Vermont is being duped by wind industry

To the Editor:

In 2011 Vermont led the nation with the lowest carbon dioxide emissions from electrical power generation -- 96% green! In 2010 Vermont had the second-lowest per-capita natural gas consumption of all States and ranked 42nd in total per-capita energy consumption.

To claim that Vermont is not interested in clean and renewable energy is certain ignorance of the facts. But many people are spouting that. Why? Think about what they really want.

Legislators, lobbyists, energy representatives, and environmental groups pronounce that Vermont should aggressively pursue renewable energy resources. We're not? Vermont is clearly not mining its petrochemical and coal reserves. So what's left? Solar? That is happening on many local levels. But what are we capable of providing the grid?

Now, that is an interesting question and begins to get at one of the real issues = the nation's dependence upon coal, oil, and gas. It's a great question. The answer is, Vermont cannot contribute very much to the nation's energy no matter what. So, that question is being reframed. Lately it has become "if Vermont doesn't do this, what message does that send the Nation"? Now we are in the message business.

The message they want is: Support the Wind Industry. That's the wrong message. The right message is: Support Clean and Renewable Energy.

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that Vermont does not even merit a "marginal" capacity for wind resource. There is no lack of quality and available resources nationally. None of that is in Vermont (or New England). Wind is now "potentially" providing 0.5% of Vermont's total energy. The Agency's best estimate is that Vermont wind could "potentially" provide 0.02% of US energy capacity. Wow! How many ridgelines will that take?

But we have curtailments. Fine piece of jargon that, and don't tell me they didn't know. Our huge contribution to fueling the nation can't get on to the grid. The energy can't be stored; the towns are not getting their promised money; people are getting sick.

Not us, says the wind industry. How come the U.S. Navy has known for decades; how come the World Health Organization issued an international alert in 1999; how can the industry be allowed compliance failure with ISO 2631 standards; why did the Wisconsin Public Service Commission finance that pesky study? Google "infrasound human health." Don't buy propaganda. Get the data. Go to the D.O.E. sites.

Why are these people pushing the wrong program and pressing the wrong message? They have other agendas: Follow the money.

Support the Clean and Renewable Energy that we can do and critically where in the nation that can be done safely. Wind has no environmental place in Vermont, but the Wind Industry and others sure want those subsidies and we're easy victims.

Jim Sawhill

Kirby, Vt.

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