Statement on Sentencing of Lowell 6
We are saddened by the fact that a discussion about our state’s energy policy has resulted in conflict and litigation.
The statement we made that day on the mountain is that the Lowell project represents a false choice for our state. We must take dramatic and effective action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – but this project fails to do that. We should be taking control of our energy economy on a community level – but this project fails on that measure as well. We should be seeking to reduce our impacts and find solutions that will make our communities and our natural environment stronger.
And so, we made a stand, calling for an honest energy policy for Vermont. We will serve the sentences we received today as the price for moving the conversation forward.
We are gratified that we see signs that more and more people, and even in our state government, are questioning why we are destroying our natural resources for no benefit in the fight against climate change.
Today at the Public Service Board, a meeting is taking place to discuss a draft report that finally shines a light on one of the hypocrisies that underlies the Lowell project – the sale of the renewable energy credits (RECs) that GMP gets for running the turbines. Selling the credits not only means that GMP can not claim the energy generated at Lowell to be “green”, it also means that Vermont is enabling pollution elsewhere.
The report states,
Under the SPEED program, a utility in another state may, in part, meet its RPS obligation by purchasing Vermont RECs. As a consequence of such a transaction, the SPEED program will provide no incremental protection or promotion of air and water quality in the state or region through the displacement of polluting fuels. (Page 8)
The report includes additional details on how Vermont’s energy policy fails to respond to climate change while still facilitating destruction at home.
We stand for a clean energy future that preserves our natural resources while also fighting climate change. We can get there through dialogue and discussion. But as long as Vermont’s policies allow the destruction of natural resources with no benefit to the fight against climate change, we will continue to fight.