Monday, August 27, 2012

powwow on top of Vermont

a yoga break on top of Vermont

On Saturday a lot of people including Annette and Luke Snelling of Energize Vermont pulled together a rally of people from across the state and even from the state of Maine who have spent lots of time and energy down in the trenches trying to use the Public Service Board to avoid being squashed by utility developers.  Anti-industrial wind activists along with anti-Smart Meter people described their harrowing  experiences.  All this in the most amazing setting I’ve ever seen in Vermont—a mountain top in Wells approachable only by a very steep Class 6 road and also, in the case of a Maine activist and a Maine state representative, in a helicopter.  The spot was a small flat top with a 360° view of the Green Mountains and Taconics for maybe 50 mile radius. 

We all sat down after these testimonials to come up with a strategy on reforming or revolutionizing the permit process.  Annette facilitated this disucssion and, as I understand it,  will soon be summing up this interesting discussion on the VCE site.  Among the questions:  how can a board avoid “capture” by the utilities it is supposed to be regulating?  Would elected boards be better in general?  How do we get away from a process where the “market” only makes proposals with high private profits while often neglecting those with greater “public good” that don’t enrich developers as much?  Can consumer fraud law be used against wind developers who make promises during the permit process which they do not keep? 

Here's a clip of the panorama:


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