Articles filed under General from Vermont
..as a Vermonter, I’m for preserving our ridgelines (as Act 250 was designed to do) and our natural landscapes. The integrity of our environment is not only a source of our strength and pride it is also critical to our economic wellbeing. It makes no sense to sacrifice who and what we are and what we have for no useful purpose.
What is unique to this state are the wild mountain tops for which Vermonters old and new have worked for a hundred years to restore and preserve. The desire to violate them not with manured hay fields but with collections of 330-foot-high steel and composite wind turbines -- for insignificant benefit other than profits for a few -- reveals a set of values that some people do not find attractive, wherever they come from.
UPC plans for turbines on Mars Hill, southwest of Caribou in northern Maine, have received broad support from residents and politicians. But UPC has hit organized opposition in the other two northern New England states. Two-thirds of residents in tiny Lyman, N.H., petitioned town authorities to stop UPC from erecting a test tower on a ridge west of Mount Washington. And UPC last month underwent a week-long interrogation in Sheffield, Vt.
Will they demonstrate that remote ridgelines in the Northeast Kingdom are to be sacrificed to commercial wind development -- and that only a few souls way up north who have lost their peaceful retreat to strobe-lighted industrial monoliths will complain?
Blasting Vermont's lovely ridgelines to ram monstrous turbine assemblies into the earth, along with clearcut wide strong roads through wild areas and ever more power lines strung about, is a violent assault, despoiling all life around it.
Vermonters must decide if it is worth destroying their exquisite mountains for symbolism -- because the giant wind turbines being proposed for the ridgelines won't produce much power.
We cannot lose sight of Vermont's distinctive place in the world with its open spaces and gorgeous vistas. It is up to us to continue the legacy. Real jobs, real lives depend on it.
Almost 70 years ago, Vermonters decided man's hand did not need to be evident everywhere. Remember that spirit now as this state considers allowing wind turbines on ridgelines.
Everyone probably agrees with the fundamental goal of the legislation -- to protect Vermont's fragile environment by increasing the use of clean energy. But before lawmakers rush into mandates, they must ensure the measure doesn't inadvertently harm the economy or the landscape.
And, while I agree with Mr. Shutkin that wind power, as a source of clean and renewable energy, should and will play a role in our future energy portfolio, its role will necessarily be small because of its fundamental limitation as an energy source: wind power is ‘intermittent’, i.e. it provides energy only when the wind blows, and, as such, wind power is a source of supplemental, not ‘base load’ energy.
Vermont must move in a measured, thoughtful way as it considers the potential and pitfalls of wind power.
A NIMBY, of course, is the ultimate pejorative as it suggests we’re hypocrites, i.e. individuals who are for a ‘good thing’ in principle (in this instance wind power as a source of clean and renewable energy) but not if it comes to our neighborhood.
In Vermont, wind power will not dependably replace any of the conventional power generating systems currently employed. It will, however, convert the only remaining quasi-pristine natural areas in Vermont into stony mesas with high-tech whirligigs as monuments to our collective gullibility.
The tone and substance of your 3/27 editorial ‘Wind must be part of energy mix’ suggests you, as is true of many Vermonters, have been simply co-opted by wind power advocates with little or no homework done on what impact industrial wind power would have on Vermont’s environment, economy and quality of life.
While Vermonters are reasonably familiar with the benefits of industrial wind turbines, we have not done our homework on the impact of their construction on our environment, economy and quality-of-life.
This letter replies to Putney resident John Berkowitz's letter entitled "Vermont can benefit from wind power," which appeared in the Manchester Journal on March 12 [click here]. Mr. Berkowitz argues against a three-year moratorium on wind power in Vermont and in favor of wind power because it will (1) help Vermont and America stop and reduce global warming, (2) help our economy by providing construction and permanent jobs, (3) help secure our energy future, and (4) help our wildlife. Finally, Mr. Berkowitz urges us "to learn more about the issue."
The threat to Vermont posed by industrial wind power is real. Our cause is just. We will prevail. After all, it is simply common sense.
At first gust, wind power sounds like an environmentalist's dream. An endless supply of clean, renewable energy that will help reduce pollution and lower dependence on greenhouse- gas belching power plants and radioactive-waste generating nuclear facilities.
"I realize that our ridge tops are not a legally constituted commons in whose future we all have an interest. But wouldn't it be a benefit to the community if they were? After all, they represent a natural legacy left to us by our predecessors in this area, whether by intention or default."