Articles filed under Energy Policy from Vermont
"It's important that people realize the scope of them, the number and the size," (Gov.) Douglas said. "We need to slow down. This is a very important decision."
Gov. Jim Douglas has rightly said that the push for industrial wind power should slow down. Vermonters need to think about where these enormous wind towers are being proposed: on top of our mountains in some of the most beautiful corners of the state. Industrial wind turbines don't belong on Vermont's ridgelines.
A Massachusetts wind developer has met his match in the Northeast Kingdom, where people are rallying against his plan to industrialize their ridgeline with massive turbines.
Bravo. Finally, a declarative statement on wind energy after months of murky confusion. Finally, a break in the clouds that have shrouded an issue that is critical to all Vermonters but has been driven largely by wind developers and advocates. Taken at face value, Gov. Jim Douglas is saying "No" to big wind.
It suggests a welcoming atmosphere for the industrial wind developers who are gauging the state's appetite for wind towers on our ridgelines. That's not the intent of the proclamation, according to Jason Gibbs, the governor's spokesman. It's about promoting renewable energy in general, and small wind power projects specifically -- on "a Vermont scale."
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.
Speak out for your ridge lines and public land now before the opportunity passes and the Green Mountains become industrial wind parks.
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.
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?
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.
Where is the governor? He ought to lay his cards on the table for all of Vermont to see.
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?
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.