Democracy in Action: Vermonters Vent Fury at Planned Wind Power Project
Remember all those glowing stories about wind power outfits being welcomed into rural communities with open arms? You know, tales about how farmers are dying to have turbines lined up all over their properties? How locals can’t wait to pick up some of the thousands of permanent,high paying jobs on offer? How developers are viewed with the kind of reverence reserved for Royalty?
We’ve forgotten them too.
It’s ‘outrage’ that’s become the order of the day. With the wind industry facing growing and increasingly hostile hordes, their teams of community ‘liaison’ officers have taken to literally thumping their message home, setting the muscle on to old-age pensioners and disabled farmers:
It’s a sure sign that the wind industry’s ‘game’ is lost.
Pro-(real)farming, pro-family, pro-community and pro-(real)power groups have an air of ascendancy now; they’re angry, they’re organised, and they aren’t about to be taken for fools any longer. Here’s another example of people fighting back against the greatest economic and environmental fraud of all time.
Vermont town set for protest vote against wind turbines
1 October 2015
IRASBURG, Vt. — The ongoing clash between Vermonters and Big Wind is set for a slugfest Thursday night as Irasburg residents will attempt a protest vote against two 500-foot wind turbines to be sited atop the ridgeline of nearby Kidder Hill.
In a special Selectboard meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Irasburg’s Town Hall, voters will cast ballots to answer the following question: “Shall Kidder Hill, or any other ridgelines of the town of Irasburg, Vermont, be used for development by industrial wind turbine projects?”
A no vote would be a setback for David Blittersdorf, whose Kidder Hill Community Wind company plans to construct the 5-megawatt electricity-generating towers to provide power for approximately 2,100 homes in the area.
“We have 421 signatures opposing this project,” said Ron Holland, a local resident, and member of the Irasburg Ridgeline Alliance, which led a petition drive against the turbines.
Holland, who helped expose broad opposition to the project, said a no vote would launch a sustained revolt by residents who are determined to protect local ridgelines.
“It will send a very clear message to the administration of the state of Vermont, and to Mr. Blittersdorf, that he can expect total noncooperation from the citizens of Irasburg.”
While Blittersdorf has yet to present his plan to regulators at the Public Service Board, the green energy mogul told a meeting of Addison County Democrats in June that Vermonters can expect wind turbines on one-third of Vermont’s ridgelines as part of the state’s goal to become 90 percent renewable-powered by 2050. A YouTube video of the meeting went viral across Vermont.
Residents who oppose the project say unsightly turbines would negatively affect property values and generate unhealthy amounts of noise in the community. Holland said he’s equally concerned by the sale of Vermont’s ridgelines to developers whose biggest supporters are well-funded politicians.
“This is an alliance between state interests and business interests that excludes towns in the decision-making process. This is being foisted on us and we have no say,” Holland said, referring to the town’s lack of authority to block energy projects.
“The policies that have been developed are a textbook example of crony capitalism. There are far less expensive, far less polluting, far less destructive options available that don’t make money for the people that control Vermont utilities. But they haven’t been considered.”
Asked for evidence of a state-business alliance, Holland said Blittersdorf is a major donor to Gov. Peter Shumlin, House Speaker Shap Smith and Joint Energy Committee Chair Rep. Tony Klein.
Blittersdorf did not return Watchdog’s request for comment. However, the green energy CEO is scheduled to give a speech defending Kidder Hill Community Wind prior to the vote.
Wind turbine opponents also have politicians in the fight.
State Sen. John Rodgers, D-Essex/Orleans, who represents Irasburg and other towns in the Northeast Kingdom, is a vocal critic of unregulated siting of renewable energy projects.
“The Northeast Kingdom has become the dumping ground for every ill-conceived, poorly sited renewable energy project the developers can dream up,” Rodgers said in a news release. “Environmental and energy issues are real, but we know that there are far more effective ways to address them without ruining the quality of life that defines us as Vermonters.”
Rodgers is a rare Democrat. Given that the state’s Democratic legislative majority overwhelmingly supports industrial scale renewables, blocking controversial wind turbines rests with local citizens.
For Irasburg residents like Rebecca Boulanger, it’s the feeling of powerlessness that has stoked the flames of anger in the small town.
“Here in Vermont, where we’re known worldwide for our town-meeting democracy, it is inconceivable that a decision with so many irreversible consequences for our citizens would be made without regard for the democratic process,” she said.
But for Holland, who said he expects a win Thursday night, protecting Vermont’s pristine ridgelines is simply about being a good neighbor.
“If your neighbor’s house is on fire, you go and help put it out. These people’s homes are going to be destroyed in terms of what happens in the environment around there, and so the neighbors are coming to the rescue.”
What was forecast by the community defenders themselves was realised at the meeting that took place a few nights later; where 96% of voters made plain their outright hostility to the great wind power fraud. No surprises there!
What was surprising is how the Editor of the local rag reported on the community’s clear expression of outrage.
Over the last few years, the media’s attitude and approach to the wind industry has ranged from fawning acquiescence to foaming eco-fascism.
In the former guise, journos would simply parrot the propaganda handed to them by wind power outfits, their parasites and spruikers: recounting complete fictions such as this project “will power 200,000 homes, save gazillions of tonnes of CO2 and all for free”. The resultant gushing drivel, arising from the combination of the scribes’ inherent laziness and infantile gullibility.
At the extreme end of the spectrum were journalists that attacked anyone with the temerity to challenge the Wind Gods; and the infallibility of the high priests that faithfully serve them.
Now, however, journalists too, have worked out the fickle nature of the Wind Gods; and that the wind industry’s high priests have all the credibility and moral fibre you’d expect from deranged cult leaders – of the same class as Jim Jones and David Koresh:
In the early days, newspaper editors took the deluded and warm and fuzzy view that everyone simply loves wind power to bits.
Now that community defenders – in places like Vermont and Rye Park in New South Wales – have joined forces and shown that the great majority would, rather than hugging them, simply love to blow these things to bits, newspapers have, for obvious commercial reasons, sided with the great majority. It’s pretty hard to sell newspapers thumping wind industry propaganda to a population, where 90% have worked out that the wind power pitch is utter bunkum.
Instead, newspapers are calling the wind industry for what it is: the greatest economic and environmental fraud of all time.
Here’s an example from The Caledonian Record, as it recounts the backlash against wind power and Vermont and slaughters the developer’s high-handed arrogance, lies, treachery and deceit.
Editorial: Blowing Blittersdorff Away
The Caledonian Record
3 October 2015
On Thursday night hundreds of people packed into the Irasburg Town Hall to tell renewable energy developer David Blittersdorf they don’t want his industrial wind towers in their town. Out of 285 voters, 274 said “NO” to wind development in town.
Dr. Ron Holland, the town’s moderator, also presented a folder of petitions to the select board, signed by 481 voters, asking the select board to take a formal stand against wind development. Dr. Holland also spoke about a formal organization formed to challenge Blittersdorf’s plan — the Irasburg Ridgeline Alliance — and reasons for their opposition. Among them: the health effects of living near towers, the effect on property values, aesthetics, and their utter failure to reduce carbon emissions.
Blittersdorf didn’t attend the meeting but sent a strongly worded email that we translated to say — “I believe in renewable energy, I know what my property rights are, and I don’t care what Irasburg thinks.”
Blittersdorf has gotten filthy rich on renewable energy subsidies and mandates. In fact, he’s had a hand in writing many of the rules and laws that benefit his companies directly. Nobody in Vermont, that we know of, has gotten richer from gaming the rigged system than Blittersdorf. He knows how to cash in both as a developer and as a manufacturer of renewable energy systems.
He says he’s on a crusade to save the world. But anyone as involved in green energy as Blittersdorf is knows that the small benefit of wind energy can’t ever justify their overall inefficiency or heavily subsidized expense.
He knows wind projects are a bad fit for Vermont’s climate, make no sense economically, and yield zero impact on net carbon footprint.
He knows, because of well-known and understood transmission and infrastructure limitations, the New England grid operator has to limit the amount of power it can absorb from Vermont’s boutique projects.
He knows that taxpayers and ratepayers are getting fleeced at every turn of the turbine.
He knows that there aren’t “green jobs” associated with power generation.
He knows that after a quarter decade, and billions of tax subsidies through the wind Production Tax Credit, that wind farms aren’t competitive anywhere in the United States.
He knows that his developments are irreconcilable with the spirit, and the letter, of Act 250 land protections.
He knows wind tax credits (as one critic explained) “are nothing more than a cost imposed on all taxpayers in order to accommodate development of a politically well-connected, high-priced, low-value resource that cannot meet our electric capacity needs.”
He knows most of the state’s carbon footprint derives from vehicles and heating our homes in winter. As such, expensive and inefficient wind projects yield no meaningful effect on aggregate carbon emissions.
He knows wind energy is notoriously intermittent and unreliable, requiring fossil-fuel powered backup plants when the wind doesn’t blow.
He knows Shumlin’s grand plan that calls for Vermont’s energy use to come from 90 percent renewable sources by 2050 is not only unachievable, but the tax subsidies that it will require in the intervening failed effort to reach it will cost Vermont taxpayers an unforgivable and unsustainable fortune.
He knows wind is only a winner for developers – earning tax credits, naked subsidies, and guaranteed (fixed) consumption by ratepayers.
He knows wind projects distort energy markets and require such intensive energy to develop that nobody believes them to actually be “green.”
He knows, despite his invocation of property rights, that wind development is the ultimate zoning issue and has enormous impact on surrounding communities.
He knows that those communities are being torn apart by bad public policy, big government subsidies and a misguided pursuit of “green energy.”
Of course Blittersdorf knows all of this. What he might not know is that Northeast Kingdom residents won’t suffer fools. And they’ve gotten better over the years, and from hard experience, at protecting themselves from predatory developers.
Everyone now understands that this isn’t about the environment or global warming. It’s a naked money grab.
And we all stand with Irasburg in saying bureaucrats, investors and hotshot energy lobbyists shouldn’t have more say about what happens in our communities than the people actually living here.
The Caledonian Record
Winning this war involves winning skirmishes and battles: house by house, village by village and town by town.
Education is the key; facts the key weapon.
The endless lies tossed up by the wind industry and its parasites just don’t wash anymore: these days, people are switched on to the fraud; and angry for having been taken for gullible country bumpkins.
Once reasonable people are introduced to the facts about the insane costs of intermittent and unreliable wind power they cease to support it.
When they learn of the senseless slaughter of millions of birds and bats, and the tragic suffering caused to hard working rural people by giant fans, reasonable people start to bristle.
But when they learn that – contrary to the ONLY “justification” for the $billions filched from power consumer and taxpayers and directed as perpetual subsidies to wind power outfits – wind power INCREASES CO2 emissions in the electricity sector – rather than decreasing them, as claimed – their attitude stiffens to the point of hostility to those behind the fraud and those hell-bent on sustaining it.
In our travels we’ve met plenty of people that started out in favour of wind power and turned against it. But we’ve yet to meet anyone who started out opposed to wind power, who later became a supporter. Funny about that.
Present the facts to reasonable people – and they’ll want to know how the scam got started in the first place and why it hasn’t been stopped in its tracks already?
Once communities and their newspapers turn against the great wind power fraud, they’ll never turn back.
Get angry, get organised and make some noise. These are your homes, your families and your communities. Fight them; and they will flee.