Green Mountain Power repeatedly cites that 70 to 90 percent of Vermonters are in favor of wind energy. Just how accurate is this figure? Four years ago, the Vermont Department of Public Service conducted a state-wide survey on how Vermont should meet its future energy needs. See: http://stanford.edu/polls/energy/2008/Vermont-results. pdf. In reviewing this, several points jump out.
First, Vermonters were encouraged to answer opinion surveys even if they admitted they were uninformed. Secondly, the only ill-effects of industrial wind given to the respondents were purely aesthetic. Third, this survey is four years old. Since then, Vermonters have become more informed about the distinctly “ungreen” reality of industrial wind energy generation on ridgelines in comparatively poor wind sites. (Vermont ranks 27th in the quality of its wind resource. )
I think a more thoughtful and impartial survey would yield significantly different results. Maybe the question Vermonters should be asked is: Would you support permanently destroying a mountain range and ecosystem that took 450 million years to create, for a project with a 25-year shelf life, when other viable options exist? The more Vermonters understand the full costs and dubious benefits of industrial wind, the less desirable it becomes as an option to help us shift to more renewable sources of electrical generation.
If you share the concerns of a growing number of Vermonters about the appropriateness of industrial wind as one of our renewable energy options, now is the time to speak up! Call Governor Shumlin at 802-828-3333.
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