Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from Vermont
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.
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.
"The Lowell wind project is a high-risk site with steep elevations and very erodible soils, the Applicants have proposed the use of alternate Best Management Practices, which are essentially untested and unproven at scale this large," stated Geoff Goll of Princeton Hydro, the experts hired by Energize Vermont to examine the application.
If the GMP project goes ahead, decision-makers will be viewed as having "destroyed one of the beautiful pristine areas of Vermont ... for no good reason at a time when a better alternative was just about to come into reach."
What is the hurry? My experience has shown the correlation between speed and quality is poor at best. ...Does the current administration want to be blaming poor forethought later because we "fast tracked" for a tax credit for Canadian Gaz Metro?
If the governor were being ingenuous, he might advocate a moratorium on any proposed wind project until his secretary had completed her charge. ...We know why Shumlin and Powell cannot wait: Federal money available for this, otherwise, "never never" plan evaporates at midnight at the end of this year if the Certificate of Public Good is not in hand.
Asked why they oppose a wind-turbine development on Lowell Mountain, Steve Wright and Ron Holland unrolled an 8-foot-long photo montage on Wright's kitchen table. ...This, they said, is the landscape that draws visitors and permanent residents to Craftsbury, Irasburg and neighboring towns in the highlands of the Northeast Kingdom.
The Green Mountain National Forest will take comments from the public until Feb. 18 on a proposed 17-turbine, 34-megawatt, wind power facility in Searsburg and Readsboro. The project has been proposed by Deerfield Wind, LLC, a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables.
Not that the students oppose wind power per se, says Ira Powsner, a Sterling junior who's majoring in conservation ecology and who helped get the petition started. They just believe that 400-plus-foot turbines aren't appropriate for ridgelines in general, and for Lowell in particular. The students are especially familiar with that one, because it's the destination of their annual "winter expedition."
Annette Smith, the head of Vermonters for a Clean Environment (VCE), the only green group opposing wind power in Vermont (the other, Energize Vermont, is really a VCE spinoff) said she had spent a lot of time discussing the wind issue with officials of the other environmental groups, and suspects that one reason they are all so pro-wind is that a few of them have some financial connections with wind power companies.
Smith told the crowd about how the Vermont Public Service review process works, including the PSB's ability to include or exclude groups that would normally have party status under Act 250, Vermont's land use review law. Smith provided maps showing where wind projects in Vermont are approved, under review and/or proposed and also detailed how local communities would be impacted.