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Vermonters to lawmakers: Wind moratorium won’t derail clean energy future

Energize Vermont Unveils Clean Energy Plan Without More Wind.

On Thursday over 100 Vermonters came to the State House to ask lawmakers to pass a utility-scale wind moratorium and to support a renewable energy plan that doesn’t include developing additional ridgelines for wind. The group assembled to respond directly to concerns about how a moratorium would impact the state’s ability to move towards renewable energy sources. In comments at the press conference they also spoke of the urgency of instituting a moratorium to protect the communities currently targeted by developers.

“We must respond to climate change but we know there is more than one path to a clean energy future. Our Plan would move Vermont towards renewable resources and meet our clean energy goals without sacrificing our mountains for utility-scale wind development,” said Lukas B. Snelling, the Executive Director of Energize Vermont.

At a press conference held in the Statehouse’s Cedar Creek Room Vermonters from three communities impacted or targeted by utility-scale wind spoke about how a moratorium was urgently needed. Three projects are currently proposed for that state and could go to the Public Service Board before recommendations from the Governor’s Siting Commission would be turned into law.

Luann Therrien, a neighbor of the Sheffield wind project, said noise from the project is destroying her family’s health and their ability to stay in their home.

“It has been said that with all power comes sacrifice and problems. The problem is, my family and other families are the sacrifice. In order to stop the continuing damage to our health and sanity we will have to sacrifice the land where we have lived, loved and planned to spend the rest of our lives,” said Therrien.

Other speakers represented towns currently targeted for wind development. They spoke out in favor of revising the permitting process to give greater local control to the towns most impacted by developments.

“We’ve done everything we can to demonstrate that we don’t want a utility-scale wind project in our community, but the developer could still file with the PSB at anytime. We need a moratorium to protect us from going through a flawed process and ending up with a project we’ve already rejected,” said Lisa Wright Garcia from West Rutland.

Mary Boyer, Chair of the Windham Selectboard said, “We’ve long had a town plan that says utility-scale wind turbines on ridgelines are inappropriate for our community. Now Iberdrola has chosen to ignore the intent of our town plan and target our community anyway. We need a to change the process to create more balance.”

In the afternoon Energize Vermont presented their Clean Energy Plan to lawmakers and citizens. The plan called for a 73% reduction in dirty sources of electricity by 2030 without using additional utility-scale wind. The Plan makes policy recommendations that would increase the opportunities for residential and community-scale renewable energy development.

Download the Plan now or view the Executive Summary.

Energize Vermont was created to educate and advocate for establishing renewable energy solutions that are in harmony with the irreplaceable character of Vermont, and that contribute to the well-being of all her people. This mission is achieved by researching, collecting, and analyzing information from all sources; and disseminating it to the public, community leaders, legislators, media, and regulators for the purpose of ensuring informed decisions for long-term stewardship of our communities.