cause of promoting TCI in Vermont so "we can transform - for the better, how Vermonters access jobs, schools and community resources," it cites results of a new poll. Upon searching the Nature Conservancy's website, I was quite surprised to find how few people were polled: 768.
Somehow, I cannot quite fathom how 768 returns are enough to sway public opinion in Vermont, whose population currently stands close to 626,000, or to rally lawmakers into rational action. I find it troubling this was not disclosed at a time when the TCI is being hotly debated. We live in divisive times, when some people think our salvation lies in the Prius and others think it's in the oil fields. Let's find some middle ground and get some real numbers on what Vermonters (not just Eastern seaboard states) want and what they think is attainable before Vermont winds up with yet another fund administrated by a board that is accountable neither to the governor or the Legislature. Would a so-called carbon tax be painless? I can't tell you, but just remember what your dentist said when you were a nervous kid, sitting down apprehensively in the chair: "Now, this won't hurt a bit."
Philip R. Jordan