Vermonters who care about protecting the state’s ridgelines from industrial development need to pay attention to UPC’s plans. Even better, they need to reach out to the residents who are carrying the load on behalf of the rest of us — citizens’ groups like the Ridge Protectors and little towns like Sutton, Lyndonville, Kirby and Barton. They face an expensive legal fight ahead.
With this overwhelming mandate from the voters and our town plan to defend, our selectmen did the proper thing by hiring an attorney to fight these out of state developers who would exploit our Town and the NEK for their own gain. Allowing this development of go ahead, right in the middle of the NEK, would be shortsighted and inconsistent with our Town Plan and the values Vermonters have shared about their landscape for centuries. Come on Nov. 8 and vote to support our selectmen and protect our town.
People have different takes on the wind tower controversy. Some will tell you it's all about global warming; others see it as a property rights issue. We tend to see it as a set of questions about the nature and future of small communities like our own.
For instance, can they survive in the age of global corporations? Can they develop their own resources and plan their own destinies, or do they have value only when they can be developed by someone else and as part of someone else's agenda?
And do they deserve to survive? Are they republics in miniature or merely the pocket-sized fiefdoms of a few good old boys? Do they hold together through ties of common interest and mutual affection, or must they inevitably be pried apart by any outsider who knows how to locate the fault lines of old resentments?
If the pessimistic answers to the questions above are the true ones, then perhaps small towns ought to go the way of the dodo bird. In that case, UPC may truly be an instrument of progress. We happen not to think so, which is why we're betting on Sutton, and voting to keep the lawyer.
I agree that wind power has potential and the theory behind its use is a great one but there is one major downfall that sends all the ideas of economical and “green” power out the window. That downfall is the simple fact that it is unreliable power.
While he has supported smaller scale wind power projects, Douglas stood against industrial wind turbines on the mountaintops. The governor has taken heat for this position, but he's right. Vermont's undeveloped ridgelines are a precious treasure to be protected always.
Would the PSB or any sane person allow any type of efficient base load generating facility to be built on these high elevation ridge lines? Obviously not. Then how could anyone allow an inefficient unreliable generating facility, visible for miles and close to residences and wetlands, to be built there?
Vermonters should stand up for the landscape that makes Vermont as special as it is. Vermonters should stand up to protect our land from those who wish to profit at our expense from perhaps the most valued resource we have: The beauty of our beloved Green Mountains of Vermont!
The day after the Nov. 7 election, residents of Sutton will be asked to participate in another vote.
Members of this Northeast Kingdom community will be asked to decide whether the town should continue to pay a lawyer to oppose the UPC Wind project proposed for the mountains around their town.
Residents should vote yes.
Whether intended or not, Mr. Gray has successfully reaffirmed the inadequacy and impotency of wind energy in New England.
Hydro Quebec (HQ) and Entergy/Vermont Yankee (VY) combine to provide Vermont with over 60 percent of its base load power, 24 hours per day 7 days per week, 365 days a year. Together, they represent safe, reliable and very clean sources of electric power. Renewables (i.e., small hydro, small wind, methane), efficiency and demand side management programs should be our first choice for new energy sources but, cannot realistically be relied upon to fill the enormous gap that would be created if VY’s license is not renewed beyond 2012 and the HQ contract is not renewed by 2016.
UPC’s claims to the board and to the media, that they have worked with the community in making these changes, are a lie. They are attempting to divide and bankrupt the opposition with these tactics, and in so doing are undermining the 248 process by making it too expensive for a small poor town or opposing group to participate. If they are successful and get their foot in the door, they will surely try to put in more towers here in the future, and the rush of wind developers in the NEK will begin. Hopefully the board will see the arrogance and duplicity of UPC’s ploy, and dismiss this case as soon as possible.
This 20-year commitment to our townspeople never saw the light of day. It has never been discussed nor has it ever been voted on by the people of Sheffield. Without input or a final vote, it would be a half-truth to report that Sheffield voted for or against industrial wind — they have never actually been given that right. Sheffield’s newly formed Planning Commission recently released its own town survey.
Sixty percent of residents, taxpayers, and landowners report they are “against” industrial scale wind development. Sadly, we may never know if Sheffield is “for” or “against” wind. But one thing’s for sure, its Selectboard likes it.
It’s a tough debate, one of the most perplexing we’ve covered. A lot of people, if you will pardon the pun, are teetering on that ridge line between protecting the Vermont we love and enlisting in the very important battle against global warming.
Speaking only for ourselves, VPIRG’s self-righteous preaching on the subject cheeses us off, when we consider the probity of the source. It tends to tip us a little toward the other side.
VPIRG needs to do what it can to fix the problem, but it’s pretty late in the game. Rather than purge its board, maybe it should just withdraw from the wind power debate, and leave the field to those whose arguments won’t carry even a whiff of conflicted interests.
....I do have to point out one false premise that you unfortunately
included in your call for more debate. That is the premise that the
Searsburg electrical generating station is acceptable as "Vermont
The current hype surrounding wind energy is just that and is a costly distraction from securing clean energy that is also reliable.
VPIRG’s advocacy of industrial wind energy is misplaced – the issue is emissions not ‘renewables’ per se.
Pamela Graves can test this for herself. Imagine that she has built a wind tower in her backyard to supply all her electrical needs. What will she do when the wind stops? Either the house will go dark and cold, or she will tap into the New England power grid, which is ready and waiting for her, powered by water, gas, coal and nuclear fuel.
Multiply her situation by 500,000, and you have the State of Vermont. It is evident that we will continue to rely on conventional sources of electricity, no matter how many wind towers are built.
There has been much discussion over Vermont's role in the local, regional and global energy solutions for the future. People from across the state may have differing views on the impact of energy on the environment and economy, but there is one point where there is consensus -- we must plan for Vermont's energy future together.
Beware, Washington voters — wind power is too good to be true. Approving the November ballot initiative [I-937] won't solve a thing. The current hype over wind power's credentials as a "clean and renewable" source of energy is belied by wind power's Achilles' heel — its intermittency. This fundamental flaw limits both wind energy's capacity value and its impact on emissions.
This needs to be said. The Free Press Editorial Board continues to strongly oppose wind turbines that damage and mar the state's ridgelines, and fervently hopes that state regulators agree and put Vermont's undeveloped landscape first in this matter. But this Editorial Board welcomes a thoughtful discussion about other options for turbine location -- the Searsburg towers prove that Vermont-scale opportunities exist -- and other methods of generating clean, renewable energy.