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Good idea gone bad  

Credit:  The Orleans Record, orleanscountyrecord.com 3 November 2011 ~~

I guess I fail to see how these industrial wind projects will reduce our dependence on oil and coal. There must be a connection there somewhere, but I fail to see it. I guess I fail to see how clearing the tops of ridgelines to erect these projects is going to save our planet. Am I missing something? Where I see destruction of a fragile and necessary environment others see a constructive path to the future. I wonder if proponents of industrial wind have as much passion and conviction as the ones opposed to it, or are they just resigned to the fact that these projects are going forward anyway and there is no way to stop them. The ridgelines in Vermont are home to the headwaters of the cleanest water in the state. I believe the creators of these industrial wind projects, including the state government are intentionally trying to diminish the effects and impact these wind projects will have on the environment.

There are two sides to a ridgeline as there are two sides to the Lowell Wind Project. One side is very steep and rises above a farm that has been owned by one family since the early forties. On the other side Green Mountain Power contractors are building an access road to the top of the ridgeline. Though it was important that the Agency of Natural Resources stepped in with a stop-work order on the access road side, what happens on the top of the ridgeline is far more critical . By shaving the top of the ridgeline bald and filling it with stone and leveling it, contractors are causing more environmental damage than anything they would do on the way up. The top of the ridgeline is the most critical to its ecology. Losing the part of a natural filtration system that has evolved over thousands of years, there is no guarantee where the water will go or what the quality of that water will be. A heavy spring rain would fall down the steepest side of the ridgeline first, and could turn that beautiful farm into part of a flood plane. With all the expert testimony the state agencies received, how could they believe building industrial wind projects on ridgelines was a good idea and not a terrible and indefensible assault on our natural environment.

This is a good idea gone bad. Renewable energy is a great goal. It should be an affordable, economically feasible and desirable alternative. It should not be propped up with government subsidies and it should not destroy our most precious resources.

Richard Rumery

Newport Center, Vt.

Source:  The Orleans Record, orleanscountyrecord.com 3 November 2011

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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