Vermont Senator Says State Energy Plan Has Become “A Blind Obsession”

I got an e-mail from reader Thomas L. with a link to an opinion piece at Vermont Tiger titled “Fire On The Mountain“, written by Vermont state Senator Joe Benning.

Vermont disfigures, self-mutilates its scenic ridgelines and mountains for the sake of a blind obsession. Source:

It shows how public opinion on the issue of “green” energy is evolving in Vermont, and that (some) people are finally coming to their senses. Also read big-wind-moratorium/.

German readers will quickly see that Vermont is not leading the world in renewable energy, but is in fact now just a monkey imitating the failed energy policies we’ve already seen here in Europe and Germany. Vermont’s leaders are not visionaries; they have blindly hitched their wagon to a European train whose locomotive has already gone over the edge of a cliff. It’s time to unhitch.


Fire On The Mountain
by Joe Benning

Recently I hiked up to the top of Lowell Ridge to see where twenty-one, four hundred foot wind towers will be placed. As I crested the mountain I came face to face with an energy policy that is at war with itself. The environmental destruction taking place there pits those seeking to reverse climate change against those who wish to preserve Vermont’s pristine natural resources. While that battle rages, the economic cost to Vermont has been pushed aside as irrelevant.

Our new energy policy calls for a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050. Targeting our entire energy spectrum (including transportation), it relies on instate renewables to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. At the same time we’re eliminating Hydro Quebec, nuclear power, fracked natural gas and less efficient biomass electricity as acceptable “renewables.” Industrial wind, currently the darling of the present administration, has become the power that now drives our legislative policy.

What price are we willing to pay for this new policy? Vermont currently does a better job than most states at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, so self-imposed mandates are not even necessary. And to those who believe Vermont will “lead the way” in reversing climate change, any hope that Vermont alone can cause a world-wide domino effect to achieve this lofty goal should be carefully balanced against the very real environmental destruction taking place right now in the cherished natural solitude of the Northeast Kingdom.

And more wind farms are coming as corporate investors, motivated by tax incentives and artificially inflated electric rates, seduce small towns with infusions of cash. Since wind is intermittent and has no storage capacity, our policy alone will require more wind farms and many miles of transmission lines to achieve our energy goal. If regulatory authorities fall short insisting on decommissioning plans, our ridgelines will end up littered with forty story rusting hulks when this technology becomes obsolete. These new wind farms are encroaching on our wildlife corridors, destroying pristine mountain environments and radically changing the aesthetics of our state. They pit citizens of towns against each other, and towns against towns in a given region.

In the meantime, we in the legislature have not been living up to the responsibility that comes with guarding Vermont’s Constitution. Article 18 urges us to be moderate and frugal when enacting only such legislation as is necessary for the good government of this state. At a time when Vermont already has more power than it can use, our new policy is not moderate, not frugal, and certainly not necessary. We haven’t even taken the time to ask ourselves what these policy goals will mean to our economy in the absence of similar goals in surrounding states.

I cannot support the raping of a pristine environment in exchange for intermittent power that has to be subsidized by both the taxpayer and the ratepayer. At a time when Vermont already has an ample power supply, this is no energy plan, it is a blind obsession. It’s time for Vermonters of every political stripe to join together in defense of ‘These Green Hills and Silver Waters.'”


Joe Benning is a Republican State Senator from the Caledonia-Orange District and his piece first appeared at vermont


12 responses to “Vermont Senator Says State Energy Plan Has Become “A Blind Obsession””

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  3. DirkH

    Hey, shovel-ready projects! At least you’re getting a nice road network right on the mountain ridges.

  4. DirkH

    Bill McKibben: ““There isn’t a country left that hasn’t felt the sting of climate change—that’s why this effort is so widespread,” said Bill McKibben”
    Okay, the sting of climate change should therefor be felt in Germany… let’s see:
    “In Kiel, Germany, volunteers will invite pedestrians leaving one of the city’s subway stations to put their fingerprint on “Connect the Dots” banner as a pledge to stand in solidarity with victims of climate change.”
    That’s it for Germany. Phew.

    1. DJL

      There connecting the wrong dots. The only “victims” are the one’s in fuel poverty due to green energy.

  5. DirkH

    Merkel government decides moratorium on fracking. Greens say it’s an NRW elections related ruse.
    Spiegel, engl.
    A second source from the gas industry, German

    Goody! I’m outta the market!

    1. Ed Caryl

      Let’s see….
      No nuclear
      No coal
      No gas
      Solar doesn’t work
      Wind doesn’t work
      Pedal generators? At least that will keep one warm.

      1. Scarface

        It will return to burning wood.
        You will get warm three times: cutting, chopping and burning.

  6. DirkH

    While the above pictured small and harmless necessary measures are obviously happening in perfect harmony with nature, the evil citizens of Tombstone dared to use highly destructive technology like a *wheelbarrow* to repair their destroyed water lines.

    Thankfully Obama’s government agencies stepped in before too much damage was done, and the citizens of tombstone have been ordered to do the repairs using hand tools and horses only.

    1. Ed Caryl

      Wheel barrows should have been OK. But nothing with a motor is allowed in a wilderness area. The problem began when Tombstone allowed their spring to be included in the Wilderness area. Although, they may not have had any chance to oppose the declaration. All it takes is an Executive Order. It is one of the classic ways the Federal Government ties up an area.

  7. Ed Caryl

    I just remembered. Nothing with a wheel. (that was to keep out bicycles, cars, motorcycles, etc.) Beware unintended consequences.

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