Even after rereading Ms. Flagg’s weak piece on the industrialization of the Lowell Mountain Range, I remain frustrated by her unwillingness or inability to broaden the conversation and bring more light to the issues [“My Side of the Mountain,” November 7].
The results of Flagg’s three whirlwind trips to the Northeast Kingdom (notably only two fewer than GMP’s Mary Powell has made in two years) are disappointing but not unexpected. Given the opportunity to examine a complex and divisive issue, she passes, choosing to dutifully record Powell’s company line and note Powell’s bewilderment at not being “sure why (this project) stirred up so much vehemence.” Her ride to the ridgeline ends in wide-eyed wonderment at the turbines’ magnitude: 460 feet to be exact; one and a half football fields.
Flagg’s stab at getting to the sources of the “vehemence” netted her face time with two of the original “Lowell Six.” Drs. Holland and Morse are, arguably, among the most informed critics of industrialized wind and the long-term consequences of such projects. She missed an opportunity to query why such people, experiencing successful, quiet lives, would put aside their privacy, comfort and personal safety to confront a “green energy” project that they deeply believed to be wrong.
Flagg’s assertion that “truth and justice look quite different depending on what side of the mountain you’re standing on,” was simplistic. Money trumps regional harmony, corporations trump citizens. When government and corporations join forces, great harm can be done in the name of great good.
Federally subsidized industrial wind projects – built by foreign-owned interests, masquerading as “green energy,” sending intermittent electricity to a grid already laden with much cheaper and substantially carbon-free energy – will continue to be vigorously opposed in the Northeast Kingdom. On November 6, Shumlin lost to Brock, not only in Craftsbury and Albany (the other side of the mountain), but also Orleans and Essex Counties.
I do not see communities along the wind-rich east coast of Lake Champlain lining up for their turbines. Maybe when that part of the state has some skin in the game, a writer from Seven Days will take the role of investigator a bit more seriously.