Articles from 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.
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.
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?
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."
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.
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.
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.
National Geographic research suggests, according to Tourtellot, that tourists are increasingly seeking unspoiled views, cultural arts, local crafts, specialty cuisine and original architecture. As the character and authenticity of more and more heretofore pristine travel destinations is spoiled by development, Vermont should be well positioned to tap this lucrative and growing market- if Vermont preserves its unspoiled character.
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.