Citizens Occupy Lowell Wind Site

Vermonters Risk Arrest, Protest Project’s High Cost, Massive Environmental Destruction, and State’s Failed Energy Policies
Lowell, Vermont – Early this morning, 20 citizens from surrounding towns formed a human blockade on the ridgeline crane path at Green Mountain Power’s Lowell Wind Project. Wearing shirts that read, “Ridges are Not Renewable” and holding signs that say, “STOP Destroying Vermont,” and “Shumlin Lies” the activists have stopped construction vehicles on property with disputed ownership. The event is at the same location where 7 individuals were arrested on December 5th, 2011.
“Most Vermonters have no idea this project will cost ratepayers over $200 million more than other options available on the market. The policies that have encouraged this development are a complete failure,” said Annegret Pollard, 75, of Walden, a retired college professor who joined the early morning action to bring attention to the flawed state policies.

Dennis Liddy, 64 a retired schoolteacher who lives in Westfield, decried the Governor’s apparent lack of understanding of the state’s CO2 emission sources. “Governor Shumlin is either outright lying to Vermonters or is purposely misleading us. Either way the implication that this project will reduce our dependency on foreign oil or even reduce our CO2 emissions is completely false. Electricity generation in Vermont isn’t a significant contributor to climate change. Even the Agency of Natural Resources acknowledges that Vermont’s emissions from electrical generation is near zero. Zero!”

“We want our Governor to be a knowledgeable leader, but Shumlin is behaving more like a shill for special interests and energy developers,” added East Albany resident, Meredith Jones. “He’s allowed GMP to destroy this ridgeline for no environmental gain.”

Irasburg stone mason, Bill Roddy, 66, explained that though the controversy began over the wind project it has grown to a controversy about the relationships between the government and energy developers. “Reasonable people would have settled the property dispute before blowing up the disputed property.  When the Public Service Board knowingly allows a developer to blow up land which likely belongs to someone else – it just proves how our government has become a servant to corporate greed.”

When asked why citizens would risk arrest at the site for the third time, Steve Wright, 70, of Craftsbury said, “Green Mountain Power and the State of Vermont have not been honest with Vermonters about the costs and benefits of this project.” Vermont policy allows for the sale of the renewable benefits generated by the project called RECs or ‘renewable energy credits’ to out of state utilities while also taking credit for the benefits in Vermont.
Wright continued, “This type of double counting means that this project does nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, allows polluters in other states to keep polluting, and destroys an intact ecosystem. We as citizens have a responsibility to show we won’t accept this flawed energy policy and the project’s that result from it.”
For long time activist and Abenaki, Carol Irons, 71, of Albany, this effort is about fighting for an optimal response to climate change. “Our number one responsibility in our response to climate change is to protect intact ecosystems like our ridgelines. Building seven miles of new road and blasting atop a ridgeline while destroying irreplaceable natural resources under the pretense of protecting them will accelerate the effects of climate change. This colossal mistake will be our legacy if we don’t continue to make a stand.”
Keith Ballek, 56, of Sheffield,  took issue with Green Mountain Power’s positive characterization of the project and the Public Service Board (PSB) process. “We’re tired of GMP claiming that the project is acceptable to Vermonters because it went through the PSB process. The fact is the PSB process doesn’t take into account local voices and routinely ignores neighbor’s rights. How could three guys in a room, who never visited the site before approving the project act on behalf of all Vermonters?”
Artist and activist Carrie Glessner, 26, of Westfield concluded, “They can’t, and we won’t stand for it any longer.”
The Mountain Occupiers issued a statement (below) about today’s action and intend to remain on the disputed property until the situation is resolved.
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
   reduce emissions.
•  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.”



7 comments on “Citizens Occupy Lowell Wind Site

  1. Marshall Rosenthal says:

    Good on you, Mountain Occupiers! Your action fuels the spirit and courage of many who have their eyes on you. The Windpower Scam is a worldwide conspiracy that is now being fought in many localities. Global attention and counter-action is required to defeat this global criminal land grab. Stooge politicians must be recalled and turned out.

    Stay safe and stay strong!


  2. Arthur Qwenk says:

    Well done Vermont! Give them hell!

    You are welcomed by the arrested Rollins 5 from the Rollins Wind scam 2010 in Lincoln Maine!
    This region in Maine has been ruined by First Wind and the 40 turbines now dominating the vista.
    We are elated to see so many there using their civil powers to stop the lies as we saw them here.

    It will be all worth it, and thank you for carrying the proud flag of civil disobedience against these low life scoundrels and liars of the wind scourge!

    Onward Vermont and Maine to stop these S.O.B.’s!
    Bring down this corrupt energy scheme, and the politicians and lairs that support lying wind!

  3. ed wolfe says:

    Where do we send defense monies ?
    Well done

  4. Jim Wiegand says:

    About all that is left to do, is to protest. Any discussion about these turbines is useless because a corrupt system has already decided to force them upon society. Unfortunately we live in a world where the the corrupt, those that play the game, that are promoted in our society. It works for them because those at the top are already corrupt.

    This is what is wrong with the wind industry. When you get right down to it, the real problem with this industry is the fraud, lies, agency collusion, and corruption.

    The Whooping Cranes are a perfect example. They will be gone within 5 years. By then there will be so many turbines with so much rotor sweep in their habitat, it will be impossible for them to survive. The turnover in the population will be too great and the population will lose their breeders.

    But the public has heard nothing of this. The official blame for their demise will be some disease like botulism, bad weather or both. When this happens a lot of hoopla will be made about how they(USFWS) are going to revive the population from their “contrived” catastrophe. Money will then be allocated and doled out to the corrupt, for the production of bogus studies.

    But will all be just another lie, just like it has been for 28 years about the propeller style wind turbine. In the end, all we will have left of the Whooping Cranes will be small populations from breeding projects that do not migrate.

    They will be fed and taken care of……….. But their world will have been taken from them.

    This is exactly what happened with the condors while mercenary experts, the media, politicians, and government agencies all deceived the public. But I am not just concerned about California Condors and Whooping Cranes. There are dozens of other species destined to be annihilated by the wind industry. Species that are not high profile and that most have never heard of and are not seen hang around any Wal-Mart parking lots. Those like the Least Bell’s Vireo or the Egyptian Vulture.

    I have seen every conceivable argument and tidbit of propaganda justifying wind energy from every corner of the world and there is one element that is nearly always overlooked. Regardless of the energy source and the arguments, no one should ever condone the fraud that has carried this industry for decades. I know from all the wildlife studies and surveys I have read, that with this industry, there never has been a level playing field because their collision mortality has been hidden. So if at some time in the future, the public insists on proper mortality studies, they will find the results to be staggering.

    There will never be any viable solutions for problems in America, with a system that rewards the criminals. The best ideas can and will be buried for decades under a corrupt system.

    So how do you fix it? A protest is a good place to start. It lets them know, that you know, exactly what they are doing.

    • mary petras says:

      It was only a matter of time before They did to us what They did to the Native Americans. Sick and sad that they do not seem to recognize the pattern.

  5. mary petras says:

    We have been funding the wind industry since the days of President Jimmy Carter. And still, the industry cannot stand on it’s own. What they have figured out is how to create perceptions that play into the alarmist screeching about global warming; playing off of public ignorance and a willingness on the part of politicians to allow the monied to tell them what to do without taking the time to make sure it is “right”. Wind turbines cause micro-climate change, or so the FAA admits in documents FOIA’d for a Massachusetts project. This helps stop global climate change how? Wind produces energy at night – when it is not needed. Mandates force utilities to buy it but since they can’t sell it they dump it. How does this make fiscal sense? Wind cannot be relied upon to produce energy when we need it and cannot produce it in the amounts necessary to keep our manufacturing sector etc. working. How will this help jump start our economy?

    The USGS recently came out with additional concerns about bat populations and the deadly impacts of wind turbines on their numbers. They expressed shock that developers turned in surveys that showed few bats would be impacted, only to find out that hundreds and even thousands in the “low bat population area” (as stated by the developer) die. Are they really so dense that they cannot figure out that the developers are being less than honest in their environmental impact assessments in order to get permits? Or, are they like our politicians and so-called environmental groups, who fail to do their homework and believe the wind developers because this is the political flavor of the month. The staffers and leaders who support wind energy only do so because they have not studied even one project.

    I have heard others discuss using civil disobedience to stop wind developers from installing turbines in areas where the public sentiment is decidedly against them. I’m really proud of the people of Vermont for standing up and standing strong against this boondoggle and hope their actions inspire others across the United States. Charles Grassley pushed the PTC’s through in 1992. The only reason wind works in his state is because Iowa sells their Renewable Energy Credits (i.e. fairy dust) to Illinois to help Illinois meet their mandate for “wind”. Call Senator Grassley’s office and remind him that we have been funding this nonsense since Carter – which is long enough. The AWEA is going to be pushing for the extension to pass the whole Senate. Write letters now and send them to ALL US Senators, and to your Congressional delegation. Tell them NO MORE PTC’s and 1603 grants. It’s time to let wind die.

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