Vermont State Arrogance…Vows Windparks Despite Residents’ Huge “Stinging Rebuke” Against 500-Foot Turbines!

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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.

 

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18 responses to “Vermont State Arrogance…Vows Windparks Despite Residents’ Huge “Stinging Rebuke” Against 500-Foot Turbines!”

  1. Ric Werme

    One thing we’re trying to do in the US is to block the main federal wind subsidy, the Production Tax Credit. Unfortunately, it has a lot of supporters and beneficiaries.

    Warren Buffet, one of the richest Americans understands its importance:

    Despite being famous for touting the idea that the rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes, investor Warren Buffet seems to be perfectly fine with receiving tax breaks for making investments in Big Wind. “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate,” Buffet told an audience in Omaha, Nebraska recently. “For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/nancy-pfotenhauer/2014/05/12/even-warren-buffet-admits-wind-energy-is-a-bad-investment

  2. BobW in NC

    So, “…developers cried that the wording made it difficult to get a fair vote because it focused on the negatives of wind energy” (!).

    “Focused on the negatives…” Really? To which I have to ask, “There are positives?”

    From the reports in NTZ and other sources, the experience in Germany exemplifies and highlights the ‘negatives’ associated with these horrible things.

    Positives? Give me a break!

    1. DirkH

      They are a deterrent for enemy paratroopers, you gotta allow that.

      1. Annie

        Scotland should be safe from airborne troops attacking then!

        I was appalled at the amount the Scottish landscape had been blighted by the bird mincers when last I was in the UK.

  3. R2Dtoo

    It is too bad that these stories are not reported by the MSM. New England has a long history of grass-roots politics. I’m not sure it would have much impact on urbanites or Ivy League staff and students, but rural folks will understand completely. Local governments will be ignored more and more as the statists try to kill any deviations from their gospel. Thanks for the report.

    1. BobW in NC

      “It is too bad that these stories are not reported by the MSM.”

      Keep in mind Orwell’s famous quote: “The most powerful lie is omission.”

      I will leave it at that.

  4. A C Osborn

    What is needed is some Class Lawsuits by all those opposed to Wind Turbines on health grounds.
    That should tie up the builders for a good few years.

  5. sod

    Solar and wind got really cheap. We will keep building them and they will get even cheaper.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/12/how-solar-and-wind-got-so-cheap-so-fast/418257/

    In the long run, people will face the decision between smog in China or Fukushima style accidents. They will chose cheap solar and wind power.

    1. John F. Hultquist

      According to a recent report from Bloomberg …”

      Get a grip!

    2. Graeme No.3

      Cheap? So that’s why Abengoa is in bankruptcy.

    3. DirkH

      sod 2. December 2015 at 8:24 PM | Permalink | Reply
      “Solar and wind got really cheap. We will keep building them and they will get even cheaper. ”

      Solar and wind cost 28 billion Euro in subsidies per year in Germany. The warmunist cronies will keep building them and the cost will continue to explode.

      Without subsidies, no industrial sized wind turbine would get built in Germany; and obviously, no solar cell would be installed – as Germany has an average of 800 sun hours a year.

      I do admit that unsubsidized solar is useful in e.g. New Mexico to run an A/C.

      As costs for solar cells go down (costs for wind turbines do not), they would find unsubsidized niche use in Germany in about 2 decades. This is an academic question though – as the GIANT subsidies lead to a misallocation of capital into giant solar fields in one of the cloudiest places of the planet NOW.

      A monument to the IQ of warmunists.

    4. DirkH

      BTW, of course the Atlantic and Bloomberg do not know what an experience curve is.
      “Solar is a different story. “It’s pretty simple—it’s all about the experience curve. The more of something we do, the better we get at it,” said Jenny Chase, the head of solar at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, in an email.”

      The experience curve for solar (20% per doubling of units) is only one of the factors driving down the prive of solar. The other is process improvement which is completely independent of an experience curve.
      No doubling of produced units invents you a way to use less Silane for instance, that’s what researchers do.

      Anyway, the cost of a Wattpeak of Solar drops by 50% per decade since the 1970s and that’s the combination of experience curve AND process improvements. These exponentials are pretty much constant so even the superhuman efforts of the most warmunist state on the Earth, Germany, only ever lead to inconsequential bumps.

      And that’s the exact reason why solar – for niche uses – will be competitive in cloudy Germany in 2 decades, not earlier.

    5. Moose

      Sod.
      So sad.
      Seriously, you need to get a grip on reality.

  6. pochas

    Doing the will of the people? Well, he’s doing somebody’s will. It’s called quid pro quo. Gimme some quid and you’ll get your quo.

  7. Ric Werme

    Pierre, check out (or refuse to look at) this story about VT’s Gov. Shumlin speaking at COP-21!

    http://www.vnews.com/news/19803289-95/shumlin-to-speak-at-paris-climate-conference

    Gov. Peter Shumlin is scheduled to speak at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris next week, where he will discuss Vermont’s ambitious plans for renewable energy.

    “The White House had reached out to us to talk about what states are doing to make a difference,” Shumlin said. “Vermont’s got a great story to tell.”

    “We are building our renewables like mad,” he said.

    “There’s always obstacles and some resistance,” Shumlin said. “How you deal with that resistance is also important.”

    While the state is generally supportive of comprehensive environmental policies, a number of candidates running for statewide office in 2016 have questioned the state’s approach to the issue.

    Republican candidate for governor Bruce Lisman called for a two-year moratorium on renewable energy projects in his campaign kickoff in October, saying they often damaged the well-being of those living close to the projects.

    He suggested a law for energy projects similar to Act 250, which created a stringent review process for development in the state in order to preserve community and aesthetic characteristics.

    In addition, a number of candidates for governor and lieutenant governor from both parties have come out against a proposed carbon tax that could raise gas prices by as much as 88 cents over 10 years.

    The opponents of the carbon tax include Burlington Rep. Kesha Ram, who is running as a Democrat for lieutenant governor. She reversed her support for the bill after originally signing on as a co-sponsor of the legislation.

  8. Beware of Geeks Bearing GIFs

    “Solar and wind got really cheap. We will keep building them and they will get even cheaper.” – sod

    You keep parroting this, time and time again. It’s tedious and once again a sign of your ignorance in how power delivery works. It’s quite clear you’ve never worked nor understood the energy industry.

    Like a child that discovers his bicycle’s dynamo can power the lights thinks it’s a bright idea to ride around the living room in order to provide some illumination. Cute, but totally impractical.

    Power needs to be dispatchable. It needs to be available when demanded. Read up about how a country’s Electrical Grid is managed.

    Even if wind/solar is “free”, it cannot be part of the grid mix because it cannot be relied on during peak power demand times. The bigger the penetration into the grid, the more FF backup is required.

    I really don’t understand how you cannot see this.

    I’ve worked in running power stations and I suggest you take a day off propagandising and spend some time talking to the engineers there and then perhaps you can come back and give us their feedback on how the grid works and perhaps be a little more enlightened to how the real world works in energy management, rather than the idealogical claptrap you seem intent on putting up here, in a vain attempt to reinforce your obvious confirmation bias or self interest.

    1. David Johnson

      Sod is programmed to automatically switch off when reality threatens to impinge on his world view

  9. TedL

    Euan Mearns at Energy Matters has several posts on the unreliability of wind and solar, this being one. http://euanmearns.com/a-big-lull/
    His first two paragraphs:

    A Big Lull
    Posted on November 17, 2015 by Euan Mearns

    This post follows on from Wind Blowing Nowhere Again and the sequel A Big Gale. In Blowing Nowhere I presented wind data for Denmark, the UK and Germany for September and October 2015 which was a period marked by calm conditions across much of Northern Europe. I have since acquired wind data for France and Sweden and this post adds these data to see if extending the geographic range makes any difference to smoothing the wind data.

    I also present a chart that normalises the data from the 5 countries to a 10GW capacity per country datum. This downgrades the status of Germany and upgrades the status of Sweden and Denmark that have much smaller wind parks. The UK and France are little changed. This makes little difference to the interpretation with 4 significant lulls where the wind dropped close to zero across the whole of northern Europe. No matter how many turbines are installed or how many inter connectors are built, Europe will always be dependent upon 100% backup from fossil fuels on a regular basis.

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