Brattleboro Reformer Opinion: Response to Windham Wind Editorial

Nov 16, 2012 No Comments by

Reposted here from the Brattleboro Reformer.

Editor of the Reformer:

In reply to your editorial of Oct. 18: It would seem, from your editorial stance on the town of Windham’s opposition to wind farms, that town plans are to be honored unless large corporations take exception to them. Either our votes count for something all the time, or our small towns’ self-governance is a sham.

You mention the “need for respect” for a huge Spanish development conglomerate. Since Iberdola’s (a.k.a.Atlantic Wind) initial position is that the express wishes of the town landowners are of no importance, there is no respect. There is no room for towns and landowners “to be involved with any decision” in the future. Iberdola’s exclusion of local points of view is clearly stated in their brief to the Public Service Board.

You further state that “communication” might be a good idea. Iberdola has no dialogue with adjacent landowners who don’t want the mountaintop removed for one company’s profit. Nor are they listening to those who live downstream who worry about the inevitable flooding that will result from a watershed that has lost its absorbent capacity because a 100 foot wide road has blasted through it. They also are not listening to those homeowners in the three-mile radius whose property values will decrease because of the noise of the turbines.

The removal of public resources for private gain is not allowed in our rivers or in our farmland. Why should we allow removal of our mountaintops for private gain? Oddly, we are all aware of Act 250 which protects natural resources and concerned neighbors when large developments are proposed. We are unaware that Act 248 protects industrial development from the same regulatory scrutiny. The abutting neighbors have no legal recourse against wind development.

Perhaps you think the wind turbines are renewable energy which will decrease our reliance on oil. Firstly, our green ridgelines are not renewable. Secondly, in order to operate, the turbines require our current electric grid’s full capacity. Not only that, Iberdola will sell “green credits” to coal and oil companies enabling them to avoid punitive taxes on their dirty production. No oil will be saved.

Perhaps you think wind will replace our dependence on Vermont Yankee. In the current plan for the state’s energy purchases, Vermont Yankee would have already been reduced to 2 percent of our energy usage by the time this project would come on line.

Finally, you state that there is no harm in putting up some test towers (MET towers). Why allow a testing tower on a site where you do not want to allow a wind project? Iberdola has no interest in putting up wind test towers for the fun of it. The test towers only go up where wind will possibly follow.

Please look into the destruction of Lowell Mountain, the harm caused to legally powerless abutters by the blasting, the adjoining towns’ reasoned opposition and reconsider your editorial stance.

Sally Warren

Opinion, Wind

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