They included Dorothy Schnure, manager of corporate communications for Green Mountain Power, the utility that is building the wind power project; Philip Warburg, author of a forthcoming book, "Harvest the Wind"; David Blittersdorf, chief executive of AllEarth Renewables; and Tim Smith, an assistant research professor in physics and environmental studies at Dartmouth College.
Here are some of the points they made:
– The wind farm Mr. Wright objected to is strongly supported by voters (75 percent) in the town of Lowell, where it is being built, and Vermonters have registered 90 percent approval of wind power in previous polling.
– The mountain where the wind turbines are located is not wilderness, but rather is currently being commercially logged.
– While the wind farm will occupy 175 acres, more than 2,000 acres of prime animal habitat will also be conserved as mitigation for any wildlife effects.
– A number of other mountains in Vermont are currently used by ski resorts, yet tourists still flock to the state.
– Opposing or failing to build clean energy projects in Vermont and elsewhere means developing other energy sources that are more damaging to the environment and climate.
Food for thought, as other wind power projects slowly make their way through the permitting process in the Northeast.
Tom Gray, www.awea.org/blog/