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Statement on arrests at Lowell Mountain site

Lowell, Vt.-Two members of the mountain occupiers group were on the mountain today for routine monitoring activities, and were arrested and charged with criminal contempt of court. As a group, the mountain occupiers do not believe these individuals were in violation of the court order, and we are surprised that law enforcement chose to arrest them. There was no intention on the part of this group or the individuals involved to violate the restraining order.

This arrest clearly documents the intensity of the conflict over the development of Vermont’s ridgelines for utility-scale wind projects.

Proponents of these projects, Green Mountain Power, Gaz Metro and the Shumlin Administration, characterize these as critical to reducing green house gases and examples of Vermont’s environmental leadership in doing it right.

Opponents argue that they destroy irreplaceable natural habitat and degrade water quality. Analysts demonstrate that they are not part of an effective strategy to reduce global warming and that both the electricity and the co2 emissions reductions are quite expensive. That expense will be borne by Vermont rate payers. The only beneficiaries of these projects are the investors and the utilities.

The mountain occupiers believe that today’s arrests were unnecessary and hope they are not a harbinger of things to come. GMP needs to learn how to be a good neighbor rather than manipulate the Shumlin Administration into forcing a bad project to completion.

We stand united as members of the Mountain Occupation movement, with these two individuals, and thousands of other Vermonters, against Green Mountain Power’s attempts to take our rights, damage our mountains and disrespect our communities. We will continue to fight for our belief that there are responsible answers to our energy challenges, and the Lowell wind project is not one of them.

For more information & comment:

Ron Holland