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Enormous wind towers a poor power choice  

This battle has been fought for decades, first with the billboard campaign, again with the “ridgeline” highway campaign, and now with enormous industrial turbines. In our hearts we believe the Legislature and the governor will protect our state’s beauty and our heritage as our forefathers, legislators and governors before us.

There have been many letters to our newspapers about the industrial wind vote here in Sheffield.

First, the authors of these letters should know a few facts. A multimillion-dollar corporation has been in our town for over three years "courting" our town officials and people. There are 727 people here, including children. Half of our people have not voted, and nonvoting residents and property owners were not allowed to express their opinion in the polls. Just over 200 people voted. Nearly 100 said no. Eighty percent of our residents, taxpayers, and voters have signed letters against this project; copies are in the governor’s office.

This multimillion-dollar corporation had to hire the services of a public relations firm from Burlington to force the message through.

Based on per capita income, Sheffield, East Haven and Lowell are all in the top 12 of the poorest towns in the state. All are slated for these massive industrial wind projects. Coincidence? Another town with a lower per capita income than Sheffield is Searsburg, and it is home to an industrial wind-tower facility. Good for our economy? Vermont is already the cleanest state in the nation as far as greenhouse emissions.

If the state renewed the hydro projects already built, they would provide roughly 30 percent of our state’s power. If everyone in the state changed one standard light bulb to fluorescent, it would provide electricity for 14,500 homes, roughly the same amount of power as one of these massive industrial projects. Mow down, cut roads, clearcut 1,000 acres or change a light bulb?

Five-hundred-foot industrial wind turbines are already being developed to replace these 400-footers planned. That is a 50-story building, or half the height of the twin towers that came down on Sept. 11. Gov. Douglas knows what is going on with these developers. He knows that wind on a small scale is good, but that destroying our ridgelines for half a percent of our nation’s power does not make sense.

As a Democrat, I am proud of this Republican governor for weighing what is most valuable to our state. This battle has been fought for decades, first with the billboard campaign, again with the "ridgeline" highway campaign, and now with enormous industrial turbines. In our hearts we believe the Legislature and the governor will protect our state’s beauty and our heritage as our forefathers, legislators and governors before us.

There are smarter ways to achieve much better results.

Greg Bryant

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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