Library filed under General from Vermont
Eric Rosenbloom, a resident of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, addresses why wind power does not live up to advocates' claims, why its impact on the environment and people's lives is far from benign and how money invested in wind energy could be better spent.
The Bennington Banner (editorial, Sept. 8) appears to think that those who oppose industrial wind power plants on the ridgelines prefer nuclear radiation, coal smoke, and mercury poisoning. They have created a paper tiger and missed the real argument.
The drive to develop our ridgelines is part of the same industrial arrogance, the same corporate piracy, that drives the war and poverty machine Newton calls attention to.
It's not easy to strike a balance, and that's where the friction arises. In Vermont, it is playing out as the U.S. Forest Service is faced with delivering a new management plan for the Green Mountain National Forest, a 400,000-acre parcel of public land in central and southern Vermont.
Every decision must be guided by one overriding principle -- to safeguard the uniqueness that is Vermont.
The proponents of this project claim that wind power is an effective and cost-efficient way to produce renewable, emission free energy. Our research has convinced us that this claim is false.
Wind power is an idea that is appealing to the imagination. It sounds like a "free" source of energy that would be non-polluting and stable in cost. I am an optimist, and I love technology. If I thought for one moment that windmills would be a source of low cost energy, I would be building them. The reality is quite the contrary--wind power is wasteful of human and natural resources.
Vermonters cannot let such a blatant take-back of the public trust succeed. They must not stand idly by while the state's ridgelines are sacrificed to wind development.
In "Going With The Wind" (July 21), George Sterzinger [executive director of the Renewable Energy Policy Project] writes, "Every kWh of wind avoids on average 1.3 pounds of CO2 emissions from natural gas generation and is therefore at least a step towards a prudent climate stabilization policy."
Do we now want to see pristine ridge lines turned into pincushions with enormous white turbines whirring along the skyline? Most people support clean energy sources, but at what price? Is this the vision Americans had of its national forests when these wild places were set aside for our children and their children to enjoy?
Because wind is variable and unreliable and no more than a marginal and supplemental source of energy, it will make no more than a token difference in the fight to halt climate change.
What Vermont is lacking, however, is leadership on the controversial matter of wind turbines on mountain tops. The state's ridgelines are the wrong place to put 330-foot-tall wind towers.
These mountains, the rare northern quiet and spectacular natural beauty that are so integral to Vermont need protection.
Londonderry (VT) resident, Hugh Kemper, wrote this paper to alert fellow residents to the probable impact on Londonderry's character and the quality of residents' lives of a proposed 27 turbine wind plant along 3.5 miles of Glebe Mountain's ridgeline. The paper argues that industrial wind energy is, at best, a symbolic gesture to halting climate change and a financial windfall for developers while the costs to Londonderry's environment, economy and quality-of-life are significant.
Where is the governor? He ought to lay his cards on the table for all of Vermont to see.
..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.
Eric Rosenbloom's list of the current industrial-scale wind projects targeted for Vermont. Note the huge leap in size from the existing Searsburg facility that we are all urged to go see and love and consequently love as well the new very much larger facilities being planned.
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?