The current hype surrounding wind energy is just that and is a costly distraction from securing clean energy that is also reliable.
Last week, the New England Governors' Conference raised green fantasy to new heights with the release of its Renewable Energy Blueprint, which said the region "has a significant quantity of untapped renewable resources, on the order of over 10,000 MW combined of on-shore and off-shore wind power potential." Neither the report nor the news articles about it bothered to do the math. At 7 MW, New England would need 1,429 E-126s to tap that potential. Though the turbines likely would be clustered in "farms," that's an average of 238 per state, or more than one for each town in Connecticut. The cost would be $221 billion that the states don't have, though they might get a bulk-purchase discount of a billion or two.
In addition to the issue of scale, there are risks to jobs and the local economy, as well as questions about what a project this size might do to property values. These are reasonable questions that have yet to be answered.
The vote on Jan. 16 will be my first in Barton. I’m looking forward to helping send a clear message to the Barton Board of Selectmen, Vermont’s Public Service Board, and others that solutions to creating energy independence must necessarily focus on renewable energy sources that are sustainable as well as reflect and respect the local resources, community and way of life.
The UPC Vermont Wind proposal must be resoundingly rejected. The electricity debate must move forward. Vermont must maintain its leadership role in promoting energy programs that make sense. For while I’ve learned that there isn’t much wind up here, there are substantial, renewable and sustainable energy sources to be tapped into here in the NEK, just ask your neighbors.
Janson's plain-speaking decision should serve to remind all Vermonters of the core values that are the foundation of this special state: honoring promises, high standards for development, environmental preservation.
There is room for wind power in Vermont's energy mix, but it must be in harmony with other key environmental concerns, such as protecting the state's ridgelines from industrial development.
There is another solution to Vermont’s energy needs, and I suggest that a second nuclear power plant be given serious consideration.
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?
What is needed is a new process that works toward our goal of a fossil fuel free future; determines the best way to achieve that goal taking into consideration human health, the environment, and other factors; and respects the right of local Vermonters to control their future in their own homes.
The development of wind power along Vermont's ridgelines has divided Vermonters in a way development issues do not normally split environmentalists. Is Green Mountain Power's Kingdom Community Wind Project planned for Lowell Mountain really a needed investment in our local quest to confront climate change or will it unnecessarily despoil what is at the heart of what Vermonters cherish -- our scenic ridgelines?
..it was the Sheffield people who voted "no" who have done their homework. The yes votes came from people who would sell out their town and the NEK in hopes that UPC's corporate welfare would trickle down to them and pay their taxes.
We shouldn't dynamite our mountain ridgelines to build a tool that can't achieve our carbon reduction objective. We shouldn't build power plants in the Kingdom when the demand is in Chittenden County. We shouldn't ignore the clear-cutting of hundreds of acres of trees that are our best carbon vacuum cleaners. We shouldn't allow runoff from miles of mountaintop roads and dozens of massive concrete base pads akin to any Wal-Mart parking lot. We shouldn't use a tool that kills off wildlife. How can anyone possibly justify such a tool receiving a permit to take endangered species?
Vermonters cannot let such a blatant take-back of the public trust
succeed. They must not stand idly by while the state's ridgelines are
sacrificed to wind development.