by Rob Roper
Strong call for moratorium on industrial wind projects in Vermont
EAI was at the State House on January 3 when a bipartisan team of legislators, backed by an overflow crowd of supporters filling the Cedar Creek Room, made a strong case for imposing a three year moratorium on industrial wind projects in Vermont. Led by Senators Joe Benning (R-Caledonia) and Bob Hartwell (D-Bennington), the group gave a stark presentation of what the impact such projects are having and will have on Vermont’s landscape (to really get the impact of this, please watch the video above), and raised several questions about the efficacy of industrial wind as a tool to combat climate change, the economics of industrial wind, and the negative effects on our communities.
Here are some facts to consider in this debate:
1) Vermont law, already on the books, dictates that Vermont must get 90% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050.
2) This number includes automobile travel and home heating, which are currently fueled mostly by oil, not electricity.
3) Advocates of this plan would like to see as much of this renewable power produced locally, if possible.
We have to ask, if all of these criteria are to be met, and we are going to continue to generate the amounts of energy we need in a modern society, what will the ultimate impact on Vermont’s landscape by 2050? This is a question EAI will explore more fully in the weeks and months to come.
To learn more about energy issues in Vermont and market oriented solutions to the challenges we face, check out EAI’s Energy Education Project at energyeai.org.
Rob Roper is the president of the Ethan Allen Institute (www.ethanallen.org).