The Bennington Banner (editorial, Sept. 8) appears to think that those who oppose industrial wind power plants on the ridgelines prefer nuclear radiation, coal smoke, and mercury poisoning. They have created a paper tiger and missed the real argument.
The motivating force for wind development is simple! MONEY! The huge amounts of federal government incentives such as subsidies, accelerated depreciation and green energy credits add up to millions of dollars for the wind developer.
In a recent article by Jeanne Miles and Gail Montany, "Industrial Wind Tops News from NEK in 2005," reference is made to Shay Totten's piece in the Vermont Guardian, wherein he names David Rapaport and Mathew Rubin (the "R & R team") "Vermonters of the Year."
What are your thoughts on wind power in Vermont and how it affects recreation?
Local authors and outdoor enthusiasts Kirk Kardashian and Stephen Gorman make the arguments for and against windpower in Vermont.
WCAX-TV of Burlington, Vt., focused their telephone poll this week on wind energy, with all of one very leading and one almost meaningless question.
With arbitrary enactment of the Shumlin tax, Vermont would send a negative message out to all businesses considering expansion or relocation to the state, while jeopardizing the amount of no emission carbon power it receives, at attractive prices. This would be both unfortunate, unnecessary, and clearly not the Vermont way. Shumlin should end the shakedown of Vermont Yankee now.
Industrial wind turbine facilities are not only a visual insult, they degrade and fragment wildlife habitat, they threaten bats and birds, they open up wild areas to sprawl with roads and transmission lines, and, as wind energy consultant John Zimmerman has said, "wind turbines don't make good neighbors."
Thank you to the Agency of Natural Resources for standing up for 23,600 acres of unspoiled wilderness. The ANR came out with something we have known for a long time. Herrick Mountain, Spruce Knob, Ames Hollow, Train Brook Ridgeline to the south and Bird Mountain to the north combine to form a very special piece of habitat that they call a "rare and irreplaceable natural area."
Regrettably, environmentalists have become linked to an industry that encourages us to ignore reality.
I read last week's article "Forest Service buys Handle Road parcel" with trepidation. It is important to realize that the United States Forest Service no longer protects forest lands, even national forests, from development. Their 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement for Vermont's Green Mountain National Forest identifies 37 sites, for a total of 19,700 acres, as "potentially both viable and suitable" for wind power development.
As quoted in their report on Page 3-298 ...
Lifting the existing moratorium - or simply ignoring it - would be a radical change in state policy ...Ending the wind development moratorium without clear rationale and rock-solid protections for our most-precious Vermont landscapes would be a significant step in the wrong direction.
The PSB attached a number of conditions to their approval of the project. As the Ridge Protectors, a group of people who have opposed the project for years, say, the attached conditions contain potential deal breakers and they intend to fight the actual project to the bitter end.
We are with them. The Sheffield voters, when they approved the project for an entirely illusory tax benefit, sold the Northeast Kingdom's birthright for a mess of pottage. Assuming The Ridge Protectors prevail and the project is stopped, these same voters, when they discover the taste of pottage, will be thanking them.
The process is under the control of the developers and, to a lesser extent, state bureaucrats. Developers, with big bucks, pull no stops to get what they want. Some state bureaucrats see only "more taxes," while others want to feed the unsatiable power desires of growing population bases, such as in Chittenden County. And few state officials care at all about "us poor, ignorant folks" in rural areas of Vermont.
The public deserves an energy debate based in fact, not hyperbole. There are very well financed interests that, for personal financial gain, oppose Vermont Yankee. The actions of Mr. Blittersdorf are perhaps the most visible example of this taking place. He is part of a group of folks who have contributed heavily to political campaigns in order to have legislation passed that directly benefit them. These projects cost captive ratepayers as much as six times the current market price.