At a time when the most vulnerable among us are fighting for survival and wondering how they are going to heat their homes this winter, the federal government is pouring billions of dollars into multi-million dollar corporations to create “green” energy.
Ignoring expert advice about the threat of irreplaceable damage to fragile ridgeline ecosystems, the state government paved the way for the Sheffield and Lowell industrial wind projects. Our greatest resource in the Northeast Kingdom is our mountains and the natural beauty and environment they provide. The Lowell Ridgeline, up to this point, has been a valuable source of clean water and a thriving environment for wildlife from moose to salamanders. Today, Lowell Mountain is in crisis. If Green Mountain Power walked away from the Lowell Wind Project today, that would not reverse any of the desecration and destruction that has already taken place. If the project stopped now, it would take many years for the mountain recover. A few short months of havoc and “destruction” raised by Green Mountain Power have ensured that the mountain will never be the same. No amount of mitigation will repair the damage done to that ridgeline.
Every time there is a debate of the protesters and their actions, Green Mountain Power picks up that Certificate of Public Good and starts waving it like a free pass to do whatever they want to on that precious ridgeline. People should be reminded of the numerous times they have violated the conditions of this document. Every time the good people of Lowell bring their unanimous vote for wind development forward, people should be reminded that there was a promised tax incentive involved in that vote.
Recently there was another day of nonviolent protest and a chance to offer support to the seven people arrested on Lowell Mountain on Dec. 5. Standing in front of the courthouse, holding a flag I have always been proud of, I looked up as a school bus went by and saw a small boy in the window giving us two thumbs up in support. Whether he really knew what was going on or just liked to see healthy protest doesn’t really matter. We sure could use his help now. After all it is his future and the future of this state that are at stake here.
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