MONTPELIER, Vt. – Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has vetoed a bill dealing with siting renewable energy projects.
While he says he supports the intent of S.230, which is intended to give local communities and regional planning commissions more say in where renewable energy projects should go, he says last minute provisions would defeat the bill’s intent. At issue are standards the Public Service Board should use when reviewing the potential for noise from wind power stations. There’s concern the criteria could be so low as to create an effective moratorium for the next year, while the board develops permanent rules on sound from wind turbines.
In a statement Monday afternoon Shumlin said, “In partnership with the Legislature, we have made incredible progress charting a cleaner energy future that is growing jobs, putting money in Vermonters’ pockets, and helping to preserve a livable planet for future generations… Last-minute provisions added to S.230 would have the effect of putting the brakes on this progress and costing Vermonters jobs, two things I will not do.”
Opponents of industrial wind turbines, including the group Energize Vermont, say the bill was already watered down and that they supported it only because of its turbine noise provision.
The veto sets in motion a special legislative session where lawmakers would return to Montpelier Thursday to decide whether to override the governor or come up with a fix that can be approved.
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