“The truth will set you free.” In the politically charged debate over industrial wind filled with half-truths misinformation and blatant myths, it is good to see someone stand tall and speak the unvarnished truth. You cannot expect too much truth coming from the spokespeople for Green Mountain Power. In applying for their Certificate of Public Good for the Lowell Wind Project Green Mountain Power inflated the amount of electricity the wind project would produce by using a peak power statistic. At the same time they implied that electric rates would somehow go down by tapping into a more expensive and less reliable energy source.
Was it really a public safety issue or the fear of bad publicity that led to the arrest of a reporter covering a story along with the 6 protesters on the Lowell ridgeline. In a rare moment of candor, according to Terri Hallenbeck of the Burlington Free Press “(Green Mountain Power Corp. spokeswoman Dorothy Shnure) … indicated the utility is none too pleased with (Chris) Braithwaite. “He has editorialized against the project and spent a fair amount of time covering the protesters.” This appears to be a public relations disaster for a utility that prides itself on being a “good neighbor.” Without Chris’ reporting we would be left with GMP’s soundbite answers and the opposition’s blog for coverage. All the arrests made on Lowell Mountain are questionable because they were made on disputed land that Green Mountain Power had no legal right to use or destroy.
It is somewhat ironic that the people in Sheffield and Lowell who voted for these industrial wind projects may never see them unless they leave town. The “outsiders” from Westmore, Sutton, Barton, Albany, Craftsbury and Irasburg may be more affected by them. I wonder how these “outsiders” would have voted if they had had the chance. I understand the people of Holland are fighting the wind project in Derby Line. The wind towers are closer to some Holland property owners than they are to anyone in Derby Line. Are they also “outsiders.”
To proponents of the Lowell Wind Project I must seem like an outsider. After all I live in the town of Newport. Do people really think that because opponents of industrial wind live outside the immediate area, they will not be affected by what is happening on the Sheffield and Lowell ridgelines. Some would be happy to see the rest of us sit idly by and watch our state government and the powerful utility companies destroy our precious mountains and clutter our landscape with unsightly, costly wind towers that we will be paying for for the rest of our lives.
Newport Center, Vt.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding