This Week: Town Meeting Results, Wind and Biomass Opinions, S. 30 Action & More…

Mar 08, 2013 No Comments by
Several Vermont towns addressed renewable energy projects this week during Town Meeting Day. The Burlington Free Press reported that Newark, Lowell, and Grafton all had wind related issues on the agenda. 

Newark and Grafton are currently evaluating projects proposed for their communities by utility-scale wind developers. In Newark, the town voted by a margin of 88-12 to establish a legal defense fund that would be used to oppose the project and represent the town’s interests. The money will come from a five cent raise in the tax rate.

Grafton had two articles on the agenda. The first asked if voters wanted the Select Board to continue conversations about the proposed project with the developers. The second asked if future votes on the wind project should be conducted by Australian ballot.The first Article was passed over after significant discussion, with most deciding it was too confusing of a question. The second was supported by the town. You can watch the video of much of the discussion.

This week produced a collection of opinions on both biomass and wind. For biomass, Jean Willard from North Springfield talks about how corporate influences can “make a charade” of our democracy when it comes to energy projects.

For wind, Sen. Benning, one of the sponsors of S. 30,wrote an opinion talking about why action on the issue of utility-scale wind is important for Vermont. Nancy Tips and Frank Seawright authored a letter to Sen. Bernie Sanders explaining why wind doesn’t make sense in Windham and how the current process fails our towns. In Burlington, Clara Bond asks, “How about some wind towers in Burlington?” Lastly, Lisa Wright Garcia offereda letter to the Rutland Herald that suggests we should focus on the “win-win” solutions for climate change response.

The Legislature will be back in session on Tuesday of this coming week. If you haven’t already done so, please contact your Senator, or any Senator you have a relationship with. Let them know you support S. 30 because the issue of energy siting is critically important to Vermont’s future and our towns need to have a strong say in the process. If you want to read the full bill as it sits now, you can check it out here.

Thanks for your support and have a great weekend,

Lukas B. Snelling


Mar 08, 2013 03:07 pm | EV

Reposted here from the Rutland Herald. “Making a charade of democracy” is the headline in the Feb.17 Rutland Herald in the commentary by Jon Mach, chairman of the Newfane Select Board. While this is in reference to the telecommunications corporations, it is also true of other energy corporations such as the biomass plants like the …

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Mar 06, 2013 01:04 pm | kate

Reposted from Rutland Herald. Bernie Sanders was questioned recently on VPR regarding his campaign to help lower gas prices in Vermont and whether that was in conflict with his stance on global warming and if it might serve to encourage more fossil fuel use. He stated that “we can’t penalize poor and middle-class people for …

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Mar 06, 2013 01:01 pm | kate

Reposted from Brattleboro Reformer. GRAFTON — Two articles pertaining to a potential wind turbine project were the main topics of discussion at Tuesday’s Town Meeting at the elementary school. Articles 3 and 4 were related to plans by Iberdrola Renewable, operating as Atlantic Wind LLC, to erect a 200-foot meteorological-testing (MET) tower on land owned …

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Mar 06, 2013 12:58 pm | kate

Reposted from VPR News. Grafton has been considering whether an industrial wind project should be built in town. A proposal at town meeting to help determine where the town stands didn’t clear up the confusion. The possibility of an industrial wind development in town has caused a stir in town. Recently, the Spanish energy company …

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Mar 06, 2013 12:53 pm | kate

Reposted from Burlington Free Press. NEWARK — Selectboard member Tommie Rodger upended the wooden ballot box, and torn bits of paper cascaded onto the counting table. On half sheets torn from notebooks, on Post-it notes, on little corners of white paper ripped from the town report, voter after voter had scrawled “Yes” or “YES!” — …

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Mar 05, 2013 10:55 am | kate

Reposted from Burlington Free Press. When wind energy is on the agenda at tax-decision time, it’s a matter of for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer. Tuesday in Lowell, town meeting voters will decide whether to eliminate municipal taxes altogether, thanks to payments from the Kingdom Community Wind project. In Sheffield, voters …

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Mar 03, 2013 09:20 pm | kate

Reposted from WCAX. NORTH SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Two companies looking to build a wood chip plant in North Springfield have hit a snag. In recent testimony, Public Service employees said the proposed plant plant does not meet Vermont’s energy needs and it does not contribute to renewable energy goals. The Rutland Herald reports this testimony comes …

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Mar 03, 2013 09:16 pm | kate

Reposted from Rutland Herald. GRAFTON — Vermont towns and “local control” would gain under revised legislation now under consideration in the Vermont Senate, three senators said at a forum on commercial wind development. The discussion, hosted by Friends of Grafton’s Heritage, which is fighting a proposed wind project in Grafton and Windham, brought out about …

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Mar 01, 2013 04:41 pm | april

Reposted from Rutland Herald. SPRINGFIELD — The North Springfield Sustainable Energy Project does not help meet the state’s energy needs or contribute to the state’s renewable energy goals, according to the director of energy policy and planning for the Department of Public Service. “Without a power purchase agreement between the proposed facility and a Vermont …

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