Montpelier, like Windham County, our Governor’s home, is a long way from the Northeast Kingdom. Governor Shumlin has yet to tour the Lowell Mountain region. Obvious to many here is Shumlin’s thoroughly scoped-out GMP landscape, and in the false name of his advocacy of renewable energy, he has literally sold out this Northeast Kingdom environment in favor of corporate windfall. He’s an advocate of wind.
There is no genteel way to put it: Green Mountain Power has seized upon a most vulnerable, least wealthy population of small farmers, local business owners, fixed income residents. What else would you call GMP’s offer: you give us the permission to build our industrial-scale wind turbine wind project, and ‘we’ll give the town of Lowell $100,000, and we’ll give surrounding towns, also struggling with meager town budgets, cash rewards as well.’ Of course, GMP’s language is legal and proper, but their core concept apparently holds: everyone has their price.
Here are some facts: Vermont is a “low wind state”: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates Vermont’s Annual Generation (GWh) at 9,163. The high-wind states, where major wind turbine installation give proof to this claim, with measured Annual Generation rates of 6,527,850 (TX), 1,944,340 (WY).
One needn’t be a scientist to get the point. Dr. Benjamin Luce, professor of physics and chair of the Sustainable Studies Program at Lyndon State College explains that Vermont’s “entire wind resource is only 1 percent of Iowa’s, (Iowa’s Annual Generation is 2,026,340) or closer to home, only 4 percent of the Gulf of Maine’s.”
In Shumlin’s recent interview (VPR) with respect to VY, located on his home turf, he postured that “Vermonters can’t be bought.” But his lofty sentiment is short of reality, and, put charitably, flies in the face of his own history. GMP is the Governor’s corporate friend and major donor. GMP will see their profits soar as they cash in on the tax incentives derived from the Lowell Mountain Wind Turbine Project.
And, because power (money) corrupts absolutely, GMP’s money has bought the approval of the Lowell Town Select Board, to the tune of $100,000. Governor Shumlin, perhaps, hopes Vermonters outside of the Northeast Kingdom won’t know this fact.
In the game of politics-as-usual, Shumlin has now been emboldened sufficiently to pre-empt the PSB process by press-conferencing his support of GMP’s Lowell Mountain desecration.
Shame on you, Governor.
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