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I’m a student at Bennington College. I’m writing this because I’ve been following a critical climate justice issue in our neighboring state of New York, and I think this needs to be highlighted in our community as well: the push to electrify buildings and stop relying on natural gas.

Children who live in homes with gas stoves are 42 percent more likely to develop asthma. In addition to this, the continued reliance on natural gas or other fossil fuels is impeding the fight against climate change and stunting our transition to a green economy.

Studies by WinClimate have also indicated that, by switching to a heat pump from a fossil fuel-based heating system, homeowners can significantly reduce their energy spending. In a time where heating bills are skyrocketing for many Americans, this is critical.

I firmly believe that, even in our small communities, we have a duty to do what we can to aid the transition to all electric, all renewable energy, and it's important that Bennington County plays its part. We should be working towards creating programs that help residents learn about and install heat pumps and electric stoves in their homes. This will not only protect our future on this planet, but our children and our wallets as well. Our community should be doing whatever it can on this front.

Zayda Kellogg



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