Open letter to the Sierra Club

To the Editor:

I have been a member of the Sierra Club for over 30 years, but I no longer intend to support your organization. Perhaps you would be interested in knowing why.

My anger centers on Tristram Korten's article in the March/April 2012 issue of your magazine -- which offers high praise for Vermont's Governor Shumlin but offers not a whiff or mention of the strong opposition to the governor's welcoming attitude toward wind power in this state. Any reporter or journalist worth his salt would easily have picked this up and at the very least would have mentioned it.

Opposition to wind power in Vermont has to do not with wind power in general but wind power in particular in this state. No, it's not quite NIMBY. Unlike other states, the fact is neighboring Hydro-Quebec sits there with enough excess energy to supply Vermont forever -- hence no need to tear up Vermont's ridge lines, as a governor's adviser wants to do (he advocates 200 miles of wind turbines).

Meanwhile Green Mountain Power, using federal production tax credits (my tax money) is cashing in, to the tune of $42 million in the case of our Lowell Mountains. Industrializing them. It isn't as if there are no other options -- solar, hydro, biomass.

The writer in the article mentioned above also talks about Vermont's local Sierra Club seeking money to protect wildlife corridors, in a coalition with an iron workers local. What a joke! Green Mountain Power Corporation is currently ripping up about two miles of wildlife corridor on the Lowell Mountain Range. They get bestowed with flashing red lights at night in the bargain.

Your local club, incidentally, recently issued a press release, giving support to wind power, saying "renewables" are good for tourism. Bless their suburban hearts! Why do they think Vermont has an anti-billboard law?

Lastly, your inept reporter's article fails to note that our governor's enthusiasm for wind power may be related to the fact that Green Mountain Power, developer of wind turbines on the Lowell Range, was a major supplier of money for his election campaign. (I would add that wind companies carefully choose low-income towns, holding out the bait of tax relief).

I regret no longer supporting you; I know you have done good work. But shades of Dave Brower, the Archdruid and bedrock member of your organization! He above all would know that wilderness is a form of freedom. And he would know that wind corporations in Vermont are bent on destroying it. For profit.

Addison Merrick

Craftsbury, Vt.

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