Six protestors against Green Mountain Power wind project arrested on Lowell mountain

by Nat Rudarakanchana | August 6, 2012
Six protestors demonstrating against Green Mountain Power’s wind energy project on Lowell Mountain were arrested this afternoon for unlawful trespass, following a protest of about 50 people.
The protestors believe the 21 wind turbines will cause needless environmental damage and won’t contribute significantly to combating climate change. They also argue that the regulatory process which cleared the project had flaws.
William Roddy, an Irasburg mason, said that he allowed himself to be arrested because he “wanted to make a statement.”
“It’s frustrating to me,” said Roddy, who added that he feels a “close connection” to Lowell Mountain, partly because he sees it from his home. “There’s no environmental protection in Vermont anymore.”
People protesting GMP’s Lowell mountain wind project on August 6, 2012. Credit: Mountain Occupiers
According to protestor Will Young, about 25 activists gathered at the protest site from about 6 a.m. Monday until shortly after the 1 p.m. arrests. Young described the atmosphere as friendly and energetic. Activists played music, danced and engaged site construction workers in casual banter.
“I feel like they [GMP] only went through the public process to a point, and the process is flawed,” said Young, a self-employed logger and farmer from Westfield. “Community members don’t have the resources to have a strong voice. It’s complex, expensive, and lawyers don’t want to do it.”
Young explained that construction cranes were not physically blocked by most protestors, but that some construction may have been delayed due to the protest. He added that the protest took place on disputed land, a current subject of litigation between GMP and Don and Shirley Nelson.
“It is regrettable that a small group has once again resorted to illegal actions,” said GMP spokesman Dorothy Schnure, in a statement earlier this morning. She added that the Kingdom Community Wind project enjoyed broad support, including from Lowell residents, and that protestors on the construction site created safety hazards.
Schnure had no further comment on today’s arrests.
Roddy said a mock funeral procession would likely take place on the mountain tomorrow, with participants dressed in black and bearing flowers. Meanwhile, Vermont State Police and the Lamoille County Sheriff met with GMP officials to discuss how to manage future protests.
Protestors posted photos and videos from the day to a live website, here.

3 comments on “Six protestors against Green Mountain Power wind project arrested on Lowell mountain

  1. Mike says:

    The illegal action Ms. Schnurre talks about is the illegal siezure of land from Don and Shirley Nelson by Tripp Wilemann and GMP. Or, is it the illegal cutting by Hardwick property rights turncoat Ken Davis and the subsequent blasting of stolen land by Maine Drilling and Blasting?

  2. Kelley Lind says:

    Last time I knew protesting was legal. I am sure the federal subsidies they will get from this project will more than cover any cost 1/2 days work will cost. SHe should focus on the issue and work to resolve the land dispute first and than complain. Better yet, she should move to the area and promise to live there for the full term of the project if she thinks it is so great.

  3. Alton Smith says:

    Of course Lowell voted for this project. The votes were purchased by Green Mtn Power with on-going payments amounting to about 40% of the town budget. What cash strapped rural town with no tax base other than homes would turn down the offer. A few residents with better long-term vision voted against it, Bless them.

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