General and Vermont
The deeper, difficult questions to the voters are whether the project's initial community wide benefit has been realized. Whether, after turbine operation curtailment, noise tests, health testimonials, the Wind Turbine Option Process and countless town meetings, if any residual community wide benefit exists? Unfortunately, there is none. The question is no longer whether Wind I and Wind II inflict unacceptable levels of harm upon Blacksmith Shop Road or Craggy Ridge neighbors.
McKibben does seem to have a problem with the neighbors who express concerns about these wind turbines and apparently hasn't been shy in expressing his views about these folks. This thinking doesn't sound much like an environmentalist to me.
What's next for Mckibben, chiding Vermont farmers to get rid of their tractors and go back to using mules for plowing?
We have all heard much about the concerns relating to industrial wind turbines on our ridgelines. Our governor wants us to install industrial wind turbines as fast as we can in order to reduce our carbon footprint and thereby slow the rate of climate change.
Is the governor correct? Remove the "install industrial wind turbines" and substitute "do something prudent" and I agree. Is installing industrial wind turbines prudent?
We in New Hampshire will pay the price of having our scenic mountains covered in wind turbines while most of the profits go to an out-of-state developer and its investors.
If you agree that New Hampshire's Lakes Region should be preserved, send a letter to your legislator today. There are already three industrial wind farms in operation now with another three under development in New Hampshire
This week, when confronting criticisms about industrial wind's assault of Vermont's mountains, he lashed out at critics, calling them "the committee against virtually everything."
Vermont needs an urgent and informed debate for dealing with climate change. Yet it is hard to have such a discussion when Vermonters who adopt views contrary to the governor's are dismissed with an imperial wave of the hand.
If Shumlin is indeed seeking the best interests for our state and not pandering to paid-for-political power, he can and should reflect upon industrial wind under the circumspection of the economic, ecological, and social damage caused by the broken promises from Yankee. There is a better, more thoughtful choice. A choice that begins with an immediate moratorium on industrial wind.
What do these wind turbines represent?
Opportunism, for one. In return for investing in the wind project, GMP will receive $44 million in federal production tax credits over 10 years. Environmentalists pushed hard for those incentives, and you can't blame entrepreneurs for leaping at them.
The heated debate over large-scale wind power development atop ridgelines is reason enough to take a second look at the process.
Public Service Commissioner Elizabeth Miller agrees the current system might need to be updated. Miller told the Free Press, "It's not that the process isn't working now, but it was designed for far fewer projects at a different scale."
Shumlin stated that he listened to both sides and met with industrial wind opponents in Montpelier to hear their views.
"An eight-minute meeting with a few people in your office is hardly engaging in a dialogue. Coming to the Town Offices and driving through town is not the same thing as going to the site and talking to neighbors in their homes," said Snelling.
This letter describes one man's determination to end his lease agreement with wind developer Reunion Power.
Increasingly, however, it seems that people have made up their minds about wind. A large wind farm - with 20 or 200 large turbines - may fit well on the open plains of Texas, the Palouse of Washington state or the coast of Denmark. The close, intimate, untrammeled landscape of Vermont is not such a good fit. That is the message that wind developers are hearing.
In the end their money may not do the trick.
Apparently, the state of Vermont in the form of the Public Service Board and Public Service Department is ready to roll out the red carpet for big corporations at the expense of Vermont citizens. Between the lines of all of the politically correct jargon, what I learned from this meeting was that the public had better aggressively advocate for themselves, because the state is not going to protect us adequately.
This letter was written by a landowner in Vermont who chose not to lease his land to wind developer Reunion Power.
Since official word spread that a wind developer wanted to put stakes down in Brighton, Ferdinand and Newark earlier this spring, local opposition has grown.
Residents in effected communities have filed their official concerns to the Vermont Public Service Board, which will now decide if the would-be project - by Seneca Mountain Wind, LLC - should get a Certificate of Public Good (CPG).
Some of the most harmful side effects [of turbines] have only become widely documented as a result of the installation of thousands of turbines around the world in the past five years. Turbines have gotten taller ...These newer machines have little track record, and we are all part of a grand experiment with few protections in place for neighbors and towns, especially on issues of public health, water flows, and property values.
I've received calls from residents from as far away as Lyndon, Kirby, and Westmore complaining about the blinking red aircraft collision avoidance lights at night. Neighbors are telling me they also can hear them and that they are shocked to see the turbines from "everywhere they go" -- from local roads, from I-93 near Franconia Notch (40 miles away!), as well as from nearer ridge lines between Littleton and St. Johnsbury.
To apply these concepts in the context of social protest, especially in a state like Vermont with a long and honorable history of dissent, is chilling. How dispiriting that the debate over wind power in Vermont has come to this! The law already makes trespassing a crime without setting precedents that would encourage future claims of monetary damages against protest movements. Those potential ill effects of such precedents, unless superseded by the Legislature, will linger long after the blasting on Lowell Mountain is done, just weeks if not days from now.
It is clear that the PSB ignores witnesses whose testimony identifies negative impacts from wind developments. The regulator has been captured by the regulated. We need a new or different public process (perhaps Act 250) for renewable energy projects, especially utility-scale wind turbines. The common refrain we hear from interveners after each PSB decision is, "It was as though we weren't even there."
The economic case for wind power is fatally shaky. Too expensive and so unreliable that it requires a duplicate plant for backup. So wind advocates point out that it is hydrocarbon-free.
But if you grant the arguments for global warming, these two projects are too small to make a difference and, worse, a serious misallocation of scarce resources.