Library filed under Energy Policy from Vermont

Smith needs to clear the air

If Shap Smith wants to be lieutenant governor, he must provide Vermonters with a full explanation of the above relationship and the failure of the House to pass meaningful industrial wind and solar regulation over the past six years. He must clear the air of the perception of conflict of interest now hanging over his head.
26 May 2016

Renewable siting legislation may restrict wind energy developers

“In my interpretation, what Vermont’s Legislature has just done is they have declared that there exists an ‘imminent peril to public health, safety and welfare from wind turbine noise,’” Smith said, quoting from the statute. Moreover, the emergency rule sound standards must not exceed an average 45 decibels outside a home and average 30 decibels inside. Smith claims those limits are not currently being met by many wind projects, including Sheffield Wind, a 40-megawatt, 16-turbine project in Sheffield.
20 May 2016

In wind-sensitive Windham, energy siting bill disappoints

Windham’s ban on large wind turbines is “based on the unique topography and settlement patterns of our town, our 10 years of research and knowledge and the support of the majority of our residents and property owners,” according to the town plan. Yet Iberdrola’s proposal has spurred intense debate as proponents and opponents debate the potential environmental and financial impacts. The project is expected to be the subject of votes in both towns this year.
19 May 2016

Renewable energy siting bill passes despite end of session wrangling

The bill halts wind turbine approvals for 45 days, to give the Public Service Board time to draft provisional sound standards that will apply through July 2017, the date by which the board must have adopted permanent rules on sound the structures produce. Those rules must allow sound from the turbines at levels no greater than the most restrictive permit the Public Service Board has yet granted.
7 May 2016

Klein: Retroactive noise standard provision may be unconstitutional

“If they come back and say, ‘We’re concerned about this retroactive date of April 15, and we believe you should make it upon passage, the effective date’ … we’d have to remove the April 15 date and the only way we could do that would be through a conference committee,” Klein said. “We are preparing for all eventualities.” The April 15 deadline ensures that a wind project proposed in Swanton would have to comply with the new standards, Klein said.
5 May 2016

Legislature must act to protect Vermonters from pollution

The more projects GMP builds, the more money CEO Mary Powell makes. ...People who live near an GMP's industrial wind project according to the Vermont Public Service Department will experience “a significant impairment of quality of life” who unlike the CEO of GMP will not be compensated by a higher bonus in their paycheck. 
23 Apr 2016

Energy siting bill passes with stricter wind provisions

The bill now states that on or before Sept. 15, 2017 the Public Service Board “shall adopt” specific sound standards for industrial wind turbines. These standards, once adopted, would apply to any project application submitted since April 15. “That provision is huge,” said state Rep. Michael Hebert, R-Vernon. “It addresses in a substantial way the concerns of the people here. They may finally get relief.”
22 Apr 2016

Vermont renewable siting bill has uncertain fate in the House

After receiving dozens of hours of development and revision in Senate committees and on the floor, the ever-changing energy siting bill, S.230, appears to be faltering in the House Energy Committee. “As this goes on I’m getting more concerned that we are running out of time, and I don’t want to force something through that is not complete.” 
14 Apr 2016

Citizens group asks AG to investigate green-energy ‘corruption’ in Vermont government

On March 22, Vermonters for a Clean Government delivered a 16-document packet to the attorney general’s office that provides ammunition for investigating “suspected misconduct” among top Vermont officials. One of the documents, an eight-page petition for a corruption investigation, cites potential ethics violations ranging from conflicts of interest and favoritism to influence peddling and collusion.
11 Apr 2016

Senate votes to allow more local scrutiny of wind power

“The question here really is are we so distrustful of the Public Service Board — and for some in this room I'm sure the answer is yes — that the board can actually develop policies and behave in a way that does ensure people can have peaceful living if they happen to be located near a wind turbine,” Ashe said. In fact, the answer to that question was yes for the majority of the senators in the room, and the amendment passed.
2 Apr 2016
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