Mark Whitworth | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Mark Whitworth 
Member since Dec 13, 2015



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Re: “Sound and Fury: Wind Foe Unleashes Blast of Rhetoric

John Walters is right about one thing: I don't like his commentary.

I gave him detailed answers to his questions and provided substantial background material. He neglected most of it and he misconstrued much of the rest.

If Seven Days is to initiate an adult discussion of climate change, public health, environment, energy, and greed, Mr. Walters won't be helpful. We sorely need that adult discussion.

If Seven Days is to cover the interplay among the energy industry, our regulators, our legislature, and lobbying organizations like VPIRG, Mr. Walters won't be helpful. These are issues that must be covered.

41 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Mark Whitworth on 10/25/2017 at 4:43 PM

Re: “Ill Winds: New Rules Could Hamstring Vermont Wind Power

Well, my commentary in Digger on the issue doesnt make a recommendation (…), but please read it anyway.

The argument that the new PSB rule constitutes a ban on wind is easily refuted:

1. The new rule is less strict than the rules that govern existing wind projects in Vermont. That is because existing turbines cannot exceed 30dBA indoors. The new rule has no indoor limit.
(The PSB has not been enforcing the indoor noise limit. What will happen if our new PSB Chair is more interested in enforcing PSB rules than the outgoing Chair?)

2. The new rule allows wind developers to work with neighbors to agree on different, less strict noise and setback limits. If wind is as popular as its proponents claim, then this should not be a problem at all! If wind proponents have been lying about winds popularity, then what else have they been lying about?

12 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Mark Whitworth on 06/07/2017 at 6:29 PM

Re: “Solar Solidarity? Scott, SunCommon Find Common Ground

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.

14 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Mark Whitworth on 01/09/2017 at 5:08 PM

Re: “The Mulvaney-Stanaks: A Family Divided Over a Vermont Election

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).

32 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Mark Whitworth on 11/07/2016 at 10:09 AM

Re: “Winds of November: Windham, Grafton to Weigh In on Turbine Project

Hoo boy!

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?

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mark Whitworth on 09/07/2016 at 8:50 PM

Re: “Walk of Ages: How a Vermont March Helped Launch a Climate Movement

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!

11 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Mark Whitworth on 09/01/2016 at 7:56 AM

Re: “Pro-Wind Group Seeks to Change Message

Energize Vermont first reported on Wind Works VT on July 26. You can read our report here:…

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 The current domain name,, 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.

47 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by Mark Whitworth on 08/11/2016 at 4:33 PM

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