December 2012 is a very important date for some utility companies and the agencies that would normally regulate them. They have been focused on this December 2012 deadline for some time now, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else. Meeting this deadline means utilities will receive millions of dollars in tax breaks for Vermont’s favorite renewable energy, wind power. Focusing on the end of the process instead of the means to that end has really skewed the process.
Environmental concerns have been brushed aside. Concerns for animal habitat have been brushed aside. Appeals for protection of clean water resources have been brushed aside. Violations to the Certificate of Public Good have taken second place to meeting the deadline. Concerns about altering the landscape forever and totally changing the whole ridgeline environment have been ignored.
If there is a glimmer of hope in this whole mess, it is in the dissenting view of a lone member of the Public Service Board, who talked about due process. Too bad he wasn’t listened to, either. He was fulfilling his duty as a public servant, serving the public. The end result may have been the same, but at least the process would have been more fair and reasonable.
Newport Center, Vt.
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