Saint Albans Messenger; August 3, 2016
The Public Service Board, which should have the word “Public” removed from it, came out a week ago with their new temporary standards on industrial wind turbine noise standards. Shocked, I guess I shouldn’t be; angry, you bet I am.
Many people from around Vermont, including the next victims of Swanton/Fairfield spent five months almost daily at the legislature, educating, informing, pleading, begging and yes, even crying, in hopes that they would hear us and pass a good bill to protect Vermonters. Again this year, they failed to do that, but this letter is not about the joke of the process that takes place in the legislature, as tragic as it is. It’s about the spillover of influence by lobbyists on our legislators and how it has been permeating many other branches of our state government for years.
As horrible as S.260 was our group took a huge risk at convincing our supportive legislators, some Democrats, mostly Republicans to support this bill in spite of how bad it was. For one last time we put our faith in the Public Service Board to do the right thing regarding protecting future Vermonters from being harmed by industrial wind. We were so wrong! We should have listened and believed what other victims before us said and not thought that this time would be different, this time they heard the masses in green vests, this time they would take small steps toward change. This time they would set better temporary limits before setting permanent ones. It’s true. The system is broken, it’s corrupt, and it doesn’t matter how many people bring attention to it. They do not care, which has been said all along, and once again, confirmed.
The PSB stated they didn’t have time to do it right. I ask then, why would you even do a temporary noise standard? Why wouldn’t you wait, like we asked over and over again to do it right? Hold off a short 8-10 short months, until the final ruling date of July 1, 2017 and take testimony, carefully review all the excellent noise standards suggested and once and for all, set safer noise standards to protect Vermonters against the harmful effects of industrial wind. Why? Because it’s an election year, that’s why. Because they want the status quo for all these pending projects before the election. Projects that can move forward ruining people’s lives, like Swanton Wind, Grafton, Windham, Irasburg and Morgan. I wasn’t born yesterday. I may be blind with optimism, hope and faith that eventually, if educated enough, if seen and heard by the masses enough, that people, especially our legislators who make the rules, will do the right thing. I should have known better.
Thank goodness it is an election year! The timing is right for many more potential victims to happen, which helped raise the voices of those who have worked tirelessly on this fight for years. Since they didn’t hear us at the legislature and now the Public Service Board, they will hear us with our votes!
So, the choice is yours. If you don’t want people’s lives ruined and our ridge tops destroyed, elect Peter Galbraith, Phil Scott or Bruce Lisman. If you want the status quo with potentially 100+ miles or more of industrial wind going in, elect Sue Minter or Matt Dunne. They will continue on the Shumlin plan without missing a beat. I know that if we can get Peter Galbraith and Phil Scott on the ticket as our nominees, this industrial wind nightmare will be over. Please do everything you can to make that happen or you just might be the next victim.
Sally Collopy Fairfield