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Wind energy month: What does that mean?  

It suggests a welcoming atmosphere for the industrial wind developers who are gauging the state's appetite for wind towers on our ridgelines.

That's not the intent of the proclamation, according to Jason Gibbs, the governor's spokesman. It's about promoting renewable energy in general, and small wind power projects specifically -- on "a Vermont scale."

Gov. Jim Douglas is proclaiming October “wind energy month” in Vermont.

It suggests a welcoming atmosphere for the industrial wind developers
who are gauging the state’s appetite for wind towers on our ridgelines.

That’s not the intent of the proclamation, according to Jason Gibbs, the
governor’s spokesman. It’s about promoting renewable energy in general,
and small wind power projects specifically – on “a Vermont scale.”

“It will not be an endorsement of commercial, industrial wind
development along Vermont’s ridgelines,” he said.

“The governor is not enthusiastic about developing acres and acres of
Vermont’s most beautiful ridgelines with industrial wind turbines and
the attendant clear-cutting of transmission swaths required to move the
power from the top of the mountain to transfer stations,” Gibbs said
Thursday.

It is reasonable and responsible for Vermont to pursue renewable energy,
including small, “Vermont-scale” wind projects that don’t desecrate the
state’s environment. The concern is that our ridgelines will become
high-elevation utility plants with 300- and 400-foot tall turbines.

Perhaps the governor should designate special days of “wind energy
month” for each of the mountains that is being prospected by wind
developers to show Vermonters what is being proposed for ridgelines from
the Northeast Kingdom to the Green Mountain National Forest.

He might also spend some time with the people who would be most affected
by big wind, particularly in the remote Northeast Kingdom where
residents are wondering how many ridgelines will be sacrificed.

If the governor visited the town of Sheffield, for instance, he would
see protest signs and petitions against a proposal by UPC Wind
Management, LLC to build about 24 wind towers on Hardscrabble Mountain
and nearby ridges. The signs say, “Save our ridgeline; learn the facts;”
the petitions have been signed by more than half the town’s taxpayers,
according to the newly formed group called Ridge Protectors.

For these people, “wind energy month” is a time to issue an alert about
what industrial wind turbines on ridgelines would mean to this state.
They’re on the front lines, in one of the most beautiful and wild areas
of Vermont. They deserve to be heard.

Editorial Staff

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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