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While last session's new law may have been designed to give communities more say in where energy projects can be built, that is not how it has worked out. As many critics predicted, Governor Shumlin's DPS overreached when it established standards for regional and municipal planners.
The net effect of Act 174 has been to enlist the state's regional planning commissions in the effort to strong-arm communities. The plan is to have RPCs identify locations where industrial solar and wind could go and force municipalities to put out the welcome mat. One RPC (TRORC) has identified locations in 28 of its 30 towns where industrial wind turbines could go. These towns include the Norwich (home town of PSB member Margaret Cheney) and Randolph (home to former DPS Commissioner Chris Recchia).
Some towns have already decided they're not going to play. Other towns (and more than one RPC) are delaying--they are counting on the Scott administration to introduce some sanity into the siting of renewables and Act 174's standards.
It has been a pleasure getting to know Ed over the last several years. He has a tremendous depth of knowledge of the issues related to climate change, energy, environment, and land use. He has an unshakable commitment to social justice (and a revulsion to the exploitation of Vermont's rural residents by unscrupulous wind developers).
The Iberdrola PR guy says, "We don't normally encounter the kind of divisive, visceral tone and tenor that seems to be present."
Nonsense! The wind developers create the divisions, stoke them up, and exploit them. That’s the first lesson in the wind playbook.
And then Blittersdorf says, "It's an extremely small amount of people who are extremely vocal. It becomes a mob."
David, it's either small or it's a mob. Which is it?
If McKibben spent more time working on his turbine project and less time on his fossil fuel intensive revival tours, then Middlebury Gap would already be festooned with 500-footers. Then he could learn what turbine neighbors around the world already know. His neighbors would revile him for advocating the pointless destruction of their environment and the ruination of their homes and lives.
Go for it Bill!
Energize Vermont first reported on Wind Works VT on July 26. You can read our report here: http://energizevermont.org/2016/07/iberdro…
When Wind Works VT first appeared, the telephone number displayed on the website was that of Alex MacLean who works for the lobbying firm KSE Partners. KSE represents Iberdrola, the Spanish energy giant that would like to lay waste to many of Vermont’s most precious ridgelines in exchange for large sums of taxpayer and ratepayer dollars.
Prior to joining KSE, Ms. MacLean, worked at her own public relations firm where she “managed crisis communications.” Before that she worked as an aide to Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and assistant to Jay Peak’s Bill Stenger. Insert your own "crisis communications" joke here.
We note with interest that Ms. MacLean’s website bio includes no reference to her time at Jay Peak with Bill Stenger. We wonder when her association with Peter Shumlin will become so hot that it too has to be expunged.
Since our original report, the Wind Works telephone number has changed. Good thinking.
If the name “WindWorksVT” has a familiar ring, it’s because it has been used at least twice before—once as the name of a WordPress blog and once as windworksvt.org. The current domain name, windworksvt.com, was registered on July 8, 2016.
We noted with amusement that on their new windworks website, the Iberdrola lobbyists expressed concern that “a small but vocal group of opponents, using fear tactics and misinformation, have dominated the public discourse about wind in recent years.”
They have a keen sense of irony, those Spaniards.
Is she running for a fourth Shumlin term?
Another pants-on-fire pip from the Guv.
In 2012, the governor told Kristen Carlson (then at WCAX), “I have always said and I will always say I believe that no energy project should be built in a town in Vermont where the residents of that community don’t vote affirmatively to host it. We shouldn’t send them into towns that don’t want them.”
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