Articles from Vermont
An attorney for environmental advocate Annette Smith has asked the Vermont attorney general’s office to cease the criminal investigation it has launched against her.
“It’s entirely politically motivated,” Sleigh said in an interview Friday. “The people who have found Annette’s opposition to their desires frustrating are now attempting to use the government as their surrogate to shut her up. That’s about as low-down political as you can get.”
“The results show that we would need 42 new megawatts of wind, 10 new megawatts of hydro and 174 megawatts of solar,” she said. “When we first saw those numbers it took our breath away quite literally because the numbers seem so huge.” ...The state, in her view, does have the property available for such projects without encroaching on sensitive residential areas or environmental habitats.
Environmental activist Annette Smith was notified last week by the Vermont attorney general’s office that she was under criminal investigation for allegedly practicing law without a license, Smith said.
Yesterday the "Top Story" on caledonianrecord.com was a wire report titled "Thorn in Side of Powerful Faces Criminal Probe."
TARGETED: A Burlington-based law firm with ties to green-energy CEO David Blittersdorf has been investigating Annette Smith, who recently found out she is the target of a criminal probe by the Vermont Attorney General office.
Dozens of submissions will need to be vetted in coming months as the three states look to sign long-term contracts for electricity from wind turbines, dams and solar projects. The states are seeking up to 600 megawatts of power.
“To the benefit of the wind industry, and apparently to those agencies promoting large wind installations on our ridgelines here in Vermont, the issue of infrasound has thus far been successfully suppressed and ignored.” His talk will point out that methodological shortcomings plague many of the large-scale industry or government-sponsored studies that state agencies rely upon to establish protective sound levels.
Annette Smith has been fighting the power for more than 15 years, tenaciously opposing energy projects she believes harm the environment or quality of life in Vermont. Now she is the target of a criminal investigation ...her only offense is too often annoying a green power industry that boasts deep pockets. "Even though this is a preposterous charge, and will likely be thrown out, its purpose will be fulfilled: to chill anyone's free speech rights who dares to question the powerful in Montpelier," attorney Deborah Bucknam wrote in an op-ed.
It’s no secret that many of his neighbors are dead-set against the endeavor. Their lawn signs have proliferated throughout this corner of Vermont. Opponents to construction on this ridge helped launch the recent call for a total ban on “industrial,” large-scale wind in Vermont.
The attorney general is siding with Vermont’s large law firms and big lobbyists to deprive opponents of industrial wind the advice of a person who knows the intricacies of the proceedings and can help those who cannot afford the high-priced lawyers the developers can. And make no mistake. Even though this is a preposterous charge and will likely be thrown out, its purpose will be fulfilled: to chill anyone’s free speech rights who dares to question the powerful in Montpelier.
I recently read that the Vermont attorney general’s office is investigating Annette Smith of Vermonters for a Clean Environment. The purpose of the investigation is supposedly for “possible unauthorized practice of law.”
The letter suggested that all registered voters and all taxpayers be included in any vote, and that the Select Board should present the vote to Iberdrola as the “formal and only position of the town of Grafton on the matter.”
Taken together with the thousands of case reports from around the world (I personally have seen three families here in the Northeast Kingdom that have been forced to abandon their homes due to adverse health effects from nearby wind turbines), stricter full-spectrum noise standards for these large wind projects are urgently needed.
The head of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, Annette Smith, is under criminal investigation by the Vermont attorney general’s office for the possible unauthorized practice of law. “I can confirm that a criminal investigation is underway,” Assistant Attorney General John Treadwell said in an interview Friday afternoon. “I cannot comment further at this time.”
The state attorney general’s office has opened an investigation into criminal complaints against a prominent champion of Vermonters who are adversely affected by renewable development. The attorney general’s office is investigating whether Annette Smith, executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, has practiced law without a license.
Wednesday brought the biggest show of force yet by Vermonters upset with the state’s siting process for energy projects. What has in recent years been a relatively small group of wind opponents has grown into a legion of people worried about wind and solar, including town leaders from across the state.
On Wednesday, more than 100 protesters gathered at the Statehouse to demand local control for energy siting. Leading the demonstration were state Sen. John Rodgers, D-Essex/Orleans; Karen Horn, policy director for the Vermont League of Cities and Towns; and Don Chioffi, a member of the Rutland Selectboard. Together they argued the energy project siting process as it stands now oversteps the will of ratepayers.
The bills would ban any wind energy project with a capacity of 500 kilowatts or more -- like existing projects in Sheffield and Georgia Mountain -- though small individual turbines would still be allowed. Strong and Rodgers cited the impact on the environment as well as the preservation of Vermont’s scenic resources as their motivations for pushing for an industrial wind ban
“We’re supposed to write our plans so that, if we plan for renewables they tell us we have to have, we’ll get greater standing at the Public Service Board — why didn’t that happen before? Because it is the state mandating, and that’s not what we need,” Smith said. ...Vermonters want renewable energy, Smith said, and legislators must trust that localities will site renewable energy projects without the heavy hand of state government requiring that they do so.