Contrary to the governor on green future
To the Editor:
On the Vermont Public Radio program VT Edition 5/9/2014, a listener questioned Governor Shumlin about the integrity of VT Gas (note that the parent company of VT Gas and Green Mountain Power is the Canada's Gaz Metro. You can trace Gaz Metro to Enbridge and Trencap.). Shumlin was VERY defensive in his tone of reply, as can be noted in the recorded interview (http://digital.vpr.net/post/live-governor-peter-shumlin). He even went as far as to tout how Vt Gas is completely transparent in their dealings around the processes of developing this pipeline project.
Contrary to this point made by the governor is the fact that VT Gas would like public records SEALED.
(See the article : "Vermont Gas Proposal Could Seal Pipeline Records" Addison Independent May. 1 2014, http://vtdigger.org/2014/05/01... How is this being transparent? Does VT Gas have right to ask that PUBLIC records be sealed? If so, should they? And WHO exactly could stop them, IF NOT Governor Peter Shumlin??? And more importantly, WHY will he not?
Further, certain environmental groups and public interest groups and their lobbyists have been and might still be shouting that Big Wind will save us from the fracked gas pipeline. This couldn't be further from the truth. Renewables sited responsibly and developed in smaller scale and independent of Big Corporate interests will help us in this regard. Not that Big Corporations want that to happen even if it would help the planet, right? Green Mountain Power representatives and other industrial/utility wind developers have actually proclaimed that Fracked Gas power dovetails ideally with the very intermittent Big Wind power. People ought to align and see the "power behind the push" for these developments. It's about land grabs and big money and bought-and-paid-for, developer-centric legislation. The motivation is not as green-minded as you are led to believe. (Or rather, it's the 'other' $ort of 'green.' )
Protect tree-covered carbon sinks. Protect tree-covered, erosion-protective upland watersheds (read: mountains & ridgelines). Protect water quality and protect against flooding impacts by protecting the natural work watersheds do in all parts and levels of the watershed systems. THIS is smart, in the face of responsible, resilient climate change response.
There is no time or money for knee-jerk, build-em-as-fast-as-we-can, develop-now-mitigate-later, reactive development. It must be proactive and it must be thought through critically!
SMALL-SCALED RENEWABLES SITED RESPONSIBLY while being protective of farmland, floodpaths, flood potential, homes, human health, carbon sinks, wildlife that is part of inter-functioning ecosystems & food webs, local water quality, and community-cohesiveness is smart, for a resilient future in this state. And it's proactive. And it's possible.
Let's see this industrial-scaled development for what it is! And seek a wiser, more resilient path to Vermont's (small-scaled renewables!) energy future. I think, together, Vermonters could get there. Wouldn't that really be something?
Vanessa Mills Holmquist