YCQM - August 26, 2012 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM - August 26, 2012

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

>> Announcer: FROM VERMONT'S MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE, WCAX BRINGS YOU YOUR NEWSMAKERS, YOUR NEIGHBORS. THIS IS "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

>>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. I'M NEWS MAKERS THIS SUNDAY, TWO OPPONENTS OF THE LOWELL WIND PROJECT. LAST SUNDAY ON THIS PROGRAM, WE SPOKE WITH THE CEO OF GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER, THE COMPANY INSTALLING THE WIND FARM IN LOWELL.

>> TODAY THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DEBATE. THEY BLOCKED CONSTRUCTION OF A WIND FARM DURING A DEMONSTRATION IN LOWELL LAST WINTER AND LAST WEEK THOSE PROTESTERS WERE FOUND GUILTY OF TRESPASSING. OPPONENTS TO THE LOWELL WIND PROJECT LET THE ORLEANS COUNTY COURTHOUSE KNOW THEY HAD ARRIVED. A HALF DOZEN OF THEIR FELLOW PROTESTERS WHO CALL THEMSELVES THE LOWELL SIX ARE ON TRIAL FOR ALLEGEDLY TRESPASSING ON TO GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER'S LAND BACK IN DECEMBER.

>> WE THOUGHT FOR SURE WE WERE ON THE NELSONS' LAND. WE HAD A STRING MEASURE THE DISTANCE. WE HAD TALKED TO A SURVEYOR THAT'S GOING TO TESTIFY LATER.

>> Reporter: RYAN GILLARD IS ONE OF THE ACCUSED. HE SAYS HE'S UNSURE HOW THE STATE CAN TRY THEM FOR TRESPASS WHEN THE CIVIL COURT HAS NOT SETTLED A LAWSUIT ABOUT WHO THE LAND IN QUESTION BELONGS TO.

>> THE EVIDENCE WILL SHOW THAT THE DEFENDANTS WERE AWARE THAT THEY DID NOT HAVE PERMISSION FROM GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER CORPORATION TO BE ON THE LAND.

>> THE STATE WILL BE UTTERLY UNABLE TO PROVE THAT GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER HAD THE LAWFUL AUTHORITY TO EXCLUDE MY CLIENTS FROM THE PIECE OF PROPERTY UPON WHICH THEY WERE ARRESTED.

>> Reporter: THE STATE CLAIMS THE LAND PROTESTERS REFUSED TO LEAVE DESPITE MULTIPLE WARNINGS FROM POLICE BELONGS TO LOWELL RESIDENT TRIP WILEMAN, WHO LEASED IT TO THE UTILITY. GMP OFFICIALS SAY THE AGREEMENT GIVES THEM THE RIGHT TO DEVELOP THE WIND FARM AND POST THE PROPERTY.

>> THIS IS NOT THE ACTUAL SIGN THAT WAS HUNG, BUT THE SAME SIGN WE HUNG UP EVERYWHERE AROUND THE PROPERTY.

>> Reporter: BUT THE DEFENSE SAYS THE DISPUTED LAND BELONGS TO DON NELSON. IN A SEPARATE CASE, HE'S SUING WILEMAN AND GMP OVER WHERE THE PROPERTY LINE IS LOCATED, BUT NEITHER SIDE WAS ALLOWED TO MENTION THAT LAWSUIT TO THE JURY, AND NELSON SAYS IN THE MEANTIME, HE ISN'T STOPPING ANYONE FROM ACCESSING THE LAND.

>> MY LAND IS OPEN, SO PEOPLE COME AND GO, AND I DON'T INVITE THEM OR NOT INVITE THEM. IT'S OPEN LAND.

>> I WAS SURPRISED THAT IT WENT THIS FAR AND THAT THEY'RE SPENDING THE AMOUNT OF RESOURCES WHEN THEY KNOW THERE'S A LEGITIMATE DISPUTE IN CIVIL COURT. GHAUT WON'T GO TO COURT OBVIOUSLY FOR ANOTHER YEAR.

>> AND WE'RE JOINED NOW BY TWO OF THOSE OPPONENTS, ANNE MORSE AND STEVE WRIGHT. THANK YOU BOTH FOR JOINING US TODAY.

>> GREAT TO BE HERE, DARREN.

>> ANNE MORSE, YOU WERE ONE OF THE LOWELL SIX LAST WEEK FOUND GUILTY IN THIS TRESPASSING CASE. WHAT'S YOUR REACTION TO THAT?

>> WELL, WE WERE DISAPPOINTED WITH THE VERDICT, OBVIOUSLY. BUT IT'S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. WE'RE NOT FINISHED FIGHTING IT, AND ALSO ANY TIME YOU DO CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, YOU KIND OF EXPECT THAT SINCE YOU'RE OSTENSIBLY BREAKING THE LAW, THERE MAY BE CONSEQUENCESES A WE'RE PREPARED TO TAKE THEM.

>> BUT YOI FOLKS WERE ARGUING AT ONE POINT THAT YOU MAY NOT EVEN BE ON GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER'S PROPERTY. IS THAT STILL YOUR POSITION?

>> THAT'S ABSOLUTELY OUR POSITION. WE RECOGNIZE THAT THE STATE TAKES THE SIDE THAT WE WERE ON GREEN MOUNTAIN PROPERTY, OTHERWISE THEY WOULDN'T HAVE ARRESTED US. HOWEVER, I'M QUITE SURE THAT WE WERE ON THE NELSONS' PROPERTY. WE MADE A GOOD CASE IN COURT. I THINK THAT THE VERMONT STATUTE ON TRESPASSING PROVIDES SOME UNCLEAR LANGUAGE THAT PROBABLY MADE IT MORE CHALLENGING FOR THE JURORS TO MAKE THE DECISION BECAUSE IT DOESN'T ACTUALLY NAME OWNERSHIP. IT TALKS ABOUT LAWFUL POSSESSION, SO THERE WAS SOME CONFUSION, I THINK, ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO OWN PROPERTY, BUT I'M CLEAR THAT THAT LAND BELONGS TO THE NELSONS AND WE WERE VERY PRECISE IN HOW WE STAGED OUR PROTEST AND WHERE WE WENT, AND THAT LAND, I THINK OUR CASE WAS MADE VERY WELL, BELONGS TO THE NELSONS.

>> AND JUST TO BE CLEAR, RIGHT NOW DON NELSON IS SUING GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER ABOUT THIS DISPUTED LAND. HE SAYS IT BELONGS TO HIM. THAT LAWSUIT IS BEING HELD IN CIVIL COURT, SO HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT STATE PROSECUTORS CHARGING YOU WITH TRESPASSING WHEN IT SEEMS LIKE NO ONE KNOWS EXACTLY WHO -- OR AT LEAST A COURT HAS NOT DECIDED WHO THAT LAND BELONGS TO?

>> THAT'S ONE OF THE PUZZLING THINGS AND, IN FACT, THAT'S ONE THING THAT THE JURORS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO BE TOLD, WAS THAT THIS CASE -- THIS PROPERTY IS IN DISPUTE IN CIVIL COURT. THAT WAS NOT A FACT THAT WAS PUT OUT INTO THE COURTROOM AND, IN FACT, THE JURORS, AFTER 45 MINUTES OF DELIBERATING, CAME BACK WITH A QUESTION SAYING, THIS IS CASE IN CIVIL COURT. AND THE JUDGE SAID I'M SORRY, I CAN'T TELL YOU THAT, BECAUSE THE PROSECUTOR HAD MADE IT CLEAR THAT THAT WAS A CONDITION THE STATE REQUIRED WAS THAT THE JURORS NOT BE INFORMED ABOUT THE CIVIL CASE. SO IN THE ABSENCE OF THAT DISPUTE BEING RESOLVED UNTIL SEPTEMBER 2013, THIS IS THE DATE IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE DEALT WITH, I DON'T KNOW HOW ANYONE THINKS THAT THEY CAN DECIDE THAT, A, THEY CAN BUILD A WIND PROJECT THERE, OR, B, THAT THEY CAN PROSECUTE PEOPLE FOR TRYING TO STOP IT.

>> STEVE WRIGHT, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE SORT OF OVERALL QUESTION HERE. WHY DO YOU FOLKS OPPOSE THIS PROJECT?

>> WE OPPOSE THE PROJECT BECAUSE WE BELIEVE THAT IT'S NOT AN EFFECTIVE APPROACH TO CLIMATE CHANGE. WE'RE ALL CLIMATE CHANGE BELIEVERS. I SPENT THE LAST FIVE YEARS OF MY PROFESSIONAL WORK AS A CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATOR IN THE NORTHEAST, RUNNING AROUND ALL OVER THE PLACE, SPEAKING WITH VARIOUS GROUPS, ESPECIALLY HUNTING AND FISHING GROUPS, ABOUT THE THREAT OF CLIMATE CHANGE, SO MY COMMITMENT TO VERMONT IN MY LATER YEARS IS TO HELP IT UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MUST DO IN ORDER TO ALEVATE, ALLAY, AVOID THE CHECKS OF CLIMATE CHANGE. THIS APPROACH IS NOT AN EFFECTIVE APPROACH TOWARD LEGITIMATE CLIM MAT CHANGE ACTION.

>> WHY?

>> BECAUSE IT DOES NOT REDUCE EMISSIONS. MOST SCIENTISTS THESE DAYS, ESPECIALLY THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL OF CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENTISTS WILL TELL YOU THAT THE PROBLEM WITH REGARD CLIMATE CHANGE IS CARBON DIOXIDE AND GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS. THIS IS THE CAUSATIVE FACTOR, APPARENTLY THE BEST SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE TELLS US THAT THE PROBLEM IS THESE EMISSIONS IN THE ATMOSPHERE THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN PLACED THERE BY HUMAN ACTIVITY AS LONG AS HUMANS HAVE BEEN AROUND. MOST RECENTLY, WITHIN THE LAST 30 TO 50 YEARS, THE GREATEST CONCENTRATIONS HAVE COME FROM INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITY DRIVING HOME HEATING FUELS, BURNING HOME HEATING FUELS, AND AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES. THAT'S WHERE THE EMISSION SOURCES ARE. IN ORDER TO REDUCE EMISSIONS, YOU MUST GO TO THE SOURCE TO REDUCE THEM, SO IF VERMONT IS SERIOUS, REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT EFFECTIVE CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION, WE WILL REDUCE THE PRIMARY SOURCE WHICH IS DRIVING -- THE WAY I GOT HERE TODAY AND THE WAY YOU FOLKS GOT HERE AS WELL, BOTH OF US, ALL THREE OF US, ALL FOUR OF US, DEPOSITED CARBON DIOXIDE AND GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS TODAY BY DRIVING CARS, SO WE NEED TO REDUCE OUR DEPENDENCE ON GASOLINE AND TRANSPORTATION FOSSIL FUEL. GENERATING ELECTRICITY HAS BASICALLY NO CARBON IMPACT. SO TO GO TO ELECTRICITY, TO BUILD ELECTRICITY IN ORDER TO REDUCE CARBON DOESN'T WORK. YOU'RE NOT GOING TO THE SOURCES.

>> YOU'RE SAYING IN VERMONT.

>> IN VERMONT, IN VERMONT. THANK YOU FOR THAT DISTINCTION, AND VERMONT IS THE ONLY PLACE WHERE WE CAN HAVE AN EFFECT. I CAN'T VOTE IN WEST VIRGINIA ABOUT MOUNTAIN TOP REMOVAL. IF I COULD VOTE IN WEST VIRGINIA, I WOULD VOTE AGAINST MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL AND I WOULD WANT TO SEE CREATIVE CHANGES IN WEST VIRGINIA'S SOCIETY WHICH WOULD NOT BE DEPENDING ON FOSSIL FUELS, ESPECIALLY COAL, BUT I'M NOT ALLOWED TO VOTE IN WEST VIRGINIA. MY SON IS BECAUSE HE LIVES IN WEST VIRGINIA AND MY TWO GRANDDAUGHTERS NOT YET ALLOWED TO VOTE. I VOTE IN VERMONT. THAT IS THE PLACE, THE PROVINCE IN THIS WORLD OF OURS, WHERE I CAN HAVE SOME MINOR EFFECT, AND I CHOOSE TO BE AN ADVOCATE FOR EFFECTIVE CLIMATE CHANGE. SIMPLY BUILDING ELECTRICAL GENERATION, RENEWABLE ELECTRICAL GENERATION, DOES NOT NECESSARILY REDUCE EMISSIONS BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT GOING TO THE SOURCE.

>> NOW, GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER SAYS OPPONENTS TO OUR PROJECT HAD THEIR CHANCE TO VOICE THEIR FRUSTRATIONS, VOICE THEIR CONCERNS, AND THE PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD GRANTED US A CERTIFICATE OF PUBLIC GOOD. NOW THEY'RE JUST DELAYING THE PROJECT. WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO THAT?

>> WELL, THE FIRST PART, ACTUALLY, I WOULD SAY CERTAINLY THE FIRST PART OF THAT STATEMENT, JENNIFER, IS CORRECT. WE DID GO THROUGH THE PROCESS WITH THE PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD. WE WOULD HOLD THAT THE PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD, THREE APPOINTEES OF THE GOVERNOR, ARE NOT ABOUT TO OFFEND THE GOVERNOR WHEN HE'S BEEN SO AGGRESSIVE IN SUPPORTING WIND ENERGY, SO THAT PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD, WHO CONSTANTLY, WHEN ONE CHALLENGES THEIR PARTICULAR AUTHORITY AND THEIR APPROACH, TURNS TO THE LEGISLATURE AND SAYS -- OR TURNS AND SAYS, THEY MADE US DO IT. SO OUR COMMITMENT NOW IS TO WORK WITH THE LEGISLATURE TO GET SOME BASIC, FUNDAMENTAL LAWS CHANGED WITH REGARD TO THE REVIEW PROCESS FOR, ESPECIALLY, RIDGELINE WIND PROJECTS. WE NEED TO -- ONE PARTICULAR ITEM, ISSUE OCCURRED AT THE CENTER OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD PROCESS, AND THAT WAS THAT THEY COMPLETELY FAILED TO ASSESS THE ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE OF THAT PROJECT. THERE WAS NO DOLLAR FIGURE PUT ON THAT PROJECT. WE TALKED FOR WEEKS ABOUT HOW MUCH ENERGY WAS GOING TO BE GENERATED AND HOW MUCH THAT WOULD BE WORTH TO THE VERMONT ECONOMY. NO ONE, NO ONE EVER TALKED ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE AND THE COST OF THAT DAMAGE. THAT'S A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE THAT WE NEED TO CORRECT. PRIMARILY BECAUSE THE BEST CLIMATE CHANGE APPROACH THAT WE HAVE, ESPECIALLY IN COMPARISON TO REDUCING EMISSIONS, IS TO KEEP OUR MOUNTAINS IN ONE POSITION, ONE SHAPE, IN GOOD SHAPE, INTACT, FUNCTIONING, PRODUCING CLEAN WATER, CLEAN AIR, WILDLIFE HABITAT, FLOOD PRODUCTION, HEALTHY SOILS. THOSE ARE BULLWARTS, THESE MOUNTAINS, 350,000 YEARS OLD, HAVE BEEN DOING THEIR THING FOR A LONG AND THEY CAN CONTINUE TO HELP ALEVATE THE EFFECTS OF CLIP MAT CHANGE IF THEY'RE KEPT IN ONE PIECE. BLOWING THE TOPS OFF OF THEM ARE NOT GOOD CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY.

>> WE NEED TO POINT OUT THAT YOU WERE A FORMER FISH AND WILDLIFE COMMISSIONER HERE IN VERMONT --

>> 20 YEARS AGO.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT CEO OF GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER MARY POWELL SAID LAST WEEK. LOWELL WAS GIVEN IT'S OPPORTUNITY, THE COMPANY SAYS IT WOULD NOT HAVE MOVED FORWARD WITH THIS PROJECT IF THERE WAS SIGNIFICANT OPPOSITION TO IT IN LOWELL. LOWELL MOVED AHEAD WITH IT, THEY APPROVED THIS PROJECT, SO WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THE FOLKS IN LOWELL WHO, WHERE THESE TURBINES ARE NOW ERECTED?

>> FIRST OF ALL, THE TOWN OF LOWELL IS DEEPLY DIVIDED. THE TOWN DID PASS AND AGREE TO APPROVE THE PROJECT, BUT THAT WASN'T UNANIMOUS BY ANY MEANS. THERE WERE STRONG OPPONENTS TO THE PROJECT IN LOWELL.

>> BUT IT DID PASS BY 75%, CORRECT?

>> CORRECT, CORRECT.

>> YES, IT DID, EXACTLY THREE TO ONE. 342 TO 114.

>> SO THERE'S STILL OPPONENTS TO THE PROJECT IN LOWELL, BUT THE OTHER PIECE OF IT THAT I FIND DISTURBING IS THAT WE CAN MAKE THIS ASSUMPTION THAT A PROJECT OF THIS MAGNITUDE THAT AFFECTS THE ENTIRE REGION, FAR BEYOND THE TOWN OF LOWELL, CAN BE PUT TO JUST VOTERS IN THAT ONE TOWN BECAUSE THE LAND THAT IT'S BEING BUILT ON APPARENTLY IS OWNED BY PEOPLE WHO PAY TAXES IN LOWELL, BUT THE OTHER HALF OF THE MOUNTAIN RANGE IS IN ALBANY AND THE ENTIRE REGION LOOKS AT THE MOUNTAINS AND DRINKS THE WATER AND USES THE RIVERS AND THE WATERSHED ON EITHER SIDE AND BENEFITS FROM ALL THE THINGS THAT SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT IN TERMS OF CLEAN AIR -- THAT STEVE WAS TALKING ABOUT IN TERMS OF CLEAN AIR, CLEAN WATER, AND THINGS THAT THIS PROJECT IMPACTS. SO THIS IS NOT A REGIONAL ISSUE. IT'S NOT AN ISSUE THAT ONE TOWN SHOULD BE ABLE TO DIVIDE, SO I BELIEVE THAT'S A FUNDAMENTAL FLAW IN OUR PLANNING PROCESS AND WE NEED TO LOOK AT HOW AS A REGION WE EVALUATE PROJECTS AND GIVE MORE VOICE TO THE OTHER -- THE OUTLIERS IN THE COMMUNITY BECAUSE IT'S NOT JUST THE PEOPLE IN THE TOWN OF LOWELL WHO ARE IMPACTED. DON AND SHIRLEY NELSON LIVE TECHNICALLY IN LOWELL, BUT THEY'RE CLOSER TO THE VILLAGE OF ALBANY THAN THEY ARE TO THE TOWN OF LOWELL AND OTHER PEOPLE IN THE AREA USE THAT EASTERN FLANK OF THE LOWELL MOUNTAINS AS WELL AS THE OTHER FLANK WHO AREN'T FROM LOWELL AND VOTE IN DIFFERENT TOWNS OR PERHAPS VISIT THE REGION IN THE SUMMERS AND LOOK ACROSS AT THE LOWELLS FROM GREENSBORO.

>> SO WITH THIS CONVICTION, DOES THAT MEAN THAT YOUR FIGHT IS OVER OR ARE YOU FOLKS NOT GIVING UP?

>> NO, WE'RE NOT GIVING UP BECAUSE THE FIGHT WAS NEVER REALLY JUST ABOUT THE LOWELL MOUNTAINS. THE FIGHT IS ABOUT THE BIGGER PICTURE IN VERMONT OF WHERE WE WANT TO SEE OUR MOUNTAINS, WHAT WE WANT TO SEE OUR MOUNTAINS LOOKING LIKE AND HOW WE WANT THEM TO BE TREATED IN THE YEARS TO COME. THERE ARE POTENTIALLY UP TO 200 MILES OF RIDGELINE THROUGHOUT THE STATE THAT IS SUBJECT TO BEING DEVELOPED, BUT COULD BE DEVELOPED ALONG THE SAME LINES AS LOWELL. WE'RE LOOKING AT PROJECTS THAT HAVE BEEN COMPLETED IN SHEFFIELD AND THAT ARE ONLINE IN THE WORKS IN NEWARK, BRIGHTON, AND IN GEORGIA MOUNTAIN CLOSE BY HERE. SO WE'RE JUST RAMPING UP. WE'VE FOUGHT A DIFFICULT BATTLE IN LOWELL AND WE FOUGHT IT PARTLY BECAUSE WE WANT TO BRING ATTENTION FROM AROUND THE AREA, AROUND THE STATE, TO THAT PROBLEM, AND SO -- AND I THINK WE'VE BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN THAT. I THINK PEOPLE LOOKED AT WHAT'S HAPPENING AND LOOKED AT HOW WE'RE IN THE PAPERS EVERY WEEK AND STILL FIGHTING THIS PROJECT AND PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO -- THEY'RE COMING AND VISITING. WE HAVE OPEN HOUSES ON THE MOUND EVERY THIRD SUNDAY OF THE MONTH AND PEOPLE COME AND VISIT AND THEY SAY, OH, SO THIS IS WHAT IT'S REALLY LIKE, THIS IS WHAT THE ISSUES ARE. AND THEY GO HOME AND THEN THEY GET MORE INVOLVED IN WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THEIR TOWN AND THEY LOOK AT THE DEVELOPMENT THAT'S COMING IN THEIR TOWN AND HOPEFULLY THEY'RE ASKING QUESTIONS AND DOING THAT EARLIER IN THE PROCESS THAN WE WERE DOING IT WITH THE LOWELL PROJECT AND GETTING A JUMPSTART ON BEING ABLE TO ASK THE HARD QUESTIONS AND FIND OUT WHAT'S REALLY GOING TO HAPPEN.

>> SO I'M CURIOUS WHAT, THEN, THE SOLUTION IS, BECAUSE THERE'S A MANDATE BY THE LEGISLATURE THAT THE UTILITIES HAVE IN THEIR PORTFOLIO SOME RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES. GMP SAYS THAT IF THEY CAN OWN THEIR OWN GENERATING SYSTEMS, WHETHER IT BE TURBINES OR LIKE WE'VE SEEN WITH HYDRO, THAT IN THE LONG RUN, THERE ARE LESS GREEN HOUSE EMISSIONS AND THERE IS A BIGGER PROCESS. THERE IS -- RATE PAYERS WON'T SEE AS HIGH BILLS BECAUSE THEY OWN THOSE STRUCTURES. WHAT THEN IS THE SOLUTION IF IT'S NOT WIND?

>> WELL, WE HAVE THREE POINTS THAT WE TRY TO MAKE IN OUR EDUCATIONAL MESSAGE. ONE IS THE POINT THAT I BELABORED EARLIER, THAT -- AND AN IMPORTANT POINT, THAT IF YOU WANT TO REDUCE EMISSIONS, YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE SOURCE, AND WE KNOW THE FOUR SOURCES THAT MAKE UP 96% OF OUR EMISSIONS IN VERMONT. NOT A ONE OF THOSE HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH ELECTRICAL GENERATION. SO THAT'S POINT NUMBER ONE. POINT NUMBER TWO IS THAT THE BEST CLIMATE CHANGE DEFENSE THAT WE HAVE IS A HEALTHY LANDSCAPE, AND WE SHOULD -- VERMONT SHOULD BE OUT AGGRESSIVELY RIGHT NOW PROTECTING ADDITIONAL LAND, ESPECIALLY HIGHER ELEVATION LAND, BECAUSE THAT CAN HELP PREVENT THE LOCAL EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

>> BUT IN THE MANDATE, THOUGH, FROM THE LEGISLATURE THAT THESE RENEWABLES HAVE TO BE HAPPENING, WHAT THEN IF NOT WIND?

>> I WOULD MAKE A COMMENT THAT WE'RE NOT SAYING ALL WIND IS BAD. I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK AT MANY DIFFERENT OPTIONS FOR WHERE THE PROJECTS ARE SITED AND IF YOU'RE LOOKING AT A FLAT AREA THAT'S NOT AT A HIGH ELEVATION, WHERE THERE ARE ALREADY ROADS, THAT'S PREVIOUSLY IMPACTED BY HUMAN ACTIVITY, THAT COULD BE A PERFECTLY REASONABLE PLACE TO HAVE A WIND FARM. THAT MAY NOT BE THAT PRACTICAL FOR VERMONT, BUT I THINK IT NEEDS TO BE SAID THAT, YOU KNOW, NOT ALL WIND IS BAD. ONE OF THE REASONS THAT THIS PROJECT IS SO EXPENSIVE IS THAT YOU HAVE TO FACTOR IN THE COST OF BUILDING ENTIRELY NEW ROADS IN EXTREMELY STEEP RUGGED TERRAIN BEFORE YOU CAN EVEN START PUTTING THE TURBINES IN PLACE, SO THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF AN EXTREMELY COST-INEFFECTIVE PROJECT. WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO REPLACE CO2 EMISSIONS, REDUCE THEM FOR $25 PER METRIC TON AND THE LOWELL PROJECT WOULD COST ABOUT $100 PER METRIC TON OF C O2 DISPLACED AND THAT'S JUST NOT COST EFFECTIVE. SO THERE ARE SURELY LESS EXPENSIVE WAYS TO PUT IN RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES AND PERSONALLY, I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK HARD AT CONSERVATION AND HOME INSULATION AND MEASURES LIKE THAT, WHICH WE CAN DO WITH EXISTING TECHNOLOGY WITHOUT TEARING APART MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPES AND WITH SOME POLITICAL WILL AND SOME PUBLIC BUY-IN, WE COULD PROBABLY SAVE AS MUCH ELECTRICITY THROUGHOUT VERMONT AS THIS PROJECT IS GOING TO GENERATE THROUGH THOSE KINDS OF MEASURES, EFFICIENCIES IN HEATING AND IN TRANSPORTATION AND SO FORTH. AND THEN I'M ALSO -- I LIVE OFF THE GRID, I HAVE SOLAR PANELS AT HOME AND WE'RE TALKING ABOUT OUR LOCAL ENERGY COMMITTEE ABOUT A GROUP NET METERING PROJECT THAT WOULD ALLOW THE COMMUNITY OF CRAFTSBURY TO HAVE SOLAR PANEL AND INVEST IN THAT AND THAT WOULD FEED OUR LOCAL GRID.

>> WE NEED TO TAKE A VERY QUICK BREAK, BUT WE'L EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

>>> WE'RE BACK NOW WITH ANNE MORSE AND STEVE WRIGHT, OPPONENTS OF THE LOWELL WIND PROJECT. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR JOINING US.

>> AND I'M CURIOUS, YOU HAD JUST MENTIONED BEFORE THE BREAK ABOUT DOING OPEN HOUSES ON THE MOUNTAIN, GETTING THE PUBLIC REALLY INVOLVED. SINCE YOUR PROTEST, WHAT HAS COMMUNITY REACTION BEEN TO YOU GUYS?

>> WELL, I GUESS IT DEPENDS ON WHO YOU ASK. IT'S MIXED. I THINK THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE UNWILLING TO TAKE THE KIND OF STEPS THAT WE TOOK BECAUSE WE TEND TO BE A LAW AND ORDER ORIENTED SOCIETY AND WHAT WE DID SORT OF LOOKS SCARY OR RADICAL OR BREAKING THE LAWS, AND SOME PEOPLE FIND THAT PERHAPS THREATENING. THE PEOPLE THAT I SEE AROUND TOWN THANK ME AND SAY THEY APPRECIATE THE WORK I'M DOING. I KNOW THAT NOT EVERYBODY AGREES WITH WHAT WE'RE DOING AND THAT'S FINE. SO I'D SAY THE REACTION IS MIXED. IT JUST DEPENDS ON PEOPLE'S -- ON VIEWPOINTS.

>> SINCE YOUR ARREST LAST DECEMBER, THERE HAVE BEEN A FEW OUR GROUPS WHO HAVE PROTESTED AS WELL OR A FEW OTHER MEMBERS MAYBE OF THE SAME GROUP. WE SAW A LARGE-SCALE PROTEST BACK IN JULY, ABOUT 150 PROTESTERS, AND THEN AGAIN LAST WEEK OR THE WEEK BEFORE, AGAIN IN THE SAME SPOT WHERE YOU WERE IN DECEMBER. ONE THING THAT WE HEAR FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT IS THEY SEEM TO POINT THE FINGER AT YOU GUYS AND SAY, THESE OPPONENTS ARE TYING UP OUR RESOURCES. WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE TO THAT?

>> WELL, ONE RESPONSE IS THAT IN THE PROTESTS WHERE THE MOST RECENT SIX PEOPLE WERE ARRESTED, IF ANYONE HAD ASKED US, SO HOW MANY PEOPLE THINK THEY'RE GOING TO STAY HERE AND RISK ARREST ONCE THE POLICE COME, WE WOULD HAVE SAID ABOUT SIX. AND THEY COULD HAVE COME UP WITH TWO POLICE CARS AND TAKEN CARE OF THE WHOLE THING. INSTEAD, NOBODY ASKED US AND IT WENT ON FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS, AND THEN THEY SHOWED UP WITH A PADDY WAGON AND SIX PATROL CARS, WHICH WAS OVERKILL. AND WE SAID RIGHT UP FRONT, YOU KNOW, WE'LL TELL YOU HOW MANY PEOPLE WE'RE PLANNING TO STAY HERE AND RISK ARREST. SO ANYWAY, THAT'S ONE PIECE. BETTER COMMUNICATION, THAT DOESN'T NEED TO BE AN ISSUE. AND IT'S TRUE THEY HAVE -- THEY NEED TO RESERVE RESOURCES ELSEWHERE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AND THAT IS THEIR JOB. ON THE OTHER HAND, IN A DISPUTED PROPERTY SITUATION, WHY IS THE STATE TAKING THE SIDE OF GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER INSTEAD OF THE SIDE OF THE NELSONS? IS THERE -- LIKE WHAT IS THE ETHICAL REASON OR WHAT IS THEIR LAW AND ORDER REASON FOR THAT HAPPENING? AND THAT'S ONE OF THE QUESTIONS THAT WE WERE TESTING OUT WHEN WE STEPPED OUT THERE ON DECEMBER 5th, WAS THIS IS DISPUTE THE PROPERTY. HOW ARE THEY GOING TO DECIDE? AND IF THEY CHOOSE TO CALL IN POLICE, THAT IS THEIR CHOICE. THAT'S NOT MY DECISION AS A PROTESTER. I'M OUT HERE BECAUSE I THINK THIS LAND BELONGS TO THE NELSON FAMILY AND IT SHOULDN'T BE DEVELOPED. THAT'S ANOTHER TAKE ON IT. BESIDE THAT, I WOULD SAY THAT POLICE, ALL THE LAW ENFORCEMENT PEOPLE THAT I'VE INTERACTED WITH UP THERE HAVE BEEN EXTREMELY CORDIAL AND WE'VE HAD PERFECTLY FRIENDLY REACTION FROM VERY CIVIL CONVERSATIONS, THEY HAVE BEEN FINE WITH US.

>> SEVERAL OF US MET, IN FACT, YESTERDAY MORNING, SO YOUR QUESTION IS TIMELY, JENNIFER, WITH STATE POLICE AND WITH LT. COOPER AND TWO DEPUTIES WHO LT. COOPER IS THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE DERBY BARRACKS, SO IT'S HIS TROOPS THAT GET CALLED OUT ON THIS AS FIRST REACTION. WE HAD AN EXCELLENT EXCHANGE WITH LT. COOPER. WE'RE CLEAR WITH EACH OTHER ABOUT WHAT POINTS OF CONTACT AND ABOUT WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO AND SO ON AND SO FORTH. WE DO CONTINUE TO MENTION THE FACT THAT WHEN THE STATE POLICE ARE CALLED BY GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER, THEY DON'T CALL US AND ASK FOR OUR SIDE OF THE STORY IN TERMS OF OWNERSHIP, AND I MEAN, YOU WERE IN THE COURTROOM, YOU SAW THE COURT CASE. I WON'T ASK YOU FOR YOUR OPINION OF THAT, NOT HERE ANYWAY, BUT THAT WAS, IN MY VIEW, OBVIOUSLY, PREJUDICIAL. A CLEAR-CUT CASE OF HOW A PROPERTY LINE HAD BEEN PUSHED OVER, WHETHER IT WAS DELIBERATE OR NOT, I CAN'T SAY, BUT OUR EXPERT WITNESS AND SURVEYOR SHOWED WHERE THE PROPERTY LINE WAS. WE HAD A LEGITIMATE RIGHT TO BE THERE WITH THE PERMISSION OF DON NELSON, SO WE WOULD LIKE FOR THE -- IF WE'RE BACK UP THERE AGAIN ON THAT DISPUTED PROPERTY LINE, WE WOULD LIKE FOR THE STATE POLICE TO CALL US AND ASK WHY GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER SHOULDN'T BE ARRESTED.

>> SO I THINK WHEN YOU'RE UP ON THE MOUNTAIN IN THAT DISPUTED AREA, IT'S KIND OF SHELTERED FROM THE PUBLIC IN WHAT THEY SEE. IF WE COULD TALK FOR A MINUTE ABOUT THE VERY PUBLIC DISPLAY BACK IN JULY WHERE 150 PROTESTERS KIND OF RUSHED ROUTE 100 AND BLOCKED TRAFFIC FOR TWO HOURS, IT WAS THE FIRST TURBINE PARTS ARRIVING AT THE JOBSITE, AND WHAT HAPPENED THAT DAY?

>> WELL, THAT WAS A VERY INTERESTING DAY. WE WERE ON THE ROADSIDE EARLY THAT MORNING. I WAS THE FIRST ONE TO ARRIVE BECAUSE I WAS ONE OF THE COORDINATORS OF THAT PARTICULAR EXPRESSION, WHICH WAS DESIGNED TO HAVE PEOPLE STANDING ON THE ROAD EDGE, OFF THE RIGHT-OF-WAY, THE TRAVEL PORTION, WITH SIGNS, AND MAKING A STATEMENT TO THE PUBLIC THAT WAS DRIVING BY. WE KNEW THAT THERE WAS A DELIVERY SCHEDULED FOR A PARTICULAR TURBINE PART, ONE OF THE FIRST TOWER PORTIONS ON ONE OF THOSE HUGE TRUCKS. WE WERE AWARE OF THAT, AND IN THE PROCESS OF STANDING THERE -- AND I HAD ALREADY COMMUNICATED WITH GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER, WITH ROBERT DOSTOS, WHO I'VE KNOWN FOR YEARS, AND I TOLD ROBERT IN RESPONSE TO HIS QUESTION, WHAT DO YOU GUYS PLAN, OUR PLAN IS TO STAND ON THE ROADSIDE AND TELL YOU GUYS THAT WE'RE NOT HAPPY WITH YOUR DEVELOPMENT OF THIS PROJECT. THAT'S OUR PLAN. SO IN TERMS OF THE EVENT, WHAT OCCURRED WHEN THE TRUCK GOT THERE, THERE WAS A HUGE AMOUNT OF TENSION AND ANXIETY IN THE AIR, AS YOU MIGHT WELL IMAGINE, AND SOME OF THE PEOPLE SPILLED INTO THE ROAD. WHEN THOSE FOLKS SPILLED INTO THE ROAD, TWO DEPUTIES CAME INTO THE MIX AND TRIED TO PUSH PEOPLE OUT OF THE ROAD, AT WHICH POINT MORE PEOPLE SPILLED INTO THE ROAD AND THEN TWO PEOPLE WERE IMMEDIATELY ARRESTED AND CUFFED AND ESCORTED OFF. THE OTHER PEOPLE WHO DECIDED TO STAY IN THE ROAD, THAT WAS THEIR DECISION, THAT WAS NOT A PLANNED ACTIVITY. IT WAS ENTIRELY INDIVIDUAL.

>> VERY QUICKLY WITH ABOUT A MINUTE AND A HALF LEFT TO GO, DO YOU THINK THAT THERE IS ANY REGRET ABOUT THAT INCIDENT IN JULY? DO YOU THINK THAT YOU WISH THAT HADN'T HAPPENED?

>> NOT NECESSARILY, DARREN. I HAVE A CERTAIN SENSITIVITY TO SOME OF THE LOCAL FOLKS WHO CLAIM TO HAVE BEEN BOTHERED BY THE TRAFFIC STOPPAGE, BUT WE HAD SET THAT UP, SO WE KNEW IT WAS A LOCAL ROAD AND WE WERE ACTUALLY DOWN THERE DIRECTING TRAFFIC TO GET PEOPLE AROUND SO THAT THEY WEREN'T HUNG UP LOCALLY. THERE WERE SOME TRUCKS AND OTHER FOLKS WHO HAD TO SPEND TOMORROW TIME THERE. AGAIN -- SOME TIME THERE. AGAIN, WE ARE SEARCHING FOR A VOICE TO TELL THE PEOPLE OF VERMONT THAT THIS IS NOT EFFECTIVE CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION. THERE IS A MYTH OUT THERE THAT IF YOU BUILD MORE RIDGELINE WIND, FOR EXAMPLE, IN VERMONT, THAT IT WILL HELP REDUCE CLIMATE CHANGE EFFECTS. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THAT IS, A MYTH. WE NEED TO TAKE DIRECT ACTION OF REDUCING EMISSIONS AT THEIR SOURCE. TRANSPORTATION, HOME HEATING FUEL, AGRICULTURE, AND COMMERCIAL/INDUSTRIAL. 96% OF OUR EMISSIONS RIGHT THERE, LESS THAN 2% WITH ELECTRICITY.

>> WE HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE. STEVE WRIGHT, ANNE MORSE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR JOINING US THIS MORNING.

>> ENJOYED IT. APPRECIATE IT.

>> AND THANK YOU AT HOME FOR WATCHING. WE'LL SEE YOU SOON. CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY. CAPTION ASSOCIATES, LLC www.captionassociates.com

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