Ridgeprotectors Issues Statement on Sanders 1/28/13 Press Conference

Press Release

For immediate release


Steve Wright





Ron Holland, MD




Ridgeprotectors Issues Statement on Sanders 1/28/13 Press Conference

We want to thank Senator Sanders for convening this press conference.

We love our communities and expect state and federal policy to help us keep them livable. Industrial wind makes them less livable. We are compelled to point out the problem, the irrefutable data and offer a solution. As Vermonters who support an effective climate change adaptation strategy we are baffled by the insistence of environmentalists who champion an ineffective, expensive, and unreliable approach to emissions reduction: industrial wind turbines on Vermont’s ridgelines.

Atmospheric scientists tell us that the phenomenon variously referred to as climate change or global warming is likely caused and certainly exacerbated by elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. If we trust that conclusion then the solution is reduction of those emissions at their sources. In Vermont, 92.6% of emissions come from transportation, structural heating, agriculture and commercial/industrial operations.

Building turbines on ridgelines does not help reduce emissions in Vermont or regionally. Building turbines on ridgelines in Vermont will not slow the extraction and burning of coal. Building turbines on ridgelines across New England will require hundreds of  megawatts of new gas fired generation. This “Ten Minute Spinning Reserve” (TMSR) generating capacity is necessary to stabilize the grid because of the intermittency and poor load/generation correlation of wind generated electricity.*

Reducing emissions at the source – that is, using less of the fuels that produce these emissions ­– is, with present technology, the most effective response in terms of the amount of emissions we can reduce per dollar spent.

The moratorium on new utility scale wind energy is intended as a thoughtful, bi-partisan period of inquiry and planning. It is a time to design a strategy for reducing emissions at their sources in ways that provide the best return on investment for all Vermonters, not just investors with deep pockets. The atmosphere belongs to all of us. Our climate and landscape deserve a thoughtful approach that includes both social and arithmetic consensus.

We believe there are opportunities at the national level that Senator Sanders should advance: emissions reduction opportunities that are in the interest of all Vermonters, and indeed all Americans. Here are four that would go a long way in the next 10 years towards job creation, reducing costs for  average Americans and investing in renewable generation:

• Mandatory solar or other renewable water heating on all federally funded

construction projects.

• Phase-in for mandatory non fossil fuel water heating on all buildings.

• Federal dollars invested in generation must be performance based:

– only go to projects that do not sell Renewable Energy Credits

– penalty for not meeting production and life expectancy estimates

– projects must meet the National Renewable Energy Labs guidelines

for ‘good’ renewable projects, currently: avoid a ton of carbon for

$13 – 25 metric ton.

• Federal dollars can go to investments in efficiency and weatherization equal

to investment in new generation.

Senator Sanders has told us repeatedly that his office has a policy of not interfering in state issues.  If we are to interpret this press conference in that context then we wholeheartedly agree that the effect of Federal policy at the state level is part of the problem and must be part of Vermont’s solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


P.O. Box 124

Craftsbury Common, Vermont 05827


*ISO-New England 2010 Wind Integration Study estimates at 20% wind in New England it will require an additional 310 megawatts of gas fired TMSR.


2 comments on “Ridgeprotectors Issues Statement on Sanders 1/28/13 Press Conference

  1. Senator Sanders is becoming what he has consistently declared he despises: a friend of Corporate America. Only corporate power and greed has caused the state of Vermont and its political entities to accept and indeed champion the developmen…t of Industrial-Scale Wind development. Mega-corporations like Green Moutain Power (owned by Canada’s Gaz Metro/Enbridge) have embarked on their mountain-destroying utility scale turbines because they will profit from their propagation in this state. Vermont is a “poor wind” state, will never have the redeeming energy-generating capacity to justify the corporate take-over of our environment, wildlife, headwaters and wildlife desecrations. If Vermont were led by true environmentally-informed leadership, GMP, First Wind, Kindgom County Wind, etc., would never have gotten a foothold on our mountains, or a crane or a stick of dynamite. No entity, corporate, political or otherwise can claim to care about the environment of our state by destroying that same environment. What Vermont requires are innovation in our obsolete transportation system and commitment to innovative residential heating and agriculture process’. These latter crisis in Vermont are the indisputable causal factors of carbon emissions in Vermont. Please, hold Bernie Sanders to the facts of corporate wind, not to his populist rhetoric with the likes of VPIRG’s Paul Burns and Gov. Shumlin. A Moratorium on continued corporate wind development is a rational approach, and the only one which offers Vermont a reprieve from further devastation.See More

  2. Jim Wiegand says:

    Is Senator Sanders really looking out for your best interests or is he peddling wind turbines no one needs? Here is another sobering look at the marketing of green energy and why we need a moratorium on all wind projects across North America . First we have the cover-up of millions of bird deaths by the wind industry, which in my opinion has been criminal, but there is something else going on that is just as sinister.
    The industry has been sitting on a bird safe wind turbine design that produces far more energy. They have kept their mouths shut about it so they could keep on selling their eagle killing turbines to the world. It is also my impression that with this design, Infasound will be greatly reduced.
    So why has nobody heard about any of this? Here is what appears to be the industry’s reasoning. This planned obsolescence keeps the profits rolling in and stimulates demand by encouraging purchasers to buy (turbine clunkers) sooner if they still want a functioning product. In this case it is the ignorant saps or communities that are still putting up bird killing projects with a 25 year life span. This postponement is why we still have Altamont ’s ongoing eagle massacre still going on 28 years after it started.
    So are wind turbines really about climate change or the ruthless pursuit of profits? It would seem reasonable that anyone interested in climate change would want turbine designs in production that produce the greatest benefit to the world. Especially if there is a new design with far fewer negative impacts. In addition if we are in a crisis, taxpayers should also not have to waste valuable time and money on clunkers that produce less energy.
    And while we are on the topic of planned obsolescence, climate change and clunkers, I will remind everyone that we have seen all this before. How long did it take after the 1970′s gas crisis to get reasonable gas mileage standards set for cars? We still do not have them.
    As far as I am concerned, all of this is like the tobacco industry not putting out a cancer free cigarette if they had developed one or a drug company that had found a cure for cancer, but kept it quite for financial reasons instead of saving lives.

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