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