PSB has final say on wind
Your editorial statement regarding industrial wind projects in Vermont that “the moratorium option is available locally” is dead wrong. The fact that four local town select boards have come out opposed to a wind project does not mean a project is dead. The decision as to whether a project is built lies solely in the hands of three members of the Public Service Board, and only two of the three have to agree.
Just because Gov. Shumlin said he would not support a wind project if local residents oppose it also does not mean a wind project could not be built. Shumlin doesn’t get a vote. Again, the Public Service Board is the final arbiter.
A large part of the reason for the legislative proposal to call for a moratorium is to slow down and take a look at our permitting process and take a realistic and objective look at just how much industrial wind is contributing to our actual needs. It would also be worthwhile to know just how much industrial wind in Vermont, where the wind resource is low and extremely undependable, contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gases, which is the driving force behind renewable energy in the first place. Just because a project is labeled “renewable” does not automatically make it worthwhile.
It’s clear our current permitting process is not working to protect affected citizens. There are families right now in both Lowell and Sheffield that are faced with the hard choice of having to abandon their homes because they’re finding the noise from wind turbines to be unbearable. There’s no financial compensation for them from either the power companies or the government. They simply lose everything. Can’t we slow down a bit and make sure we’re doing things right?