TV station WPTZ here reports that developers planned to build seven 500-foot-tall wind turbines near the town of Swanton, Vermont, near Lake Champlain. However the industrial colossuses are no longer welcome in a state that proudly views itself as green.
Hat-tip: Indomitable Snowman, Ph.D
Vermonters are finding out quickly that wind parks are massively industrial, not environmentally friendly, pose a serious threat to human health and birdlife, and that they are eyesores that ruin the state’s idyllic landscape. Wind parks installed in Lowell and Sheffield have clearly demonstrated that such projects are in fact far more environmental vandalism than they are “protection”.
The latest proposed Swanton wind park went up for a straight up or down vote among the local residents. The Result? “Residents voted 744-142 to support legislation giving towns the ability to oppose future projects.” That’s 83% to just 17%!
Residents be damned
So is this going to impress state officials, led by Governor Peter Shumlin? WPTZ reports:
State officials warned that the results of the two proposals are not binding. […] Townspeople currently don’t have a say in area wind development. […] Even with voting results, the state can still move forward with the development plan.”
In other words: Votes (democracy) are apparently no longer binding in Governor Peter Shumlin’s the kingdom of Vermont. Has he lost it?
Moreover, developers cried that the wording made it difficult to get a fair vote because it focused on the negatives of wind energy and not the positives. However many residents argue that there aren’t really any positive points and that the “clean energy” claim is only a feel-good argument. Wind energy is unpredictable, wildly fluctuating, severely stresses the power grid, and it is NOT cheap.
One resident in Vermont informed me by e-mail that the vote will not impress the state and that it will take a voters-be damned-view and simply steamroll the project through.
Irasburg residents reject wind park 274 – 9!
Meanwhile the VermontWatchdog here reports that the residents of Irasburg, located in rural, scenic northern Vermont, just stone throw away from the now infamous Lowell windpark, also recently voted on a proposed wind park, rejecting it by a vote of 274 to 9 (97% to 3%)! That vote result was so lopsided that the 9 votes probably came exclusively from the landowner and a few of his buddies.
The VermontWatchdog called the result “a stinging rebuke“.
The spirit of Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys is alive again in Vermont it seems. Vermonters must keep up the fight. The VermontWatchdog quotes citizen Paul Drayman:
There are big companies that are right now buying up some very large plots of land, and they’re targeting areas like this. … If we do not stop this, in 20 years you will not recognize this area. It will look very different.”
The “ruralness” that characterizes Vermont will be lost at least for a generation.
Here in Germany we have seen huge debacles in the country’s mad rush to wind energy. Any Vermont resident is welcome to contact me for more information on the failed German model. You can start by looking at all the posts I’ve written under Alternative Energy at the side bar.