Wind Bill Altered, But Opinions Aren't

win billSHEFFIELD - As the legislation regarding wind farms works its way through the House and Senate, more changes are made to the bill.  The third reading of the bill is set for today in the Senate.  Those against the bill aren't thrilled with the changes.

The bill was originally brought to the senate by Joe Benning, Senator for the Caledonia - Orange District.  It was co-sponsored by six other senators. The original bill gave local land authorities veto power over any new wind projects in the state, but that was removed from the bill during much debate. Benning, believes that local authorities should be able to veto any new projects because of the direct effect it has on them, while those in Montpellier don't see the effects.  "They should have the right to make that call, as opposed to someone in Montpellier saying, 'if it's renewable, it's good.  We're going to build it anyway.'" With the removal of the three-year moratorium from the bill as well, the legislation is nothing more than a set of guidelines for future wind projects.

This new bill does little to change the opinions of those who oppose wind farms in VT. "They keep getting built because big money is behind them.  Because the government is in bed with the wind companies, and with the power companies to do it, (they) cram it down people's throats," said David Zimmerman, a Sheffield resident who has been opposed to the wind farms from the start. "It's all rigged.  And it's rigged against the environment and against people like The Therriens, and against everybody who wants to keep Vermont the way it has looked and should continue to look." 

To view the entire bill and changes made click here.