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Sheffield’s gain is our loss

The townspeople of Sheffield are conducting meetings to decide what to do with the $500,000 annual windfall that First Wind will pay their town from revenues derived from the newly opened wind farm. That was the bribe from First Wind to kill opposition to 16 of their heavily subsidized, 400-foot-tall wind towers.

It worked. Now the towers are installed on Sheffield’s ridge line and First Wind gets quintuple the going market rate for a kilowatt hour of electricity. But, hey, that’s the price for PC green energy, even if it is produced from unsightly, terrain gouging wind towers, if and when the wind blows enough to produce power and the towers work as intended.

The fly in this ointment is that, just as Nero fiddled while Rome burned, Sheffield fiddles while the rest of Vermont burns. That 500% subsidy comes from the increased rates the rest of us now have to pay to give Sheffield its annual windfalls. Is that fair to the rest of us? No. Is the green energy mania justified on the basis of adverse climate change? Certainly not in Vermont; it is doubtful that there is a gallon of fuel oil or a pound of coal burned in Vermont to produce electricity. There are no carbon emissions in Vermont to justify these exorbitant rates for wind.

So, what’s driving the despoilation of our ridges with monster wind towers (always in the way-rural parts of the state), the quintupling of the cost of electricity at our expense, the towers’ unreliable power, and the political brass bands that drown-out the opposition to the expected proliferation of wind towers? In Vermont, there is just one driver, Governor Peter Shumlin’s virtually all-consuming passion to close Vermont Yankee at any cost, nothing else. No one knows why he has taken this maniacal mission on, but he has, and come hell or high water, he intends to close VY.

We have a suggestion for Gov. Shumlin. Northern California, between San Francisco and Oregon, has hundreds of wind towers and no nuclear power plants. We suggest he relocate there, where he can hug the former and thank God he isn’t anywhere near the latter.