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How dare they disobey corporate might?

How dare those small town farmers, Don and Shirley Nelson, be disobedient to the mighty Gaz-Metro/Green Mountain Power (GMP). Those 5th generation Vermonters should be ashamed of themselves for pointing out, with their camping protest on their own land, that this international mega-company should have had the foresight and empathy to offer to compensate neighboring landowners before trying to exclude these landowners from their own land, which land GMP doesn’t own but demands control of in order to build its industrial wind project on Lowell Mountain.

As all but the Rip Van Winkles of the world know, the modern large corporation no longer needs to possess foresight or empathy when planning or carrying out their business. Instead, the business of modern big business is to groom and stroke government officials so that, when big business screws up, those well-petted government people will smooth out the path to profits for these corporations. The recent Wall Street stroking and bailouts come to mind here.

In Vermont, the thoroughly modern CEO of GMP, Mary Powell, gleefully put on the governor’s ball for the new governor, inviting all of Vermont’s most powerful government officials. They’ve been dancing together ever since. You can bet there have been more phone calls between Ms. Powell and the governor than between the lowly Nelsons and the governor. The governor and Ms. Powell each know the rare and sublime feeling of stacking fistfuls of money on top of fistfuls of money. The governor himself made over a million dollars in profits last year. And let no one dare ask these two powerful jet-setting officials what their personal non-job-related carbon footprints are compared to the farmers Don and Shirley Nelson.

GMP is threatening the Nelsons with a million-dollar lawsuit without previously trying for a legal eminent domain ruling. This approach may be a first in U.S. history, but, of course, this is the new corporate era. As known by all modern cocksure corporations, the threat of a massive lawsuit is all it should take for the Nelsons to shake in their shoes and drop to their knees in total obedience to the great Green Mountain Power.

Justin Lindholm