April 16, 2016

Energy Siting Bill Questions Citizen Say

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The Vermont House Committee on Energy and Natural Resources reviewed the controversial S.230 bill on Wednesday and heard arguments from the lead administrators of renewable energy citing in the state. James Sullivan, the Executive Director of the Bennington County Regional Planning Commission addressed his concerns that growing fines on fossil fuel utilities would be transferred to the tax payers. Other municipalities such as Franklin County held reservations about whether public opinion would be positive enough to carry through with the citing of renewably viable land. The bill addresses town roles in implementing new energy sources such as wind is part of a statewide effort to be 90% carbon free by mid-century. Because there is no single energy source that can provide services for the whole of Vermont, the lofty goals of state are designed to incorporate a number off different types of fossil free energy sources including solar, wind, and geothermal. S.230 would take away a townships ability to reject renewable development even if opinion is not in favor. Rep. Marianna Ganache expressed particularly concern about wind energy the lack of choice a community may have in the citing and building of such infrastructure. The state climate action plan relies on the diversity of its energy sources, each as integral as the other, a town not willing to bear the burden of having renewable energy sites would complicate the progressive state actions. As Rep. Klein explained “if you ban wind you cannot reach the energy goals” who moved on to say very alimentally “… WERE NOT DEBATING WIND.” The objective of S.230 is to reach the next step in the planning process for a movement the entire state is committed to. However, serious questions are being posed as to how much say residents are receiving and the costs altogether.

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