For immediate release
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
• 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.