Saturday, December 29, 2012

Important Message from Joe Benning - Wind Moratorium Legislation
As you know, Senator Hartwell and I have been working on an industrial wind moratorium bill. The bill is ready and we are gathering cosponsors.

We are going to introduce the bill in a press conference on Thursday, January 3rd, at 2:00 pm. It will be held in the Cedar Creek Room at the statehouse. We'd like to gather as many supporters as possible, so please feel free to pass this message along to whoever might be interested. Thanks.

Joe Benning
State Senator
Caledonia-Orange District

Senators to propose three year wind moratorium
VEC board wants moratorium on renewable energy mandates
Wind opponents ‘disappointed’ with state decision

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Northeast Kingdom communities join together in saying “No” to industrial wind turbine projects in Vermont

NEWS RELEASE: for immediate release

Dec. 17, 2012

NEWARK (Dec. 17, 2012): The town of Brighton has reaffirmed Vermonters’ commitment to environmental preservation. Earlier this month, the Brighton Select Board sent a mailing to all Brighton taxpayers and registered voters, asking “What’s your opinion about an industrial wind project on the ridgelines in Brighton, VT?” On Wednesday, Dec. 12, the votes were tallied.  Of those responding, 544 voted against and 320 in favor of ridgeline industrial wind development. The 63% to 37% margin is a decisive victory for those opposed to industrial wind ridgeline development.

The vote was prompted by the targeting of Brighton and neighboring towns in the Northeast Kingdom by the developer Eolian Renewable Energy of New Hampshire. Eolian has incorporated its most recent attempt at a wind project under the name Seneca Mountain Wind (SMW).  SMW has submitted an application to the Public Service Board to construct four MET (meteorological measurement) towers in Brighton, Ferdinand, and Newark, as a precursor to a large industrial wind facility.

Cynthia Barber, executive coordinator of Newark Neighbors United (NNU), was heartened by the vote: “NNU sends a hearty thank you to our neighbors in Brighton. Like the citizens of Newark, our fellow citizens in Brighton have made a very strong statement. We are, indeed, ‘Neighbors United.’ We have researched the impacts of industrial wind ridgeline development.  Such projects produce high-priced electricity and have devastating impacts on the environment. These projects neither reduce our carbon footprint nor decrease greenhouse gas emissions. They represent huge negative impacts for Vermont, with negligible gain.”

Earlier this year, the residents of Newark voted 3-to-1 to amend their town plan with strong language against industrial wind ridgeline and MET tower development in Newark. 

The third area targeted, the Unified Towns and Gores (UTG), which has jurisdiction over Ferdinand, held an informal straw poll this summer.  Fewer than 8% of the eligible voters participated in that poll, yielding statistically insignificant results. The UTG Board of Governors has stated that it will not take action based on an inconclusively small sample.   

In reaction to the Brighton vote, Newark resident Nancy Fried said, “I want to send a joyful thank you and congratulations to our neighbors in Island Pond and Brighton. What happens in one town has a strong impact on neighboring communities.” 

Ms. Fried continued: “This vote affirms the continued growing support throughout the state for an immediate moratorium on industrial wind turbine projects. The legislature and all of Vermont need an opportunity to learn what the citizens of Newark and Brighton have learned. Ridgeline destruction has financial benefits for investors, developers, and a few well-situated landowners, but negative long-term consequences for the mountains and citizens.”

Pam Arborio, President of Brighton Ridge Protectors, stated, “We have something in Brighton that money can’t buy. We know that industrial wind causes permanent damage to our mountains, imperils wildlife, devastates wildlife habitat, negatively affects our tourism industry, drives down our property values, and risks our neighbor’s health – while doing nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, 96% of the carbon emissions in Vermont are produced by homes, buildings, heating, transportation, and industrial processes, so a reduction, if any, from an industrial wind facility could only operate on the small remaining percentage of 4%.

Ms. Arborio said that the Brighton Ridge Protectors will be working with the Brighton Select Board and the Town Planning Commissioner in approving the required 5-year update of the town plan. “We also look forward to hearing the governor add his voice of support for the citizens of Brighton.”

She added, “Seneca Mountain Wind developers recently repeated their commitment that ‘when a community votes against a proposed wind project, SMW will withdraw its application for that project.’ We hope that Seneca Mountain Wind will respect our vote by honoring that commitment and withdrawing its Brighton MET Tower application, which is currently before the Public Service Board.”

Newark Neighbors United (NNU) is a citizens’ group with intervener status opposing Seneca Mountain Wind’s application for a Certificate of Public Good to locate four MET towers in the Northeast Kingdom.
Power to the people? Windham wants bigger public role in energy debate
Peak Keepers Discuss Industrial Wind Power

A 1 hour program with a panel of Vermont scientists who are part of Peak Keepers, focused on a discussion about the need to protect and promote Vermont's mountain ecosystems, a natural resource that is under threat. Included on the panel is Sue Morse of Keeping Track, naturalist and author, Charles Johnson, and well-known botanist Dr. Steve Young. Moderator is Tom Slayton.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Survey results mailed by the town of Brighton selectboard to Brighton voters and taxpayers.
Non-binding question:“What’s your opinion about an industrial wind project on the ridgelines in Brighton, Vt.”





Windham makes its case for local decision-making on wind power
Derby select board mulls wind referendum
Forgive Us Our Trespasses
Eolian developer, Town of Newark, present at Governor’s Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission hearings
Lowell Six sentences stayed pending Supreme Court decision

Lowell Six face community service, continued fight

Paying the price

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Today, at 12:00 pm, on VPR's Vermont Edition:

How The Public Service Board Works

When an energy project or a transmission line is proposed in Vermont, it's
the Public Service Board that decides whether the project can go forward.
The board is a quasi-judicial body, and critics say that process doesn't give
the public enough say when energy generation projects are being considered.
Now, a commission is looking at how Vermont reviews electric generation
projects to determine if improvements can be made to the process. Our
guests are Jim Volz, chair of the Public Service Board, Jan Eastman, who leads
the Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission, and Geoff Commons, the
public advocate at the Department of Public Service.

Submit your questions/comments online, or call in during the program: (800) 639-2211!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Attention hunters, camp owners, and wildlife lovers: Brighton Ridge Protectors is hosting an informal discussion with local fish and wildlife experts, on Nov. 29th, at the American Legion, in Island Pond, from 6-9 PM.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Panel to tackle thorny divisions over wind, solar projects in Vermont

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Docket #7867 Status Conference

In Re: Application of Seneca Mountain Wind LLC, for authority, pursuant to 30 V.S.A. §§ 246 and 248, to install four temporary meteorological stations, two in the Town of Brighton, Vermont, and one each in the Towns of Ferdinand and Newark, Vermont

Before Bridgette Remington, Esq., Hearing Officer

Location:  Public Service Board Hearing Room, Third Floor, People's United Bank Building, 112 State Street, Montpelier, Vermont
Developer Presses For Meteorological Tower, Despite Opposition

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wind protesters take it to the Statehouse

Protesters declare wind projects harmful to Vermont

Protesters say wind power will harm Vermont

Hundreds Deliver Loud and Large Message on Wind Projects

Protesters Voice Opposition To Big Wind Projects

Hundreds rally against big wind projects
Protesters deliver special message to governor

Protestors throng to statehouse lawn to oppose industrial wind
Campaign for Vermont: State can maintain low carbon footprint and reduce electric costs
Press Release: Hundreds Rally to Say “Big Wind Brings Harm To Vermont”

Certificate of Public Harm
State: Reject wind testing in Windham

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Newark Neighbors United, would like to thank the Caledonia and Orange Co., Candidates: Joe Benning - Senate R, David Dill - Senate R, Steve Amos - Senate D, Jane Kitchel - Senate D, and Bill Johnson - House R, for attending the debate.
Castleton Considers Ban On Industrial-Scale Wind

Monday, October 1, 2012

Thanks to all who donated to and assisted at, Saturday's Fundraiser and congratulations to all of the raffle winners!

Monday, September 24, 2012

There will be a state wide rally to protest utility-scale wind on Vermont's ridgelines. The rally is sponsored by Energize Vermont, and will be held on Friday, October 12th, from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, on the State House lawn in Montpelier. For more rally info contact:, for carpool info call: 802-778-0660.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

This is just one of the reasons that Newark is fighting industrial wind!

Bald Eagle at Center Pond in Newark

This wonderful photo of an endangered (in VT) Bald Eagle, was captured on Sept. 13th, by Mr. Peter Whitney, while he was canoeing on Center Pond, in Newark. Thank-you Peter!

Monday, September 17, 2012

169 YEA
59 NAY

Amid Statewide Debate, Newark Revises Plan To Block Industrial Wind

Newark residents amend town plan to oppose wind

Newark says no to wind project

Burlington Free Press: Turbine developers moving forward, for now, after town says no

The following is a correction to an error reported in the above BFP article stating: "Voters in the Unincorporated Towns and Gores of Essex County, which include Ferdinand, took a vote at their summer town meeting and supported the wind farm, 24-16."

On August 11, 2012, there was a non-binding, straw poll held outside the building at the UNIFIED TOWNS AND GORES (UTG) in Ferdinand, VT. In this poll (not a vote) residents and non-resident landowners of the UTG were invited to participate. Only about 40 did so. Almost 400 other members of the UTG did not get the opportunity to participate and the Board of Governors of the UTG declared the poll without merit.
Kathleen Nelson
Brighton, VT

Newark Selectboard Letter to Governor Shumlin
Town of Newark Press Release Amended Town Plan
SMW Press Release regarding Newark Vote

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

FYI: Due to limited space, the recovered signs are no longer at the Town Clerk's office, they will be available at the NNU meeting on Friday. A contact will be posted for those who are unable to attend.
Caledonian-Record: Lowell Six Trial: Defense Wants Guilty Verdict Overturned
Caledonian-Record: Federal Agency Issues First Wind Migratory Bird Permit

Caledonian-Record: First Wind Permit For ‘Taking’ Endangered Bats Controversial

Press Release

Approximately 30 of the stolen “Newark Says NO To Industrial Wind” signs were found on a Newark resident’s property last night and were confiscated by the Newark Town Constable. The VT State Police were notified and are investigating the theft. Anyone whose signs were stolen, are asked to pick them up at the Town Clerk's office, which is open from 9-4, Mon., Wed. & Thur. Any unclaimed signs will be brought to the NNU meeting, on Fri., the 31st, for pick-up.
Maine and five other NE states launch Regional Renewable Energy Initiative
Bear season beginning; Wildlife department requests teeth

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Thanks to all the folks who tended the NNU booth at the Caledonia Fair this week!
UN ruling: EU must reassess renewables’ policy

Saturday, August 25, 2012

FYI: The lobbyist for Seneca Mountain Wind was at the Newark town dump with a petition asking folks to demand that the Selectboard not amend the Town Plan and giving away free pro-wind signs!
State Orders Georgia Mountain Wind To Halt Blasting

Friday, August 24, 2012

NNU thanks our most recent speakers: Chris Recchia, Deputy Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and Dr. Harry Chen, Commissioner of the VT Dept. of Health, for their time and for sharing their points of view.
Georgia Wind drops suit against protesters

New twist in Georgia Mtn. wind dispute; Family files court papers to vacate restraining order