I wasn’t surprised at Fran Putnam’s recent letter about Annette Smith, the most recent Vermonter of the Year (“Opinion: Vermonter of the Year disappoints,” Jan. 19).
I, too, used to take the politically correct and simple attitude that, “Sure, I like renewable energy.” My husband and I converted our home to a geo-thermal heating system, to get off burning fossil fuels. Annette Smith, however, really walks the walk – she and her husband live totally off the grid.
But more importantly, my guess is that Fran Putnam may not know that according to Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources, we are already a carbon neutral state. Vermont produces 8.3 metric tons of carbon, and because we’re so substantially forested, the trees and other flora clean up 8.2 metric tons of carbon. Add to this the fact that the vast majority of Vermont’s renewable energy credits (RECs) are sold to states like Connecticut, we are decimating our ridgelines – for what purpose? To sell the RECs to Connecticut so they can continue to use “dirty” energy?
Do you ever wonder why industrial wind developers have focused on small little towns, and not places like Burlington? Because it’s far easier to roll over small towns in the Kingdom that are poor and have small populations. Were it not for Annette Smith helping us navigate the Public Service Board process, our town of Morgan would not even have been able to raise a hand in opposition to what the developer wanted.
There may be places like Texas, Pennsylvania or California where industrial wind makes sense – close to the load, where they won’t devastate the environment or peoples’ health. So I’m not a NIMBY. I’m more like a NIABY – Not In Anyone’s Back Yard, at least here in Vermont.
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