[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


News Home

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Vote on controversial bill on siting of energy projects delayed  

Credit:  Written by Terri Hallenbeck, Free Press Staff Writer | Burlington Free Press | March 20, 2013 | www.burlingtonfreepress.com ~~

MONTPELIER – The Senate delayed action Wednesday on a controversial bill that seeks to add regulations for siting energy projects, aimed particularly at mountaintop wind turbines.

Those who oppose the bill said the delay came because supporters didn’t have the votes to pass it Wednesday. Supporters denied that.

“I have the votes,” said Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee Chairman Robert Hartwell, D-Bennington. “We want everybody to be able to vote.”

The bill, S.30, is expected to be on the Senate floor next Tuesday instead, when the full Senate is more likely to be available.

That wasn’t the case Wednesday, as Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, who presides over the Senate and supports the bill, was out of state at a lieutenant governor’s national conference. That would have removed Scott’s ability to break a tie. President Pro Tempore John Campbell, who also supports the bill, would have had to preside and not vote on the bill, amounting to a loss of two supporters of the bill.

Scott will be back Friday, but still can’t preside over the Senate because he’ll be acting governor as Gov. Peter Shumlin is out of state on personal time until Saturday.

The bill, which started out as a three-year moratorium on wind projects, evolved into a requirement that the state Public Service Board follow Act 250 land-use law regulations when granting permission for siting energy projects. That would give communities more say in the projects, something those who surround recent and proposed projects say has been lacking.

Renewable energy advocates, including the governor, strongly oppose the bill, saying it would make it harder to site projects that are needed to establish energy independence and send a negative message about the value of renewable energy.

Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, said support for the bill has eroded, evidenced by Wednesday’s delay and the fact that the bill has changed numerous times to accommodate criticisms.

“I think they didn’t have the votes,” Burns said. “They keep trying to whittle it down and they’ve been doing that for weeks in order to cobble enough votes to pass it.”

Campbell said the delay was partly in response to a letter he received from Jeff Wolfe, owner of GroSolar, who threatened to work to unseat Campbell if he voted for the bill. Because Campbell would be presiding over the Senate on Wednesday, he couldn’t vote on the bill, which he did not want to be interpreted as cowering to the threat.

“It would look like I’m trying to skirt the thing,” Campbell said. “This has got to be as clean as possible.”

Source:  Written by Terri Hallenbeck, Free Press Staff Writer | Burlington Free Press | March 20, 2013 | www.burlingtonfreepress.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.