In support of wind projects

To the Editor:

We are longtime residents of Holland and are writing to express our support for Bryan and Sue Davis and Jonathan and Jayne Chase, two farm families in Derby who want to host wind turbines on their farms. As a landowner, we believe that they have a right to use their land in ways that benefit them as family farms. The benefits seem to far outweigh the potential impacts.

Most of the Town Plans in the Northeast Kingdom are based around farming and farm communities and we think embracing wind power in our "communities" is a smart and responsible thing to do. Derby and Holland are at their core rural, agricultural and many of us hope they will stay that way. But in order to maintain this way of living, we need revenue generating assets such as wind turbines that will create economic benefits for the residents of our communities, as well as the family farms. Just as important, these wind turbines will create local renewable energy so that Vermonters will have greater independence from fossil fuels. We know that many other residents of Holland support more renewable energy, including wind. The voices of a small group of renewable energy opponents led to a very restrictive policy on commercial energy, which has since been suspended by the Holland Select Board, pending input from all Holland residents regarding such a policy.

We are very concerned that we would be closing the door to a "clean" revolution that is going on in the rest of the country by investing in and/or hosting renewable energy projects on farm land. Without additional revenues for our towns, I am concerned that our family, as well as many other families, will not be able to afford ever escalating property taxes associated with our properties.

We should be supporting renewable energy projects and using our Town Plans to encourage them rather than restricting/eliminating projects in Holland and the surrounding communities, including the two turbines in Derby. Provided that they can be deployed safely and with minimal environmental and human impacts (and the Vermont Public Safety Board has a robust process in which to ensure these factors are addressed) we should be supporting renewable energy development and reaping the benefits.

Thanks for your time.

Ernie and Diana Emmerson

Derby Line, Vt.

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