Why the delay on wood plant?
It has become increasingly difficult to understand the level of apathy for a multimillion-dollar business proposed for Fair Haven.
Beaver Wood Energy is three years and as many millions of dollars into the permit process to build a wood-fired, biomass electric generating/pellet manufacturing/hydroponic greenhouse project. The project would generate upward of 1,000 jobs during the two-year building phase as well as 200 jobs when on line — 50-plus on site.
For three years, residents of Fair Haven and surrounding areas have gathered petitions, written letters, met with legislators, traveled to Montpelier for hearings, met with the governor and attended local public hearings. There is extraordinary support for Beaver Wood Energy, and yet all these efforts seem to be for naught.
Two legislative sessions removed the biomass language from energy bills at the last minute, annulling the mandate for electric companies to purchase biomass-produced power.
The extent of indifference displayed by decision-makers — at all levels — has progressed from the inane to the ridiculous. Every day, there are news articles reminding the masses that jobs are needed in Vermont, youngsters are leaving Vermont to find good-paying jobs.
Most recently, there is critical need to generate new taxes to meet rising costs and to replace federal funding cuts. As well, there is the urgency of generating electricity using renewable sources to meet future goals.
So what’s the problem? People with jobs pay taxes. An up-and-running, multimillion-dollar enterprise pays taxes. The regulated harvest of Vermont forests is a “green” source of renewable energy production. Can we, any time soon, expect our governor, lieutenant governor, House speaker, all legislators and power companies to do the responsible right thing for Vermont and get this project on a fast track to success?
CLAIRE L. STANLEY