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Governor Shumlin on Wind and the role of Towns

June 22, 2012

“Ask the Governor” – Vermont Public television – 6/2/12


Kristen Carlson: “Teddi from Ira Vermont wants to know, [s]he says: It is well known that you are in support of ridgeline industrial wind turbines.  However in the past you have also stated that they should only be placed where they are wanted.  Do you still stand by this statement and will you support the efforts of the towns opposing the industrial wind project proposed for Grandpa’s Knob in Rutland County?”

Gov. Shumlin: “You know this is how I feel about industrial wind – and I don’t necessarily agree with the industrial wind terminology – but wind turbines – you’ve gotta remember where I come from.  I’m from Windham County.  We host the only nuclear power plant in the state of Vermont.  So I understand the sacrifice for energy.  And I understand that with every energy project, whether it’s solar farms or wind development or building a nuclear power plants, or oil plants or coal plants even hydro there’s always choices there’s always sacrifices.  But I believe that wind in Vermont, carefully placed, makes a lot of sense.  You can always take it down.  Unlike a nuclear power plant, there aren’t thousands of years of radioactive material on the banks of the Connecticut River that no one wants to take so Vermont’s stuck with it, you don’t have an outside owner, Entergy Louisiana who can’t tell the truth who’s running your plant and all the rest.  So of the energy choices, I think wind, solar, hydro, renewables make a [sic] huge sense for Vermont.  Now to answer the question, 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 affirmatively to host it.  We shouldn’t send them into towns that don’t want them.  So the answer is, I’ve been clear on this right from the beginning.  Lowell is a great example.  The people of Lowell voted, overwhelmingly, to have the Lowell project built.  I support the Lowell project.  If the people of any other project in Vermont in their community, in that town vote no, I support it not going in that community.  We shouldn’t build energy projects where they are not wanted.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2012 9:43 pm

    And I think we should call Shumlin on the comment that “we can always take them down”. I would agree that this statement might be true of solar or other renewables, particularly when carefully placed; however, installing wind turbines on ridgelines involves huge environmental degradation by definition. Installing anything on pristine ridgelines would involve huge environmental degradation so projects like Lowell and the proposed Grandpa’s Knob Wind Park cannot “easily be taken town”. You can’t put the mountaintop back together when you have destroyed it.

  2. Joy Loso permalink
    June 23, 2012 12:33 pm

    ‘You can always take it down’…..
    .what ???????????????????????????????????????????
    How are you going to put BACK the tons of soil, the thousands of trees, the disrupted mountain streams, the birds and bats, the habitats of bear, fox, deer, etc.
    The shape of the entire ridegline will be GONE if those ‘wind turbines’ are erected.

    ‘You can always take it down’ ??????????????? Oh brother……

  3. Carol Geery permalink
    June 27, 2012 10:18 am

    The Noble Power Lease states that once they take them down they will reconstruct the terrain two feet down. Anybody in Vermont ever try to grow trees on concrete slabs. There will be no return.

  4. John Kuehns permalink
    July 9, 2012 6:17 pm

    The gov mentions an Out-Of-State energy company owning the nuclear power plant as though he thinks Reunion Power is a local Vermont organization !

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