August 6th, 2012
For Immediate Release
50 Block Construction, 6 Arrested at Lowell Wind Site
Protesting Environmental Destruction,
Flawed Energy Policy, & High Price Of Project
Lowell, Vermont – After a 5 a.m. start this morning with a group of fifteen, today’s action on the Lowell Mountains ended with nearly 50 activists standing on the disputed property that Green Mountain Power is using for part of its Lowell Wind Project. Six were arrested. Construction was stopped all morning on the most northern section of the project where turbines have been getting assembled the past three weeks.
Speaking on behalf of those arrested Dennis Liddy of Westfield summed up the days events, “Actions like this are the only way we have right now to alert Vermonters to the incredible sacrifice being made in their name. Sooner or later we will wring all the politics out of this and move on to a credible energy policy.”
During the long wait for police to arrive participants built a fire, enjoyed a shared breakfast, played music, were entertained by Bread and Puppet troupers, and taught each other folk dances. “The atmosphere was upbeat, in spite of the seriousness of our message. The Public Service Board, Governor Shumlin, and Secretary Markowitz have failed the citizens of Vermont with their lack of vision. Projects like this will burden ratepayers and taxpayers for decades for no environmental benefit”, said Will Young of Westfield, who served as the Occupiers photographer.
“Our actions on the crane path were both civil and safe”, said Giselle Chevallay of Newark, when asked for a comment about the morning’s action. “The only safety issues were caused by GMP staff when they tried to move equipment across the disputed property.“
Today’s arrests bring the total number of arrests associated with the controversial project to 15. The joint trial of six of the December 5 arrestees is scheduled to begin August 15. Two Sterling College students were arrested last November for violation of a court injunction prohibiting people from being on land adjacent to the project during hours of blasting. The charges against the students were dismissed due to inadequate notification of the hours of blasting.
The six arrested today were taken to the State Police station in Derby for processing. It is expected they will be charged with criminal trespass.
The six arrested today are:
- Keith Bellek, 56, Sheffield
- Carol Irons, 71, Albany
- Meredith Jones, 63, East Albany
- Dennis Liddy, 64, Westfield
- William Roddy, 66, Irasburg
- Raymond Micklon, 50 Craftsbury
Looking around the stripped and leveled mountaintop one last time before the hike back down the mountain Leon Whitcomb of Morrisville remarked, “One cannot protect the planetary functions that support human life by tearing apart those functions.”
Press Contacts For general questions about today’s event:
See below for Statement from Mountain Occupiers
Mountain Occupiers Statement – 8/6/12
We are here, risking arrest, on behalf of all Vermonters for the following reasons:
• Ridgeline wind in Vermont does nothing for climate change because it does not
• Ridgeline wind will cost Vermonters hundreds of millions of dollars more than
available alternatives. These options can reduce emissions without stealing
from ratepayers, taxpayers, and property owners.
• Statutory protections are being ignored as regulators and policy makers allow
the taking of endangered species, alteration of hydrology and disruption of
wildlife – natural resources that belong to all of us.
• Destroying irreplaceable natural resources under the pretense of protecting
them accelerates the effects of climate change. This will be our legacy if we
continue with Vermont’s current renewable energy policy.
• As Vermonters educate themselves about energy issues, first there is disbelief,
then outrage, then action to oppose the make-believe that is passing for
renewable energy policy and ‘public good’ in Vermont.
• We are here to say “Stop the charade, stop the madness. Protect the mountains
so they can protect us.”