BARRE, Vt. – With Senator Patrick Leahy, Congressman Peter Welch, and Democratic candidates for Governor in attendance, a group of people from all corners of Vermont decided the Harvest Rally was the perfect place to grab lawmakers’ attention.
The group drummed outside the rally, advocating against a recently proposed wind turbine project in Swanton. They want lawmakers to re-evaluate the pace and size of the renewable energy projects popping up across Vermont.
Specifically, the group believes people and families living near the sites of these projects are being overlooked in the development.
“We want small scale renewable but first of all, before any other victims happen in Swanton and Grafton and Windham and Irasburg, we need our legislator and our leaders to look at their siting conditions, their noise decibels,” said protester Sally Callopy.
This was an event for Vermont Democrats to hear from other candidates and discuss the issues from income inequality to healthcare reform, but the conversation changed with a protest presence. Climate change was touched on by most politicians who took the stage, talking about Vermont’s crucial industry of renewable energy.
“It’s actually grown by six percent in the last year, 16 thousand jobs right now in that industry,” said candidate for Governor Sue Minter.
“We need to make sure that we continue down a path of insuring that we have a state that walks the walk and moves towards renewable energy,” said candidate for Governor Matt Dunne.
Local 22 & 44 News was not able to speak with candidate Shap Smith. He had to leave the rally for a campaign event in Brattleboro. We reached out to his office for perspective on the growing energy industry in Vermont, but did not hear back.
Candidates went on to say the state should set clear criteria and give towns more of a voice for these large projects.
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