Answers are blowing in the wind

We’re never going to run out of wind. Debate all you want to, but it was here before we were and it’ll be here long after we’re gone.

Wind has staying power.

This is precisely the reason why the Vermont House of Representative’s decision to strike down a moratorium on industrial windmill developments on the state’s ridgeline was such a good one.

And not only was it a good decision, but an important one as well.

The moratorium was championed by lawmakers from the Northeast Kingdom, where two of the developments have been proposed. One is proposed for an abandoned radar base in East Haven and the other on a ridgeline in Sheffield, extending into Sutton.

There are also projects proposed in Londonderry, Manchester and an expansion of an already existing wind farm in Searsburg.

Opponents of the windmills say they’ll be tearing into the pristine and picturesque landscapes of the state. Mountain ranges will be dotted with the sleek, white stalks and blades.

Others argue that the energy will most likely be going somewhere other than where the developments are being built (the electricity produced by the Manchester development would go to Burlington), which is unfair to the communities being affected by the actual structures.

The windmills will also be lit at night (so nothing will hit them), causing some residents to worry about the potential for some sleepless nights.

“Are the 420-foot structures that must be lit consistent with Vermonter’s sense of Vermont?” asked Rep. Richard Hube, R-Londonderry.

To answer your question Mr. Hube, yes, it’s very consistent.

Vermont has a history of being open-minded, progressive, intelligent, and, most important, environmentally conscious.

Wind energy is proving to be an important source of energy that is both safe and environmentally sound. It’s also cheap, and contracts with Vermont Yankee and Hydro-Quebec begin expiring in 2012. Surrounding states that have to go into the open market to buy energy are paying up to three times what Vermonters are, and the windmills will help us to keep those costs down.

While the argument that the structures could ruin the view for some people is a valid one, progress comes with some sacrifice.

The big leap over to wind-generated power doesn’t come without a price, but this time it’s a cheap one. And once it’s paid, there’s no fear of the source of power ever running out.

In the long run, the windmills will help far more than they hurt.

Vermonters should continue their legacy of doing what’s right not only for the people living here, but also for the environment they live in.

Even if the windmills on the ridgeline are eyesores to some now, in the years to come those “eyesores” will not only give Vermont cheap, clean and efficient energy, they’ll also stand as a testament to the best qualities of the state and as a goal line for the rest of the country to sprint towards.

As fast as the wind will take them.

— Brad Waterhouse

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