Accused by an adversary attorney of practicing law without a license while assisting citizens opposing wind-turbine developers, environmentalist Annette Smith has been vindicated by Attorney General Bill Sorrell [“Annette Smith Is a Lightning Rod in the Renewable-Energy Debate,” February 10].
On February 8, the Vermont Attorney General’s Office issued a press release that read: “Any definition of the practice of law must recognize the diversity of advocacy before different forums at the state and local levels, should not abridge First Amendment rights, and should insure that Vermonters have access to justice.”
The Vermont Department of Public Service, however, still officially “represents” citizens before the Vermont Public Service Board, and Section 248 still officially preempts Act 250 to permit ridgeline development by towering industrial wind turbines with their paved access roads and sprawling transmission lines.
Because the Department of Public Service cannot represent citizens opposing its recommendations, it is time to limit it to expertly providing impartial information to everyone and technical advice to the Public Service Board.
It also is time to restore Act 250 to its primacy, preserving and protecting iconic landscapes, without which Vermont would no longer be Vermont, by amending Section 248 to require Act 250 permits and due process including citizens’ participation, assisted as they choose.
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