Selectboard to oppose Swanton Wind

Saint Albans Messenger; October 5, 2016

Town officials intend to speak at hearings


Messenger Staff Writer

SWANTON — The Swanton selectboard plans to appear before the Public Service Board (PSB), opposing the Swanton Wind Project.

“Everybody knows that we’re against this project,” said selectboard member Dan Billado during the board’s Tuesday meeting. “I think we as a board should continue to let the public know that we’re against this.”

The Swanton Wind Project, developed by Travis and Ashley Belisle, announced on Sept. 9 that the project had submitted its PSB application, seeking a Certificate of Public Good, the final step before the project can begin construction.

The PSB’s application process includes a series of public hearings. Selectboard members told the members of the public in attendance last night that the Town of Swanton would attend and speak at those meetings. Continue reading

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What’s it going to be Vermont? Our natural beauty or greed?

Saint Albans Messenger; October 4, 2016

What is it going to be Vermont? Our natural beauty. The mountains and ridge lines that we call home. The beauty our ancestors enjoyed as they worked this land. The beauty that draws thousands here yearly to enjoy our special spot in the world. The beautiful landscape that we owe to our children to keep in a natural state for them and their families to enjoy… Continue reading

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Mr. Belisle I have four simple questions on wind project

Saint Albans Messenger; October 1, 2016

I read with interest Mr. Belisle’s letter to the editor (“Scott wrong to pander to state’s anti-wind minority… 9/27/16). I have 4 simple questions for Mr. Belisle.

1). Is there proof that anti-wind is a “vocal minority” in Vermont?

2). It is stated that “Swanton Wind will result in a gain of $ 4 million in wages for Vermonters and a gain of $392,000 in state tax revenue during project construction. Will these $4 million in wages continue for the life of the project (20-25 years) and will the jobs really go to Vermonters or out-of-towners? 3). Would the energy be sold in Vermont or out of Vermont? There’s no benefit to the environment in or the people of Vermont if the power is being sent out of state.

4). “IF” renewable energy credits (which is how developers make their money) were required to be sold only in Vermont, would this project be a viable one?

Adam Paxman Swanton

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Belisle’s math wrong; 5-1 is a majority against wind, not for

Saint Albans Messenger; September 29, 2016

Travis Belisle seems to be catching on to the fact that the MAJORITY of Vermont residents are anti-industrial wind and he is attempting to rationalize a project that few people want, (including power companies) will ruin the ambience of the natural environment and only benefit the few. What he does not seem to want to acknowledge is that this project affects not just his immediate surroundings but changes the ambience for miles around. (Read Fairfield Pond) There is a reason that the lobbyists pushed hard to cut out local control of such ill-conceived projects, and that is that they know that few people would ever freely agree to deface the natural landscape in such a wasteful way, much less want to live near an industrial site.

I, for one, admire and support Phil Scott”s position on big wind. I think Travis put the cart before the horse and is now trying desperately to sway public opinion with a litany of the clichés fed to him by the wind industry. Continue reading

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Scott’s stance on wind power is why we’re supporting him

Saint Albans Messenger; September 27, 2016

Phil Scott not only cares deeply about Vermont, but the Vermonters who live here. That is the number one reason I am voting for Phil. He knows the importance of public servants being held accountable to the people at all times. As a lifelong Democrat/Independent, I have voted for Phil in the past because of his integrity. Many members of the Democratic party have lost their integrity and do not care about Vermonter’s health and welfare.

Phil’s open door policy makes you feel welcome and listened to. Over the many months at the State House this past year he would say, “my door is always open”. On more than one occasion he invited our group in to discuss our concerns regarding the renewable energy legislation, particularly industrial wind. He listened, he cared and he promised to seek out alternatives that worked for everyone involved, not just the developers. Being a very busy man, I respected him for taking the time to ask us how we’re doing, to show sincerity for our plight and to encourage us to continue educating our legislators towards compromise. Compromise, it’s not a dirty word. Compromise equals great accomplishments done in a way where everyone feels listened to, respected and cared about.

Phil was happy to attend a meeting on Rocky Ridge to discuss the proposed Swanton Wind Industrial Wind project. We discussed alternatives to how Vermont could achieve our goals. We talked about carbon emissions, rooftop solar, efficiency and how grants are distributed. Sue Minter has stated she’s too busy to meet with us. She’ll happily carry out the Shumlin/Blittersdorf plan of 200 miles of our 600 miles of ridgelines covered with industrial wind yet doesn’t have 60 minutes to spend with the families whose lives would be destroyed. Is that who you want for a Governor? If so, industrial wind will soon be coming to a ridgeline near you!

Honesty is another great quality about Phil Scott. He realizes that the next Vermont Governor needs to be honest about our challenges. He knows that transparency and accountability have eroded in Vermont and there is no trust in our Government officials. He’ll be honest about our economy’s spending being way over its growth. He’s heard from many people how expensive it is to live here. I can appreciate that as a penny pinching Vermonter trying to make ends meet. He’ll work hard to strengthen our economy, supporting entrepreneurialism and job growth. I’m referring to real jobs, not the mythical ones that Sue Minter claims to have been created in the renewable energy industry.

He’ll fix the health care exchange by exploring the Federal health care exchange or approved multistate partnership exchanges. He’ll continue to look for and crack down on abuse in the system.

Vermont desperately needs a change and Phil Scott is the right man for the job! He has worked hard as Lt. Governor. He has earned our trust, our respect and our support. I hope he has earned yours also.

Bruce & Sally Collopy, Fairfield

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Scott wrong to pander to state’s anti-wind minority

Saint Albans Messenger; September 26, 2016

As a long-time community-minded local businessman whose family businesses have been employing fellow Vermonters for decades, doing the right thing for the environment and the Vermont economy is not new to me. In the 1990s, when my family built up Sticks and Stuff, a local chain of hardware and building supply stores, we found a greener way to run our business’ truck fleet. By producing renewable, clean-burning biodiesel from used cooking oil from local restaurants, we saved on fuel costs, we helped local restaurants save on waste disposal, and we reduced air pollution. Continue reading

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Ironic that Rep. Gamache denied access to hearing

Saint Albans Messenger; September 23, 2016

This week I attended the ribbon cutting/ground breaking ceremony for the Deerfield Wind project in the Green Mountain National Forest. Ironic that this event was held on public land on a public road, but the public was barred from entering. Even more surprising was that our Representative Marianna Gamache, a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources and Energy was barred from attending as a legislator. Her goal was not to disrupt the ceremony. Renewable energy is one of her main priorities as a committee member. Any and all participation and education should be encouraged and allowed by Governor Shumlin. Why would she be refused attendance?

About 40 demonstrators were there protesting this travesty in our National Forest. This is a pristine area that supports critical bear habitat. Our government has admitted that industrial wind in Vermont does nothing to reduce climate change. Continued mountain top removal will only exacerbate the problems of heavy rain. There are numerous other solutions that Vermont can undertake that would be much more cost effective and efficient, not to mention would benefit the overall population versus a few developers making millions of dollars off of human and animal suffering.

Sally Collopy Fairfield

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