Renewable Energy Vermont Chair Martha Staskus statement on proposed wind moratorium:
“The proposed legislation is an end-run on Vermont’s already exhaustive, highly stringent permitting process and is bad policy. It is a head-in-the-sand approach to the goal of growing our economy. It will cost all ratepayers and ignores the threat of climate change — universally understood by scientists to threaten our dairy, maple sugar, ski, and countless other Vermont industries.
“First, poll after poll documents that Vermonters overwhelmingly support in-state wind power. A wind moratorium propagates the will of a well-organized vocal minority against Vermont’s vast majority.
“Second, this proposal is economically backward and will send a chilling effect throughout Vermont’s growing renewable energy economy. For a state in need of good paying jobs, for jobs for younger generations, and a state that ranks first nationally in green jobs, this proposal takes us drastically backwards. Supporters of a wind moratorium are telling those on the manufacturing floors of Northern Power or NRG Systems, in the classes of Vermont Technical College, and at good businesses like Lyndon contractor J.A. McDonald, “We don’t want what you do here.”
“Third, this moratorium proposal will cost all ratepayers. Wind power is currently the lowest cost new renewable power, with Vermont wind energy providing long-term stably priced contracts to utilities like Vermont Electric Coop, Green Mountain Power, Washington Electric Coop, and Burlington Electric Department. A wind moratorium is an endorsement of higher electric rates.
“Finally, Vermont already has one of the most stringent permitting processes in the country. Permitting for wind projects have taken up to 7 years, with numerous mitigation steps proposed to address noise, aviary life, water quality and other concerns raised by stakeholders. Currently, a special commission is reviewing this permitting process for improvements– they should be allowed to do their job.
“This misguided proposal is anti-job, anti-ratepayer, and anti-clean energy. If a moratorium passes, it will be a black mark on Vermont’s proud legacy for forward-thinking state policies that make us the Green Mountain State.”
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