Dear Governor Douglas, August 15, 2007:
Last August at Luis Guzman’s fundraiser for the Ridge Protectors I heard you say you would do everything you could to see that this UPC project in Sheffield would not happen.” Too much pain for too little gain,” you rightly said. Yet over the past year the ANR and DPS, agencies of your administration, headed by your recent appointments, have been promoting this UPC project before the PSB. The ANR has signed onto a stipulation that will permit the destruction of over 7 miles of ridge line, wetlands, headwaters, certain death to thousands of birds and bats, and loss of prime habitat for bears and other wildlife, in return for post construction fatality studies done by UPC consultants. Judging from ANR attorney, David Englander?s and the ANR?s lack of real participation in this docket, it is doubtful that they will enforce any of the conditions they so thoughtlessly agreed to, and have left compliance up to the good graces of UPC
I attended all the public and technical hearings, the site visit (hosted by UPC), and read all the testimony presented in this docket. I fail to see how the board could ignore and brush aside the multitude of negative impacts and come to this decision. Apparently the outcome was preordained because the board and legislature are clamoring for a wind facility. The granting of a CPG to UPC will now open the floodgates for future developers with their bogus claims and ineffective subsidized monstrosities. UPC will soon want to expand this project. Decommissioning will only become further industrialization.
How could the board deny the E. Haven project for 4 smaller turbines on a site with a road in place and no residents within 6 miles and then allow 16 422-foot towers to be built on undeveloped ridge lines with hundreds of residents within 3 miles or less? How can the state with no billboards and cell towers made to look like trees justify this? Will advertising be allowed on the 22 foot long, 17 foot × 17 foot nacelles, or the 154 foot blades?
This type of development is not allowed on State land, but in reality isn?t all the land in Vermont, which receives our property taxes, also really state land? Why should individual landowners who have invested their lives in their homes and properties be exploited for the sake of a multinational LLC whose only concern is profiting from subsidies and tax breaks, while producing a negligible amount of intermittent and unreliable power? You know as well as I do that there is nothing green about this hoax.
The state has spent a lot promoting tourism in the Northeast Kingdom. This project will have a profound adverse impact on Sutton, Barton and Crystal Lake, Westmore and the Willoughby gap, and much more of the NEK. Tourists appreciate Vermont, with its beautiful green mountains, as the place to escape from industrial development.
High elevation ridge lines have been protected in Vermont for generations. Virtually no development has been permitted above 2000 feet. This decision will set a precedent that will be irreversible. George Aiken is revered for saving the spine of our Green Mountains from a make-work road project during the depression. You may come to be reviled as the governor on whose watch the ridge lines were destroyed and littered with rusting, giant, useless machines during the wind power scam.
The time has come to do more than just talk. Sutton and the Ridge Protectors are broke. UPC has used the 248 process to bankrupt us. I doubt we can afford an appeal especially when the outcome seems predetermined. You have said you hope the case is appealed. Who do you hope will pay for it? Please, I implore you, to use what power you have to prevent this unnecessary exploitation.
I would appreciate your personal reply. Thank you.