Library filed under Impact on Landscape from Vermont
For years environmentalist fought ski areas over putting one lift up to a summit for thousands of skiers and riders to enjoy. Now some of these same environmentalists support desecrating entire ridge lines with heavy-duty roadways and giant wind turbines towering 400 to 450-feet with wing spans greater than a 747. I do not get it. How do these big white erections pass as "green"?
"The permit decision violates federal laws on numerous grounds - conflict of interest, failure to independently evaluate noise and aesthetics, the impacts of blasting and the impacts to groundwater, the changed circumstance regarding bats, and the degradation of the neighboring George D. Aiken Wilderness, to name a few."
NOTICE OF APPEAL
The irony of fighting global warming by destroying an untrammeled mountaintop can't be ignored. To me, it sounds suspiciously like the Vietnam-era fallacy that you have to destroy the village in order to save it. ...We need a more thoughtful way to make those choices when mountaintops are involved. Vermont's mountain summits are too precious a resource to be made a pawn in the alternative energy game.
According to an email from Deputy Secretary Christopher Recchia "(the agency) did not see a way of overcoming these resource obstacles, as there is no opportunity for nearby off site compensation that could maintain the connectivity goal, not to mention the steep hurdle of the natural communities on the site."
Vermont's Energy Options is a documentary work-in-progress being produced by non-profit Energize Vermont. The purpose of the documentary is to examine the different paths Vermont has to a renewable energy future and create a dialogue around their respective impacts and benefits. Duration: 19 minutes 27 seconds
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.
McGee says that an injunction preventing people from peaceably assembling on their land violates their constitutional rights. The claim is slightly different from a garden-variety free speech case because people usually do not go to court for the right to protest on their own land.
This picture was taken from the top of Lowell Mountain in Vermont, 20 miles away and northeast of the turbines in the view. First Wind erected the sixteen 2.5 megawatt Clipper wind turbines. Each stands over 420 feet tall.
This video documents the mountain top destruction happening on Lowell Mountain in Vermont in order to construct a 21-turbine wind power plant. Other clips on the construction can be found here. Duration 1 minute 38 seconds
Current governor, Peter Shumlin, supports wind energy on Vermont's ridgelines. His Natural Resources Secretary, Deb Markowitz, says development on state land is possible, even with the moratorium.
So, where are these Vermonters saying, "Yes! Take our mountains - destroy our natural resources! We love seeing big business covering all 200 miles of our ridgelines. We love how you manipulate our government, destroy our environment and threaten our neighbors. "
Lowell wind opponents were outraged that problems cropped up with the project so early in the construction phase. During storm water hearings this summer, they questioned whether the state has enough staff involved in erosion control oversight to handle high-elevation construction sites like the Lowell wind project.
Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz confirmed that the order had been issued for what an inspector determined was inadequate handling of storm runoff during the early stages of work on the project, which is being developed by Green Mountain Power Corp.
Vermont's proud history of leadership in developing innovative, effective environmental protection is being tossed aside. This project will set an ominous precedent by ripping apart a healthy, intact ecosystem in the guise of doing something about climate change. In return, Green Mountain Power will receive $44 million in federal production tax credits ...The pursuit of large-scale, ridgeline wind power in Vermont represents a profound failure to understand the value of our landscape to our souls and our economic future in Vermont.
The District 7 Commission of the ANR ruled that the cross was "shocking and offensive," and wants it down. State attorneys confirmed that the evidence has been reopened for the case, due to the erection of the wind towers, but declined to comment for the record. The judge is agreeable to admitting new evidence based on the wind towers being in the view shed, attorneys on both sides said.
We are in a fragile economy, with a glut of electricity available in New England at low cost for the foreseeable future. The price of solar energy is declining every day. More than 90 percent of Vermont's greenhouse gas emissions are from heating and transportation. With so much at stake for Vermont, the prudent thing to do is stop, look and listen. Wind developers and our political leaders owe it to all Vermonters and our wild creatures to make sure we get this right.
The board's approval came after the company's landowner-partner did some unauthorized work on the mountain and by building a logging road and filling in part of a nearby wetland.
"The governor is free to make deals," said Wright. "But his appointees also have an oath to protect the natural resources of the state." Wright said Vermont is destroying tens of thousands of years of geological history to make room for one short-term power project ...Where are the environmental groups, Wright asks. "Why aren't they acting with outrage that these mountains are being blasted away into rubble?"
Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz said her agency has been to the site and is assessing the damage. Markowitz said at the agency's request, Green Mountain Power asked the Public Service Board not to give final approval to its conservation easements until the issues are resolved.