Vermonter of the Year: Annette Smith
Free Press Editorial Board 5:30 a.m. EST January 2, 2017
In February, the state Attorney General’s Office dropped a criminal investigation into a complaint brought by a lawyer who represents a major solar and wind developer that Smith had practiced law without a license in the course of advising those preparing to testify before the Public Service Board.
Private citizens with limited means often find themselves outmatched from the start when they try to bring a challenge before the Public Service Board where, the AP reports, “utilities and project developers often hire lawyers at $250 per hour or more.”
The dissenting voice can be difficult to hear when one side has the force of the Governor’s Office, major environmental organizations and multinational companies at their back, as is often the case with renewable energy projects.