Gov tells PSB to reject Swanton wind; let’s hope they listen

Saint Albans Messenger; December 12, 2015

After learning the facts about the impacts of industrial wind on their community, the voters A industrial wind on their community, the voters of Swanton turned out and voted a resounding 5 to 1 against the project.

Gov. Shumlin said, “I have always said and I will always say I believe that no energy project should be built in a town in Vermont where the residents of that community don’t vote to affirmatively host it. We shouldn’t send them into towns that don’t want them.” (2012 VPT interview)

“We’re now at the stage in terms of the grid where if you build big wind in the Northeast Kingdom, or if you build big wind in Franklin County, parts of Franklin County that are being proposed again, you will have stranded renewables. You will have difficulty getting those into the grid without making extraordinary investments to the grid that will cost Vermont ratepayers money. So let’s continue to do wind, but let’s do it sensibly and let’s do it in the right places,” Governor Shumlin said. (Emerson Lynn, Saint Albans Messenger; October 26, 2015 )

The growth of renewable energy is a very important goal of the Governor. So when he speaks out against Swanton Wind, he is communicating to the Public Service Board to reject this project.

The Public Service Board is the quasi-judicial body that rules on industrial energy projects. The PSB hears and is influenced by the Governor and his public statements.

For renewable energy to continue to grow in Vermont, the Governor knows that it has to be sited in the right places, at the right size and have community support. He knows that projects like Swanton Wind will sour Vermonters support for renewable energy.

The Governor is sending a strong message to the PSB to reject this project. It has provoked strong community opposition, it is the too large for the area, it is poorly sited in the middle of a residential neighborhood and it would “cost Vermont ratepayers money”. He is stating that this project does not qualify as a “public good”.

We agree with Governor Shumlin. The Governor is the voice of Vermonters who elected him. He is telling the PSB to reject Swanton Wind.

The PSB should listen to and act on Governor Shumlin’s directive.

Brian and Penny Dubie, Fairfield

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